Pseudo Echo – The Kings Arms

IMG_9389At the Kings Arms we run into Emily, one of Australian new wave band Pseudo Echo’s biggest fans; a woman who loved singer Brian Canham so much that at age eleven she cried when he got married. Emily is buzzing with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excitement that she is about to see her childhood heart-throb in the flesh. Trepidation that the man, and the music, might not live up to the memories. And she is also deeply concerned that the band may no longer have a keytar player.

She needn’t have worried.

The band members take to the stage with the confidence that comes from knowing that you’re world class, and proceed to blast the ecstatic audience of grown-up teenyboppers with a solid set of brutal pop. Although Pseudo Echo had their heyday in the 80s, their music is still fresh and current. The songs seem to have taken on a harder, darker and more masculine edge, and they’re impossible not to dance to.

The four-piece rock out in front of an optical illusion backdrop of coloured lines – the image from the cover of their 2014 album Ultraviolet. Brian still possesses art school cool and a vocal range that would make Muse’s Matthew Bellamy cry. Drummer Darren Danielson pounds his pimped-out kit as though he’s battling it for his life, and Simon Rayner delivers leather-wrapped synth sounds and harmonic backing vocals. The newest and youngest member of the group, Quentin Roth, looks like a male model and plays the keytar with an appealing mix of virtuosity and sex appeal.

The band plays their classic hits, a couple of catchy new songs, and a cover of fellow Melbourne band Real Life’s Send Me An Angel. They’re are as flawless as opal, as sharp as the lines on the Sydney Opera House and tighter than the New Zealand vs South Africa cricket semi-final. They finish with their 1986 hit, their version of Lips Inc.’s Funky Town. It morphs into an ACDC tribute and it has the whole audience singing along.

We catch up with Emily after the encore. We don’t need to ask if she’d enjoyed the music, because we saw the smile plastered to her face throughout the entire set. But does she still want to marry Brian? Well, she says, she noticed he wasn’t wearing a ring.

– Kathryn van Beek

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Set List


Don’t go

Dancing until midnight

Beat for you

Stranger in me

Destination unknown

Fighting the tide

Living in a dream

Send me an angel



Funky Town