A couple of weekends ago, we did Sleeper, and one of the names mentioned in the comments was Echobelly. Sonya Aurora Madan's lot had the same 'sleeperbloke' jibe thrown at them, too - although Curve's Debbie Smith was also part of the classic line-up - but outlived the Britpop boom that brought them to chart success. The "pretty frontwoman" syndrome was as frustrating for Aurora Madan as it was for Wener, as she told designer magazine:
(Just in passing, you can tell the vintage of some bands when most of the fan sites for them are on Tripod or Geocities.)
It's notable that Sonya was one of the only non-white faces in all the Britpop bands, which is something usually forgotten when choosing to point to the genre as somehow being representative of 1990s British youth. Her "and the drummer from the Boo Radleys" didn't quite capture the diversity of modern British society, does it?
Sonya was inspired by Morrissey - at one point sleeping on his lawn; and, indeed, Morrissey is the #1 Echobelly fan on their official MySpace - but quickly moved on from being Smiths wannabes. There was some suggestion that the band's playful perversity was down to Glenn Johansson, the guitarist, whose previous job had been editing a Swedish porn magazine, but that, we suspect, is simply because "writing about sex" is one of those things that some people didn't really think young women should do. It's amusing to think that Sonya was escaping a strict Indian family atmosphere only to find herself living under the even tighter strictures of the classic indie fan.
The band released three albums in their original burst, then returned briefly in 2001 with People Are Expensive and in 2004 with Gravity Pulls. The latter album had no singles released in support. Their official website reported work on new demos in 2006, but these never saw a formal release and, earlier this year, the site was retitled A Retrospective Website.
So, for this weekend, then, Echobelly live again.
This is their clarion call, I Can't Imagine The World Without Me and Go Away, from the Phoenix Festival (the short-lived petulant response to the struggles over the ownership of the Reading Festival):
Best of - Released this year
Everyone's Got One - one of the few albums whose title was intentionally an acrostic. You don't get that with Oasis.
On - probably the definitive Echobelly studio album
Gravity Pulls - only available on a twenty quid import at Amazon; you might want to try iTunes instead
More to come across the weekend
Great Things live on Britpop Now
King of the Kerb on Top Of The Pops
Natural Animal live on JBTV and some links to unembeddable video
The World Is Flat live on TFI Friday