Gig review: Echo and The Bunnymen at O2 Academy Leeds

Echo and the Bunnymen.Echo and the Bunnymen.
Echo and the Bunnymen.
The seasoned Liverpool post-punk band provide the perfect soundtrack of disaffected teen angst and world-weary reality.

Ian McCulloch cuts a silhouette of Birthday Party era Nick Cave blended with The Cure’s Robert Smith, and has the same devout following of the two.

Scores of middle-aged punks stood side by side with young Goth students to worship their moody and morose idol. A perfect soundtrack of disaffected teen angst and world-weary reality.

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The Bunnymen’s debut Crocodiles, some 43 years old now, is a mainstay of the introverted and the frustrated poet, the bedroom artist and diary keepers. To the fans, the Bunnymen speak to them as kin and not a paying punter. You live inside the world of the Bunnymen.

It is with that introduction and feverish fandom, that the O2 Academy Leeds was wrapped around the building with eager ticket holders securing their place in line hours before the 7pm doors.

The aforementioned jet-black silhouette of McCulloch drafted out in a sea of dry ice, emerging to entertain with two sets and two encores consisting of a staggering, career-defining 18 tracks.

Bring On The Dancing Horses concluded set one before the Bunnymen returned with Show Of Strength, Killing Moon and a crowd-pleasing and venue-wide sing-a-long to The Cutter.

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It seemed the band and the fans wanted the night to never end, enraptured by audience feedback and energy, the band returned twice more for Lips Like Sugar and Ocean Rain, the latter being the absolute crescendo to the evening’s events.

An evening that felt biblical and prophetic, turning the O2 Academy into a post-punk chapel of Gothic enlightenment. You once asked us to Never Stop, Mr McCulloch. We ask the same of you.

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