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Echo And The Bunnymen - Royal Centre, Nottingham, 12/9/2023

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Echo And The Bunnymen - Royal Centre, Nottingham, 12/9/2023

So, as I showed my eTickets to the door lady at the concert hall, I was finding it hard to believe that it is nearly forty years since the brilliant ‘Ocean Rain’ was born. I glanced at the wordage on the phone and chuckled to myself. The mobile phone hadn’t been invented at that time, never mind the eTicket I was looking at! I remember buying my vinyl copy from a shop in Nottingham and I also remember the excitement, carrying it home to listen to it, the same excitement I now felt as I climbed down the stairs of the top tier of the Royal Centre to my seat. After a brilliant set from support act, Erica Knockalls, there was just a half-hour wait before the band came out and went straight into the first track on ‘Crocodiles’ - ‘Going Up,’ followed by other ‘Crocodiles’ inclusions: ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Rescue.’ By this time, the stage and half-the crowd were thick with dry ice. The backdrop was as simple as the lighting. Just a square screen high up first showing the front cover from ‘Ocean Rain’ and then changing a few times into the ‘Red Bunnyman.’ ‘All My Colours’ was next up from ‘Heaven Up Here.’ This first set was to get even better when they broke into Lou Reeds’ ‘Walk on the Wild Side,’ as a continuation of ‘Evergreens’ ‘Nothing Lasts Forever.’ They ended this first part with ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses’ after a superb rendition of one of this writer’s favourites ‘Never Stop’ showcasing Will Sergeant’s frantic guitar. Another half-an-hour break saw the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra filter on before the band sprung into action again, giving us the entire ‘Ocean Rain’ album. The sound was thicker now and the inclusion of the orchestra just made, what was already a magical sound, even better. Each track was separated by McCulloch’s own inimitable brand of humour, and his showing off of his fantastic strikers moves, whilst kicking his lyric sheets around the stage, only to be returned faithfully by one of the stage lads – I think, his name was Pete. Stand out tracks for me were the perfectly delivered ‘Nocturnal Me’ and the super loud ‘Killing Moon.’ They came out to do two encores: ‘Lips Like Sugar’ from 87’s eponymous album and finished with a rampant ‘The Cutter.’ I got myself home, repeatedly chanting out the words from ‘The Cutter,’ and as I sat in the living room feeling completely satisfied with the whole night. I pulled out my copy of ‘Ocean Rain’ from my record shelves and gazed at it in awe. Pulling it out, I noticed there were a few scratches on it but, I thought, that’s only to be expected as, just like me, it’s well over forty-years-old, but just for an hour or two, I was about sixteen again. Marvelous! Photos by Dave Goodwin www.davegoodwinmages.com

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Echo And The Bunnymen - Royal Centre, Nottingham, 12/9/2023

Echo And The Bunnymen - Royal Centre, Nottingham, 12/9/2023

Echo And The Bunnymen - Royal Centre, Nottingham, 12/9/2023

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Dave Goodwin at the Royal Centre in Nottingham watches Echo and The Bunnymen with the help of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra play in a stunning set their 1984 fourth album 'Ocean Rain' in its entirety.


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