Echo and the Bunnymen at O2 Bristol 10-06-2014
Posted on: 2014-06-10
One thing that the band seems keen to maintain is their image. The infinite coolness that is essential for such bands, the sort of nonchalance that promotes devotion rather than apathy among those who witness it.
On Tuesday 10th June 2014, massively influential post-punk band Echo and the Bunnymen performed several songs from their new album and a few hard-hitting pop greats from their classic catalogue of hits.
First formed in 1978, the band retains just two of its original members, guitarist Will Sergeant and singer Ian McCulloch. With a colourful history and a solid base of Top Ten singles behind them, Sergeant and McCulloch released their new album Meteorites this year, hoping to recapture some of their early success. The album is suitably fitting for them, though it seems in themselves they have created a hard act to follow, being so prolific in the genre at the eve of its creation. While the deep, epic vocals and catchy, pulsing guitar that so easily characterise the band have not been lost, the newer songs certainly received less uproarious response from the crowd, who reacted explosively when the old hits were brought out. Luckily for those of us who perhaps identify more with the ‘80s and ‘90s material, Echo and the Bunnymen played some powerful and well executed renditions of The Cutter, Seven Seas and Bring On The Dancing Horses. Of course, no Echo gig would be complete without their 1984 hit The Killing Moon, Ian McCulloch himself saying of the track; “When I sing ‘The Killing Moon’, I know there isn't a band in the world who's got a song anywhere near that”.
One thing that the band seems keen to maintain is their image. The infinite coolness that is essential for such bands, the sort of nonchalance that promotes devotion rather than apathy among those who witness it. In my opinion this was more than achieved, although the full power of a theatrical, strutting ‘80s frontman has understandably been reduced with an increase in years. Ian McCulloch’s incredible ability to stand atop a stage swathed in blazing lights and still adorn a full winter coat never ceases to amaze, however. Each song was delivered with a depth that belies this cold exterior, pushing power and emotion into every single (admittedly vague) word. The band has adapted, yes, but thankfully lost none of their attitude and fervour.
During the performance, McCulloch was subject to a lot of good-natured heckling, one audience member demanding he say something on the untimely demise of comedy legend Rik Mayall.
Reviewed by Miri Teixeira for 365 Bristol
Born and raised in the suburbs of Swansea, Jimmy moved to Bristol back in 2004 to attend university. Passionate about live music, sport, science and nature, he can usually be found walking his cocker spaniel Baxter at any number of green spots around the city. Call James on 078 9999 3534 or email Editor@365Bristol.com.