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At the Brixton Academy in London, Anthony Strutt watches Echo and the Bunnymen in a nostalgic, but perfect set play back-to-back their first two albums, 'Crocodiles' and 'Heaven Up Here'
Billing the evening as “a master class in rock ‘n’ roll”, Echo and the Bunnymen shone brightly tonight. All of the band's original albums from 1980's ‘Crocodiles’ up until 1987’s self-titled fifth and last album with their original line-up (known amongst the hardcore as ‘The Grey Album’) were excellent in every way. Tonight they took us down memory lane by playing ‘Crocodiles’ and then their 1981 second album ‘Heaven Up Here’, before finishing by serving up a four song encore.
It was like going back in time when the world was less full of bullshit, when unlike today your favourite band played and released albums that you rushed out to buy immediately and then played to death.
Kelley Stoltz perfectly opened the show and told us that “the lights will go down, the fog will rise up, and then the beautiful music will wash all over you.” And it did. Deliciously dark, Echo and the Bunnymen were Liverpool's answer to the Velvet Underground, Television and the Doors all wrapped up with the big-lipped Ian McCulloch whom tonight is on cheeky form, but was the spokesman for his generation. Will Sergeant is an amazing guitarist and always will be, changing his guitars at regular periods to reflective each song’s dark powers. By the end of the first album, I was more than happy, but tonight ‘Heaven Up Here’ shone more brightly.
The encore was McCulloch’s favourite bit where we got class names such as ‘Lips Like Sugar’ (with ad libs of songs I didn’t know), ‘Bring On the Dancing Horses’, ‘The Killing Moon’ and finally ‘The Cutter’ which rounded off one of my favourite shows of the year. Echo and the Bunnymen are the best band out of Liverpool since that other famous four piece.