Echo of 1980s at Gateway


By Luke Voogt

Pseudo Echo lead singer Brian Canham still jumps around the stage a “hell of a lot” at 56, much to his doctor’s dismay.

“He watched a few of our Facebook clips and said ‘I know what you get up to, you’ll have to tone it down a bit’,” he told the Indy.

“I kick my legs around and get a bit excited. I jump around and do a few spins.”

Canham promised the same spontaneity and fun when Pseudo Echo brings the Funky Town to G-town in their return to Gateway Hotel on 15 June.

“It’s a bit overdue,” he said.

The new wave band released their world famous cover of Funky Town in 1986 and it spent weeks on top of the Australian charts.

Canham and a friend were going through old vinyls when he decided to make the cover of the 1979 disco classic.

“It was really just something that was a bit of a filler at the time,” he said.

“I started jamming on it and mucking around with the idea of it.”

But when Pseudo Echo played their version live during an encore, Canham knew it was something more.

“It went over really well,” he said.

“I was pretty headstrong when I was young and I said ’I’m doing this’.”

His record company was reluctant to make a cover of “disco music” and sent an older producer as a “babysitter” for the recording session, Canham said.

“I went to town on it and just did all the things I imagined in my head. He was rapt, he just sat back and watched.”

Pseudo Echo regularly mixed other covers into their sets, Canham said.

“We like to have some spontaneous bits that we do live. I probably won’t say them to you because I want to keep them a surprise.”

But Canham hinted the band might play its take on Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits.

“I loved the original when I was a kid but I didn’t want to compete with it,” he said.

“It was important for me to put our stamp on it rather than just do a karaoke or straight cover.”

He looked forward to returning to Geelong and playing the syth-pop repertoire Pseudo Echo pioneered 30 years ago.

“Back in the ’80s Geelong was amazing for Pseudo Echo,” he said.

“When we went down there we had this real cult following.”

Canham is the sole original member of Pseudo Echo on the band’s latest tour.

“The guys I have in the band now are younger,” he said.

“The audience will appreciate that when they see that the band enjoys playing and making music together.”

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