REVIEW – Echo Arcadia, The Bongo Club, 5th March

Prolific promoters Bainbridge Music unveil yet another monthly gig with this, the first of their Showcase gigs at The Bongo Club.

With a varied line-up and a headline act promoting their new single release, the gig is good value for money and – like most Bainbridge gigs – gives you a chance to discover some new local talent you may not otherwise have had the chance to hear.


Rachel Morrison

Things open in a laid back gentle mood with a short acoustic set from young singer-songwriter Rachel Morrison. With a mellow yet powerful voice and some pleasant accompaniment from her guitar, her self-penned tunes are easy on the ear and pleasingly mature for one so young.

Steve Heron

Steve Heron

Steve Heron take the stage next; an Edinburgh-based power-trio specialising in angular post-punk tunes and straight-between-the-eyes no-nonsense rock.

Tracks like Golden Boy are standouts from an impressive set lifted from the band’s recent album; though a little more charisma and stage presence could see these guys take things to the next level.

Selective Service

Selective Service

A band who understand that well enough are Glasgow-based Selective Service. A heady brew of swirling keys, kinky afros and rock n roll swagger, they trip through an addictive set of reggae beats, post-baggy funk rock and snake-hipped grooves.

Frontman Ian is part Rod Stewart strut and Mick Jagger pout as he leads Selective Service through a set which gets some of the normally-static Edinburgh audience dancing. The unmistakable sound of Michael’s Hammond complements the psychedelic garage feel and the band impress many with their tunes and attitude.

Echo Arcadia

Echo Arcadia

There’s a small tsunami of people when Leigh from Echo Arcadia asks the crowd to come down the front at the start of their set. Playing to celebrate the launch of their new single Joker, the band lead up to that track by playing a sweet confection of harmony and hook-laden pop; with slivers of lyrical sharpness hidden inside like razorblades stuffed into marshmallows.

Echo Arcadia are playing to a home crowd and feed off the positive vibes from the floor as they smile their way through an enjoyable set. Dan keeps steady time as recent bass recruit Marty lets the rhythm into his bones; Majied also shows keys players can rock out with the best of them as he doesn’t so much tickle his ivories as slap them into submission.

Husband and wife Vonny and Leigh share the six-string and harmony duties, at times melting the hardest of hearts in the Bongo Club with their shimmering melodies on tunes such as Satellite and Lucinda.

And by the time Leigh wraps his tonsils round Joker’s distinctive chorus, the band have delighted long-time fans – and hopefully won over a few more, who recognise them as a band with the right tunes and the right attitude to just possibly make it big.

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