Last week Echo & the Bunnymen took Rock City onboard their countrywide journey of Celebrating 40 Years of Magical Songs. The band has, for decades, charmed fans with a sound that has drifted from rock, to psychedelic to the eerie and raw. Now, their long-awaited Magical tour is fulfilling all its promises to deliver something equally as enchanting to their dedicated following. Alice Busvine reviews the show for Impact.
With my early arrival to the venue, I had plenty of time to spare to soak up an atmosphere more unique than any I’d ever experienced at Rock City. It was immediately obvious that, tonight, Rock City would not be dominated by a flock of university students I had come to expect at the venue. Nonetheless I was pleased to spot some other younger fans in the audience, reminding me of the fact that this tour was not only for the dedicated Bunnymen followers, but that it has provided the perfect opportunity for new fans to get stuck in.
The Bunnymen emerged through an almost eerie atmosphere of smoke and light accompanied by the satisfying rumble of the guitar and distinct voice of lead singer Ian McCulloh
Upon my arrival to the gig, I was greeted by an eclectic selection of tracks booming from the DJ set of Alan McGee. The co-founder of the infamous Creation Records and manger of an impressive repertoire of bands including Oasis and Primal Scream didn’t disappoint in serving up a selection of tracks getting the crowd energised and eager for the main event. Despite being markedly late to take the stage, the Bunnymen emerged through an almost eerie atmosphere of smoke and light accompanied by the satisfying rumble of the guitar and distinct voice of lead singer Ian McCulloh.
Having come to the show only knowing the words to, I must admit, the most well-known songs from the band, I thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to listen to a colourful assortment of tracks I had previously been unaware of. Whilst curiously listening to the way the band managed to balance the psychedelic with the feel-good to classic elements of rock-n-roll, I was happy to have my opinion yet again reinforced (as it always is) that a live gig is often the best place to get introduced to any new band.
The band opened with The Cutter which was, I felt, the perfect introduction of what was to come
And so, I was taken on what felt like a journey through time as the Bunnymen fulfilled their promise to the audience on providing a celebration of all their greatest hits. The band opened with The Cutter which was, I felt, the perfect introduction of what was to come. McCulloh’s charismatic stage presence radiating from his explosive vocals (accompanied by his rock-n-roll shades) helped the audience quickly forget their late arrival.
Some highlights for me were their much-loved tracks like Lips Like Sugar as a result of the pure energy it prompted from the crowd, but I felt the need to quickly grab my Shazam app to snatch the names of some other new tracks that grabbed my attention such as Nothing Lasts Forever and Forgiven. Whilst most of the Bunnymen songs played felt like an explosion of unique sound effects and percussion, I smiled whilst listening to these more subdued, temperate tracks. Tracks such as these always possess a subtle beauty that manages to hush the crowd into near silence in order to allow the raw and soulful vocals to fill the venue.
Beyond his distinctive vocals, McCulloh’s constant commentary in between songs was a source of comedy for the audience as he playfully jested with the crowd in such a strong Scouse accent, I was admittedly often left wondering what had just been said… As I left the venue, and heard someone exclaim behind me that “the last time I saw the Bunnymen was 1997!“, I felt I finally understood how the band has kept such a dedicated cult following over the years, with their unpredictable tracks promising to keep any fan on their toes.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.