Pseudo Echo Rock @ The Basement Canberra ACT

Standing here in line I’m reminded of the past – I’m not too far back in the queue I keep reminding myself but then a quick glance at the clock tells me it’s 15 minutes to the door opening time! I begin to reminisce about my experiences with Pseudo Echo in the early days, the hair, the fashion, the synthesizers, the band as they were!

Tonight I know will be different as only Brian Canham (lead singer/guitarist) is an original. The modern Pseudo Echo consists of Canham, Matty Ray (Keytar), Cameron Smith (Drums) and Quentin Roth (Keytar).

First on stage is Smith who sits himself down at his kit and prepares his skins for the following hour of performance and with this the anticipation from the crowd is shown by them surging forward and pinning me to my spot.

Cameron Smith on drums.

He is then followed by Roth and Ray with their respective Keytars in hand, the lightshow begins, a backing soundtrack of ‘Funky Town’ strikes up and cheers go up from the passionate crowd.

It’s a momentary silence as lights dim and a dark figure comes on stage turning their back toward the crowd and suddenly ‘BAM’ – the show hits out in style. Canham parades up to the microphone and struts his stuff with exuberant vocals and the confident style of the earlier Pseudo Echo styling.

I feel like a teenager again, I am so close I could reach out and touch him and of course I am also right in front of a set of speakers so my body is also feeling every vibration.

Brian Canham opens in style!


Canham moves across the stage with ease and involves all the front lines in his enthusiasm of delivery. Being the consummate professional he also moves towards Roth and Ray encouraging them to follow his lead and enjoy the moment in their own limelight on this occasion.

There’s no need to extend this to Smith as he’s already off the chart with his sticks and right into every beat.

We’re four songs into the set when things take a turn for the interesting – a rendition of ‘Nutbush City Limits’ and it was a very respectable powerhouse cover on the whole.

The group skillfully worked their way through the set list with a combination of new material, covers and original Pseudo Echo hits including favorites such as A Beat For You, Listening, Destination Unknown, Living In A Dream, Love An Adventure and a surprise rendition of Send Me An Angel (Real Life).

Brian Canham left no one out in the delivery of this performance and between songs acknowledged the Canberrans who had come to the gig, he even stirred the hearts of an older set as he referred to “possible Grandma’s” in the audience and there were  a few partying Nanna’s just off to my left who squealed in celebration. In a cheeky move Canham gave Matty Ray a shoutout for his 30th birthday today but I’m not sure if that number was real judging by the ‘Good Onya’ reaction on Matty’s face!

Brian Canham encouraging audience participation

It dawns on me that we must be coming near to the end of the show and it’s just at that moment that Canham announces ‘one more for the road’…the crowd goes wild with cheers and clapping as the age old favourite “Funky Town” is recognised by all. In an unexpected moment half way through it is morphed into a rendition of Black Night (Deep Purple) after Canham asks the crowd if they were ready to rock and then it seamlessly transposed back into Funky Town. A twist that was gleefully accepted by those shrieking women around me as my ears will attest to. Quite the surprise and well played.

Each group member has displayed their skills fully and extended their visibility through well timed solo moments on their respective instruments despite a couple of them only just being born in the 80’s….Just where do you find two young Keytar players happy to revisit the 80’s?? But then again – who wasn’t hooked on Pseudo Echo??

Matty Ray & Quentin Roth on Keytar.

Canham takes us on a ride down history lane with his commentary and references to Countdown, Molly Meldrum and the roles both the show and the man played in the success of Pseudo Echo in general.

Tonight it’s easy for me to see that Canham has lost none of his prowess from the 80’s either physically, vocally or instrumentally and his stage presence still sends the ladies in the crowd wild. But let’s not discount those males in the audience…there was some hip shaking and head thrusting as well as some ‘wannabe’ vocals coming from that gender as well.

The current members of this great band have done the former line up proud with their musicianship and how they handle themselves on stage and Pseudo Echo lives on!

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