There’s an obvious link between Cornwall and Australia — sun, surf, er, cheese factories — and the musical links run as close. A couple of weeks ago we reviewed the latest album from the Australian John Butler Trio, a sound we heard in part replicated by Cornish band Wille and the Bandits.
Now comes Cornish brothers Ric and Rob Harrison aka Echo Town, and if JBT and Oz folkster Xavier Rudd are not on the Echo Town band playlist, we’ll eat our hat (-shaped Cornish pasty).
Opener No Way Out is a dead ringer — in tone if not melody — of the sound of Rudd’s Solace, with fast guitar picking and didgeridoo (Solace’s Yira-Curl for example). Moving On could be Butler.
The sound is rock blues but played loosely, with lots of guitar. The drumming is immense — drummer Robert Harrison was apparently given free reign. Butler changes his drummers but Michael Barker, more of a percussionist, was equally energetic. The title track sees Harrison hijack the intro before the brothers comes in.
Like Wille and the Bandits, this is music that has been written live — it’s clear the band knows these tunes inside out. The lyrics also seem Butler-esque: love the planet, treat others with respect, stand up for what’s right etc.
Most of it is blues rock, though not all — No Different is reggae-tinged (the lack of difference being between human beings). If Butler has a fault (preachy lyrics on the planet, treating others, standing up etc aside) it’s that his middling songs can be very middling; Echo Town don’t reach the heights of JBT so you might find some of their filler tracks a little pedestrian, but enjoy it for what it is.