BIRCHWOOD’S Man and The Echo have launched their second album after teaming up with a renowned artist and satirist.

The band, who are known for giving their politically-charged protest songs a pop sheen, have released Men of the Moment – with all the artwork produced by ‘Cold War Steve’.

The viral artist, whose real name is Christopher Spencer, is best known for his capturing the mood of ‘Brexit Britain’ through his surreal pieces that feature the likes of Nigel Farage alongside a world-weary Steve McFadden.

His work has drawn the attention of more than 192,000 Twitter users but he has never worked with a band until now.

Frontman Gareth Roberts said: “We had the idea while we were in the studio that he would be great but didn’t imagine it would be possible.

“Then our producer Raf Rundell somehow got his number and he was pretty happy to do it so we were delighted.

“He’s adept at framing and ridiculing exactly who we were talking about so it is a perfect fit. The cover could almost be a cast photo.”

Gareth refers to a cast of characters because he and the band originally had the idea of writing Men of the Moment as a sort of musical.

Winsford Guardian:

The former Birchwood High student, added: “I’m quite fond of musicals. I like the idea of writing a song from the point of view of an exaggerated character. For me it’s more interesting than singing from the point of view of some omnipotent narrator. I want to write about the state of the world around us, the people who brought us to where we are but I also desperately don’t want to be dull about it and just sing a load of slogans.”

The album was previewed on BBC Radio 6 Music which playlisted their track, A Capable Man.

Gareth said: “We’ve taken what we were good at, the same energy, spirit and attitude, but applied a lot more focus and restraint.

“We’ve had lot more fun with the guitars and keys.

“Musically we were trying to hold back a little, to leave some space where in the past we’d have chucked every idea we had at something. To let the stories in the songs have room to breathe.

“We wanted the record to be built around really solid bass and drums and let the other instruments be decorative rather than all four of us trying to drive the whole thing at once.”

'AN EXCITING AND UNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITY'

Meanwhile, Man and The Echo have rescheduled their autumn headline tour due to 'an exciting and unexpected opportunity'.

The band have been invited on a UK and European tour with The Divine Comedy in October and November.

Their original headline shows will now be in February, including a date at Manchester's Band on the Wall on February 15.