Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant spearheaded a nascent Echo & the Bunnymen in 1978 and these aural architects are still to the fore of a scintillating six piece touring band. The current line up entered St. David’s Hall, Cardiff with the aim of cherry-picking from a treasure trove of tunes.
Albums such as – Crocodiles, Heaven up Here, Porcupine and Ocean Rain plus a surfeit of soaring singles helped sculpture the post punk movement and this brilliant back catalogue forms the basis of a 2022 stage style. Mac leads from the front as Will directs the sonic input – and, the supporting cast bolster the cause. The Bunny boys were once a quartet with a soaring sound but the extra personnel certainly alter the dynamics and tonight’s display is both loud and proud.
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 that surfaced were: Going up, A show of Strength, All that Jazz, Flowers, Rescue, Bring on the dancing Horses, Over the Wall, Zimbo, Seven Seas, Bed bugs and Ballyhoo, Brussels is Haunted, Nothing ever lasts Forever/Take a walk on the wild Side, Never Stop, The Cutter, Lips like Sugar and Killing Moon.
Every number is a nugget but Over the Wall is the 96 carat gem. However, it would be improper to undervalue any sonic second of a near hour and a half set! On a wet and windy, winter night Echo & The Bunnymen offered a mesmeric musical medicine in an era where everyone needs a tonic! It is great that the lads have always put Wales on their tour map. The most recent chosen venue has now been the site of their last two Cardiff visits -and it works well for them. A crowd that usually sit are up in the aisles, down in the moshpit and lost in a legacy. The trendy eighties alternative music fashionistas are still out there – and, a refusal to conform to the mainstream has remained throughout decades of commitment to these Merseyside magicians!
Mac was mellow in manner as he interacted with his disciples. There was appreciation of the audience and a mutual love filtered through the building. In these troubled times it was a pleasure to step outside of a world of woe and take a stance of ‘Me, I’m all smiles, I’ve got my Crocodiles’……