Hats off to the lady

12 Sep

I won’t try to hide my admiration for the voice of mrs Evi Hassapidou-Watson.
Cause, for me, her voice was/is the best female voice, the greek scene ever had the luck to have.
The first time I had the pleasure of seeing her performing live on stage, was in the mid/late 80s,
She was a member of the Athenian psychedelic rock band No Man’s Land and her
voice was jawdropping, resembling to Jefferson Starship’s, Grace Slick.
(Actualy No Man’s Land’s sound was very close to Jefferson Starship’s one…with a male singer next to Evi).
Evi released an album with No Man’s Land titled “Zalion” in 1988 in some indie greek label
and a couple of years later she left them to form her own band, Echo Tattoo. One can also find her doing the lead vocals for a song of the band “Symmoria” (engl: gang, gr: Συμμορια) for the album “Nyxta” (engl: night, gr: νυχτα). It was released in 1989.

I am copying the following from Crohinga Well (fanzine from Belgium):
“Evi Hassapidou-Watson (meanwhile) had founded yet another West Coast-inspired
acid folk band with its roots growing from the seeds
that had been sown by the early Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service
and Pearls Before Swine. It gave Evi an opportunity to crawl out
from under the shadow of Grace Slick’s ghost and show what her voice was really capable of.
The “Echo Tattoo” album of 1992 (Studio II Records) was among the best of that year
with its soaring vocals, lyrical soundscapes and dreamy atmospheres.
The follow-up album was delayed due to several line-up changes,
but they’re going to start recording again soon.”

Echo Tattoo were following Evi’s music tastes.
She soon got an interest in alternative rock after this first album.
But constant line up changes cost the band a lot.
The only one in the band from the first line up that is a member still today,
 is the guitar player Panos Kourtsounis.. and Evi ofcourse.

They won a European song contest in Copenhagen and were signed to an other Greek indie label.
Evi did the backing vocals to Flowers Of Romance’s album “Brilliant Mistakes” and then Echo Tattoo flew to England to record their second album , “Room of Toys“, with producer Brian New.
In 1997 the album was released, with the band having a fresh alternative rock sound.

The radio stations kinda loved it but I can’t say that their record label tried their best on promoting the album… A CD single was also released and the band booked a few gigs in Greece.

Now, here comes a weird thing:
Echo Tattoo were one of the two opening acts for U2 in Thessaloniki.
Strangely, very few in an audience of 70.000 people remember them playing live that day,
as there was one more supporting artist, Nikos Portokaloglou, that attracted all the media.

After that concert his carrier took a new turn (going to the top) while Echo Tattoo…disapeared  ???
I can’t explain how or why, the band seemed like was in a swirl.
A few gigs and then…silence.
Rumors have it that they had problems with their record label but nothing confirmed.

Almost 10 years later, without any new release upto now, the band had a few gigs here and there and suddenly they were the opening act for Bad Company (!!!) in 2008 in Athens.
But now they also have something new available.

Echo Tattoo-The Wave (taken from the album “Room of Toys”)

There is a new album that you can download by visiting their myspace profile and following the right link. This new work of theirs is titled “Mind Your Step” and comes with 11 tracks.

You can check their myspace profile for a handfull of songs and see if there is something you like here

This one is from this new album of theirs:

Echo Tattoo-Love is Free (taken from the album “Mind your Step”)

All in all, a wonderfull voice and a great Greek band. Its nice to know that Evi Hassapidou-Watson still continues writing and playing music after almost 20+ years.

Cause Evi struggled in this non existing music industry of Greece and she never surrendered. She never gave up loving her music and giving us the pleasure of her passionate voice.

To sum up with Wayne Hussey’s comment when he first heard Evi’s singing: “This woman has balls“.

Well, hats off to the lady.

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Posted by on September 12, 2008 in New Wave / Dark Wave



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