Rob Jones
Echo & the Bunnymen still retain the backbone of Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant from their glorious yesteryears. The band have recently retreated to the past in order to configure their old anthems and give those timeless classics a new identity. The results of which form the nucleus of the current album: The Stars, The Oceans and The Moon. The bunny boys have such a regal repertoire. Albums such as – Crocodiles, Heaven up Here, Porcupine and Ocean Rain along with and including a surfeit of soaring singles spearheaded the post punk movement of the 1980’s.
The lads now as a six piece are turning to that epic eighties era and onwards through the years with their current live set and that was the case at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. Mac leads from the front as Will directs the sonic input – and, the last outing at Cardiff University had the front man struggling with his health but on this occasion the Liverpool lip is in fine fettle. This act were once a quartet with a large sound but the extra personnel certainly changes the dynamics as well as the diversions taken by the alternate takes and on stage chemistry.
The charts of yesteryear were far more productive and variety was also more evident than in a contemporary world of 15 minute lifespan icons. The Bunnymen have songs that are coated with quality and the guys are also not ashamed to honour their heroes – with a slice of Lou Reed in the mix.
The stellar songs surfaced: Going Up, Bedbugs & Ballyhoo, Rescue, Never Stop, All that Jazz, Zimbo, Angels & Devils, Nothing ever lasts Forever (including Walk on the wild Side), Seven Seas, Rust, Bring on the dancing Horses, The Cutter, Lips like Sugar and The Killing Moon. However, if there was to be a favourite highlight among a bevy of beauties it had to be the monumental Over the Wall which calls for time to stand still as life cannot get any better than hearing this 96 carat gem! Meanwhile, there was also a new song entitled Somnambulist – which is one of two on the new record,
On a cold October Monday night Echo & The Bunnymen offered the perfect musical medicine to set one up for the rest of the week! It is great that the lads have always put Wales on their tour map and on a personal level every time I see them it is somewhere different – including venues past and present e.g. in the city – The Top Rank, The University,  Cooper’s Field and now St David’s Hall as well as The Pop Factory in Porth! Just keep on coming to the principality because our welcome to the Bunnymen from the hillsides will always ECHO – loud and proud!