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Echo & The Bunnymen – Norwich UEA

The iconic image of post-punk is maintained by Ian McCulloch and his cohort on their sold-out tour.  Echo and the Bunnymen kicked off the second night of ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’  by announcing a two-part set just an hour before doors opened – much to fans’ delight!

The support, Erica Nockalls provided the crowd with a perfectly chilling warm-up to the almost two-hour-long set. With her heavily reverbed vocals and decadent violin, the former violist for the Proclaimers is a great example of the post-punk revival that has clearly gained support from the fans and its original founding members.

The first set of the evening was mostly songs from the band’s fourth and arguably most iconic album ‘Ocean Rain’. Ian McCulloch kept a strong image of old-school rock and roll, being a level of diva only Liam Gallagher could dream of. Gloomy lighting and lots of dry ice accompanied the eerie tracks perfectly, despite making my job as a photographer very difficult.

Apart from the obvious stand-out songs in the first half of the show, I found myself fixated on the rider situated on centre stage at the convenience of McCulloch – items on it include; a box of tissues, a squeezy bottle of honey, a glass of milk and a bottle of Gaviscon. Initially, this could seem an insight into the struggles the 64-year-old singer may have whilst on tour, but as the sets progressed it was a sure sign of perseverance from McCulloch – no matter the ailment, the show must go on!

The second set of the evening was hit after hit – fading “Seven Seas” into “The Killing Moon” was a personal highlight of mine and the crowd alike with their voices overpowering that of McCulloch’s. A mosh pit appeared halfway through this set and remained right to the bitter end of the set with pints set flying.  

The end of the set left the fans still hungry for more and the band delivered playing another crowd pleaser and a personal favourite of mine ‘Lips Like Sugar’, riling up the crowd for the third and final time.

Echo and the Bunnymen continue their rejuvenation of the post-punk scene with an iconic back- catalogue of tracks, whilst introducing us to the next generation of talent and still getting the crowds excited like it’s the late 80s once again.

Photo Credit – Grace King
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