Echo & The Bunnymen, Royal Albert Hall, 16 September 2008


17 Sep 2008, 19:17

Tue 16 Sep – Echo & the Bunnymen With Orchestra Performing "Ocean Rain"

Odd to think that when I first saw The Bunnymen they hadn’t even recorded the album they play in full tonight. My advanced age is reinforced by sitting next to somebody in a pizza place before the gig who is taking his teenage daughter to the show. Ho hum.

The Bunnymen are clearly less bothered by ageing since they projected lots of 80s vintage pictures of themselves behind them when they played the main set. Luckily we’ve all left the chunky jumpers a long way behind us.

We have tremendous seats just to the left of the stage near the front. The Albert Hall isn’t the most dynamic venue but then everyone seemed content to just lap up the sounds without the need to mosh wildly.

The Bunnymen supported themselves – the first set comprising a great mix of faves (Rescue and The Cutter bookending the set) and relative rarities (All That Jazz for example). Back Of Love was the highlight albeit there was so much dry ice at this point we worried they would do a Glenn Miller and never be seen again.

After a short break (no doubt so that the band could catch the end of the Liverpool match), it’s back with an orchestra for theOcean Rain section. In between sets the roadies taped set lists to the stage which made me chuckle given that there were several thousand people present who knew the running order backwards.

The orchestra added some nice colour but were not particularly intrusive – the Bunnymen are a pretty loud six piece these days and their punchy sound still dominated above the strings. Inevitably the lush Killing Moon is where they shone most but I also liked the Bernard Hermann touches during The Yo Yo Man.

McCulloch was in talkative mood, so much so that he broke down the fourth wall fairly decisively during Thorn Of Crowns by giving instructions to the lighting man mid-song (thereby taking any dramatic tension right out of it).

Such is the way with live gigs that I thought the highlights were from Side 2 of the album – Seven Seas, My Kingdom and the title track – although on record I prefer side 1. Will Sergant particularly came into his own during these.

And there was no way of following that. People left plotting how they would get tickets for Liverpool or even New York. I only felt sorry for the guy who shouted for Heaven Up Hereduring the main set. Maybe he should have read those set lists.


  • sometimesalmost

    i was just thinking about 20 minutes ago when you'd post about it.

    17 Sep 2008, 19:26
  • Ged_UK

    I like chunky jumpers!

    17 Sep 2008, 21:27
  • stelladallas

    nice! inspired me to listen to some

    18 Sep 2008, 1:13
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