Pseudo Echo are an Australian new wave band that formed in 1982 in Melbourne. The original line-up consisted of Brian Canham (vocals, guitars and keyboards), born 3 July 1962, Pierre Gigliotti (as Pierre Pierre) (bass guitar, keyboards), Tony Lugton (guitars and keyboards) and Anthony Argiro (drums). A later line-up included Vox Singing Academy student James Leigh (keyboards) and his brother, Vox Singing Academy student Vince Leigh (drums). In the 1980s, Pseudo Echo had Australian top 20 hits with “Listening”, “A Beat for You”, “Don’t Go”, “Love an Adventure”, “Living in a Dream” and their cover of “Funky Town” (from Lipps Inc.), which peaked at No. 1 in 1986. In 1987, it reached No. 1 in Canada and New Zealand, No. 6 in United States and No. 8 in United Kingdom.
They released their debut album, Autumnal Park in 1984 which peaked at No. 11 on the Australian Kent Music Report. Love an Adventure followed in 1985 and reached No. 14. Their third album, Race (1988) peaked at No. 18 and in 1990 the group disbanded. They reformed in 1998 and issued Teleporter in 2000. Rock music historian Ian McFarlane, stated they “combined flash clothes, blow-wave hairstyles, youthful exuberance and accessible synth-pop to arrive at a winning combination … and found a ready-made audience among teenagers who fawned on the band’s every move.
1982-1986: Formation, Autumnal Park & Love an Adventure
Main articles: Autumnal Park and Love an Adventure
Pseudo Echo formed in Melbourne in 1982 by high school friends Brian Canham on vocals, guitars, and keyboards and Pierre Gigliotti (as Pierre Pierre) on bass and keyboards, they were joined by Tony Lugton (ex-James Freud & the Radio Stars) on guitars and keyboards. The group were named for a sound effect available on their keyboards and were influenced by New Romantics bands, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Ultravox. Molly Meldrum, television presenter for the pop music series Countdown, saw the group at a gig and aired them on the show with a demo version of “Listening” in June 1983.They were signed to EMI Records and “Listening” – produced by Peter Dawkins – was issued in November as their debut single, which peaked at No. 4 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.
Their debut album Autumnal Park, produced by Dawkins and John Punter, was released in June 1984, which peaked at No. 11 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart. It was an Ultravox-influenced effort which yielded the singles “A Beat for You” (No. 12 in April), “Stranger in Me” (July) and “Dancing Until Midnight” (December). “His Eyes”, another album track, received overseas exposure when it was used in the film Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.
In October 1984 Tony Lugton was replaced by Vox Singing Academy studentJames Leigh (aka James Dingli). Tony Lugton left the band due to musical differences. Lugton eventually joined synth rock band Talk That Walk. Another line-up change occurred just after the recording of the second album, with Argiro replaced by James’s brother Vox Singing Academy student Vince Leigh (aka Vincent Dingli). In November 1985, Canham joined a charity project for research on little penguins, as a guest vocalist with other Australian artists and backed by The Incredible Penguins. They covered the John Lennon and Yoko Ono hit “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, which peaked at No. 10 in December.
Their second album, Love an Adventure was issued in November 1985 and was produced by Mark S. Berry, and Brian Canham. The album reached No. 14 in Australia. Three of its singles reached the Top 20 including “Don’t Go” (No. 4 in October), “Love an Adventure” (No. 6 in January 1986), and “Living in a Dream” (No. 15 in May). A fourth single, “Try” (August), peaked at No 60.
In October 1986, Pseudo Echo released a rockier version of the Lipps, Inc. disco song “Funky Town”, which spent seven weeks at number-one from December. The album, Love an Adventure, was re-released the following year to include their remake of “Funky Town” which brought the group their biggest international success, the single reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1987.
The overseas release of Love an Adventure featured a different track listing and included re-recorded versions of three singles from Autumnal Park: “Listening, “A Beat for You”, and “Destination Unknown”.
1987-1990: Long Plays 83-87 & Race
Main articles: Long Plays 83-87 and Race (album)
In 1987, the band re-released “Listening” for the movie North Shore starring Nia Peeples. In October they won the 1987 World Popular Song Festival (aka Yamaha Music Festival) with “Take on the World”, which provided a prize of US$10,000. and released a compilation album Long Plays 83–87. It was released as Funky Town – The Album in New Zealand where it peaked at No.1. Their third studio album, Race was released in 1988. It was produced by Julian Mendelsohn and Brian Canham, had a more mature rock sound. It featured the Australian singles “Fooled Again”, “Over Tomorrow” and “Eye of the Storm”.The album reached No. 18 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart and No. 32 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Pseudo Echo disbanded shortly after touring for Race in 1990.
1990-1997: Other projects
After Pseudo Echo disbanded Canham moved into record production including Chocolate Starfish’s 1994 debut album, Chocolate Starfish, which peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Gigliotti performed with a covers band, All the Young Dudes. The Leigh brothers formed Vertigo (later renamed as Invertigo) in 1996 with Vox Singing Academy student Christian Argenti. In 1997, Canham formed Brill with Darren Danielson (ex-Chocolate Starfish) on drums. Andy McIvor added on bass guitar and Dave Stuart on Keyboards, they toured as Brill and issued an album titled Brill in August 1997. In 2002 Canham along with Ben Grayson and Matilda White formed dance outfit Origene. They achieved success with their song Suddenly Silently (originally written for Pseudo Echo), and followed up with the club hit Sanctuary which reached number 1 on the Billboard Club chart in the United States.