Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Life of Live - Echo and the Bunnymen

Despite being a big fan I only got to see the Bunnymen play live when they toured their "comeback" lp Evergreen. The lead off single Nothing Lasts Forever was a magnificent comeback with Mac's voice at its world weary best. I don't play the rest of the lp much these days as nothing could quite reach the dizzy heights of that single.

The lp was quite a lush affair and I thought that would be replicated in the concert. Instead the guitars were turned up , the dry ice pumped out and what we got was a blisteringly loud rock out as the band galloped through the best of their back catalogue

One of the best tracks was from Porcupine

Heads will Roll - Echo and the Bunnymen

I was tempted to go and see the recent Ocean Rain concerts but having read some of the blog reviews I'm glad I missed them and can remember the ultimate could have been contenders band as they were on that Shepherd's Bush night


  1. Evergreen was a well moulded late in life child for a band that surely should never have had another.
    Nothing Last Forever is a great track, and from this Yank's point of view, was perfectly timed to benefit from the tail end of the 90's Brit Rock sound of Oasis et. al.
    But there are some classic Bunnymen moments - Baseball Bill (with it's origins in McCulloch & Sargent's reformation as Electrifixion) Empire State Halo is all Porcupine in sound and attitude. Just A Touch Away wouldn't have sounded out of place on Ocean Rain. Altamont is that merseyside psych-out that both men had in their mind as far back as 87's eponymous album.
    Yes I am an unabashed and unapologetic Bunnymen disciple. I flew up from Tampa back home to NYC back in 2008 for a long weekend so I could see EATB in all their tattered and world worn glory mount the stage at Radio City Hall triumphant in that if they hadn't done in back in the 80's they were still around 25 years after releasing (one of) the greatest albums ever created to celebrate it.
    That night Mac was disciplined. The band was hot. The orchestra was glorious. When they performed My Kingdom I found myself on my feet and in the aisle and then suddenly up at the front of the stage with every hair on my body standing at ecstatic attention! IT WAS THAT GOOD!
    Yes I have hear the live recording from LIPA and I am sure there was just a bit too much Bells and Brown Ale in the dressing room prior to the show, but Radio City Music Hall was simply awesome for me.

  2. Hi Echo

    Agreee with the tracks you mention on evergreen, in hindsight I think it suffered by the fact that Nothing lasts was such a glorious comeback single that everything else kind of disappointed as the bar had been set too high

  3. Here in Canada we just started getting re-runs of Jools Holland's show. I was surprised to catch Mac with the Manic Street Preachers doing a tune called "Some Kind Of Nothingness". I'm not a fan of MSP, but loved this song. First time I've seen Mac without a ciggy! Still looking cool, but sadly the voice appeared a shadow of it's former glory.
    Also, if you're interested, there's a Swedish band, 'The Mary Onettes' who are sort of Echo-lite. "Islands" - I've got the record, it's alright...
    By the way, thanks for the info about Spotify. I see it's been banned here in Canada, although there's supposedly some short-cut to it. I'm constantly amazed at the accessibility of unabridged music these days. Whatever happened to those warnings of $250,000 fines and 20 years in a Turkish prison? I have to say that for me, it's caused me to buy more CD's than ever! But I'm sure that not being into MP3s or Ipods, I'm in the minority. As you mentioned, the artists are probably the one's getting the dirty end of the stick. It's really a big can of worms...

  4. Hi Tim

    The Manics track was I think the lead off single on their last lp (before the greatets hits)

    Isaw Mac on a sky arts episode of the songwriter series (artisit talks about career and plays 4/5 songs on their own) which saw Mac do versions of rescue / nothing lasts / killing moon on acousitc guitar. The voice had mellowed but it is still owrth seeing if you can trackit down

    Interesting re Spotify being banned in Canada as it has the backing of the music labels who are deperate to see it succeed


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