Live Review

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Scala, London

Melody dances around the stage, having even more fun than the audience seems to be.

Being signed to Weird World Records and releasing an album produced by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker got Melody Prochet - aka Melody’s Echo Chamber - a lot of attention at the end of last year. Her self-titled debut, full of mesmerising French pop with an echo of her producer’s sound, is a relatively serene record. With a live band behind it however, it becomes a different entity. The crowd at the Scala tonight seem split; either fully in awe of Melody or disengaged, possibly because her material is still new in a sense. But before she takes to the stage, we witness a rather unusual support act in the form of Sean Nicholas Savage.

As Sean and his keyboardist walk on stage, they give off the appearance of a slick, Hurts-like duo, but instead deliver something far more raw. His first words are ‘Can I get some reverb?’; a device that’s often used to hide the insecurities singers have with their vocals. However, Sean seems to have no problem with his own voice, demonstrating impressive range, while maintaining an air of vulnerability. His intensity doesn’t seem to sit too well with the crowd though, who find his performance slightly uncomfortable and are almost confused at the choice of support; one heckler shouting sarcastically ‘More, more, more’ as they leave the stage.

Melody’s Echo Chamber welcome a completely different atmosphere to the Scala. Prochet beams ‘Bonsoir, hello!’ but as she attempts to say something else, she’s drowned out by the overwhelming response to her arrival. Launching straight in to album opener ‘I Follow You’, it’s clear that Melody is confident up on stage, showing no signs of being nervous headlining the 1000-capacity venue. Often smiling at her bandmates and towards the crowd, her radiance is felt by the audience. She manages to silence them during one of the more sombre songs, ‘Quand Vas Tu Rentrer?’. It’s the only time she seems subdued during her set. The highlights of the performance are when songs are extended - ‘Crystallized’ in particular stretching out in to a wall of sound as the band get more intense as Melody dances around the stage, having even more fun than the audience seems to be.

The contrast between Melody’s timid, softly-spoken vocals and the monstrous noise that often follows in these extended versions is a welcome one, and shows how comfortable she is on stage. At one point, she even gets a tambourine out and shakes it while dancing. Her parts mirror those on the record, but it’s her live band who take the music further and she acknowledges this, introducing them to the crowd and thanking them. All too soon, the set comes to an end, and she feels the same way, announcing, ‘This is unfortunately the last song. That went by fast!’ When they leave the stage it feels like mere seconds pass as they briefly go through the dressing room door and re-appear for an encore. However, it’s not a song and instead a jam - Melody picks up a Rickenbacker that’s towards the back of the stage. This more full-bodied sound is hopefully something that Melody’s Echo Chamber will explore on future efforts.

As Melody and her band leave the stage, everyone is left wondering and hoping, quand vas tu rentrer?

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