Live Review: Echo And The Bunnymen – O2 Academy, Leeds 05/04/2022
This evening marked the rescheduled gig at Leeds O2 Academy for Echo and the Bunnymen. Formed in 1978, this gig is part of their 40-year anniversary tour – presumably something went a little awry with the calculations there, but with all the Covid postponements of the last few years, I’m not sure anyone in the crowd is too concerned about this.
Tonight was the second attempt for the Leeds venue following a brief show back in February when lead singer Ian McCulloch had to leave the stage unwell and it’s safe to say the fans have waited patiently.
With DJ Alan McGee warming the crowd up nicely, the Bunnymen took to the stage. The line-up has changed somewhat over the years, with the band now being a duo of founding members Ian McCulloch (lead singer) and Will Sergeant (guitar) who have been joined by 4 other musicians for the tour.
It became evident quite early in the night, that getting quality photos of the band was going to be challenging to say the least. With no pit access and a small cordoned area at the back of the room for photographers to access, for me and all my 5’3” height it was an almost impossible feat. It did dampen my own personal experience of the gig somewhat as there’s nothing better than getting that great shot, but in some ways, it was great to just be able to take in the experience and listen to the Bunnymen as opposed to focussing on photography.
Ian as lead singer, took his spot and whilst he remained fairly static through the night, the moody lighting silhouetting his trademark long overcoat meant he came across as effortlessly cool. They may not have been the most chatty band between songs but Ian did try his best to get the crowd going by encouraging them to be louder than a previous gig in Manchester. The crowd were to oblige and sang along with the packed setlist including favourites ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses’ and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ and were treated to two encores when the band came back first to perform ‘The Cutter’ and ‘The Killing Moon’, before returning for a second time to close the show with ‘Ocean Rain’. All in all, a good gig from a band that have been around for over four decades! The tour continues with only a few venues remaining, see here for tickets.
Show of Strength
All That Jazz
Bring On the Dancing Horses
Over the Wall
All My Colours (Zimbo)
Bedbugs and Ballyhoo
Brussels Is Haunted
Nothing Lasts Forever
Lips Like Sugar
The Killing Moon