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Ekkoes Play the Bloomsbury Lanes

Ekkoes Play the Bloomsbury Lanes

By: Jade Ryals

Imagine my excitement then when Maverick and Goose emerged through the growing crowd flanked by a pair of females dressed to the nines. I cursed my lack of foresight concerning my attire; dressing up can be so much fun.

I didn’t really understand why I was at a bowling alley; I especially didn’t understand where I was supposed to be standing. Bowlers to my left, cheering with every round; karaoke rooms behind me, sound-proofed for the ultimate experience devoid of shame; the smell of pizza is lingering on my tongue; the hint of a stage in front of me shows me my final destination. So I stand vulture-like, waiting for the table hidden up against a pillar to be vacant. I had known that the night was 80’s themed, I hadn’t been bothered to dress up though. I truly didn’t think that the theme would be all that important to the set and believed that I wouldn’t stand out in my simple jeans and flannel. Imagine my excitement then when Maverick and Goose emerged through the growing crowd flanked by a pair of females dressed to the nines. I cursed my lack of foresight concerning my attire; dressing up can be so much fun.

So when Ekkoes began their set and the synth began to trickle through the now busy crowd, I felt excitement creep up my spine. It brought me back to fantasies of school dances, decked out in a sugary, frilled dress, waiting for Jake Ryan to come sweep me off my feet after my family forgot my sweet sixteen – the assholes, I never got over that.

Then the bass dropped in. What better way to make synth contemporary than to meld the catchiness of pop with the entrancing sway of electronic bass – nothing, that’s the answer, nothing. The first song gave us all a taste of their sound – electro pop saturated in outstanding harmonies – their lyrics – romantic with a little taste of darkness – and their attitude. The first song ends, the crowd is interested but still keeping their distance.

“Come on closer, I promise we don’t bite,” the cheekiness is matched with a brilliant, toothy grin from vocalist Rosalee O’Connell. Their energy is a live wire throughout the entire set, and they soon have the entire crowd bouncing with the beat, smiling, drinking, and dancing. Even the bowlers have to take pause just to take part in the tangible atmosphere. While the musicality of the group is exceptional thanks to keyboardist/guitarist Dave Fawbert, the vocals are what truly make the set a unique experience. The harmonies formed by Jon Beck and O’Connell are, as they call it, “life-affirming”; their notes flow together, apart from each other, always creating an interesting bouquet of concordance. Beck reminds me vaguely of Depeche Mode; O’Connell of a young, fresh Cyndi Lauper, both with a more diverse range – something that is only underlined by the synth lines running through their songs. It’s funky, it’s fun, and it’s fucking different than what we’re used to hearing. A personal favourite was their song Last Breath, released in 2014 and complete with a chorus that makes you want to jump along to the beat and make eyes at the most popular boy in school across the gym floor. They rocked the night and the crowd with their mix of vintage, contemporary, and kick-ass vocals. I only have one disappointment with the entire night; my stupidity in not taking the chance to be Molly Ringwald for a night.

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