|Ciaran Gribbin, aka Joe Echo|
A piece of good news for Irish music arrived this week, as Belfast-born singer-songwriter Joe Echo -- or Ciaran Gribbin as per his passport -- was named the new lead singer of INXS.
The Oz rockers made the announcement via INXS.com and also unveiled their first demo recording with their new vocalist. Entitled Tiny Summer, it was written by Gribbin and Andrew Farriss.
He co-wrote Madonna’s hit “Celebration,” which was nominated for a Grammy. But he has also worked with a who’s who of Irish, Australian and international acts including Snow Patrol, the Script, Gotye, Powderfinger and even Paul McCartney.
Gribbin told Hot Press, "I'm getting over the initial, 'Wow, this is unbelievable' thing but I'm still coming to terms with it. The last 24 hours have been crazy. I've had very little sleep because I've been bombarded with phone calls from all over the world – from Los Angeles to Sydney and back again."
Gribbin revealed that he has been a long time fan of the band and is pinching himself that he now has the lead!
"I first met Andrew about two years ago in Sydney," he explains when asked how he landed this dream job.
"I was doing a tour in support of Paolo Nutini and we met at a party through some mutual friends. We got on really well that night and it was the usual story – an acoustic guitar came out at four in the morning.
“I ended up singing loads of my own stuff and then someone asked me to do an INXS song. That was when it clicked for Andrew, he could see that I had potential. Standing on a balcony at four in the morning, singing 'Mystify.' That was it.
“We kept in contact and kept bumping into each other, but it wasn't until six months ago that I got a call from Andrew to come and write some songs. At that stage they were still gigging with a singer and there was no word of me becoming the frontman. So it's been a pretty organic, natural thing."
Hopefully, he will provide “What You Need” as a fan when he sings “Need You Tonight” on tour!