O2 Academy, Bournemouth

James and Echo & The Bunnymen

It’s Monday night, and a near capacity audience awaits Indie-Poppers James.

But first we are treated to 80’s Indie heroes Echo and The Bunnymen. Talk about being transported back in time-the stage is in near darkness! Ian (McCulloch) is dressed in black with matching sunglasses. One by one the rest of the band stride onstage. Despite being nearly 30 years since the band graced the National charts on a regular basis, they appear confident from the outset. They open with the quite excellent “Lips Like Sugar”, then continue with a set that encompasses their entire career.

Ian’s vocals have mellowed with age but he can still find decent range. “Rescue” follows before live favourite ‘Do It Clean’ which is superb. “Seven Seas” gets a reworking in the intro while “Bring On The Dancing Horses” makes me smile! On “Nothing Lasts Forever” Ian fluffs the first verse before asking to start again-we forgive him as we laugh in unison! “The Killing Moon” is undoubtedly their set highlight before they leave us with “The Cutter”. All in all a triumphant return, one can only hope they revisit!

Echo And The Bunnymen
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At 9pm James take to the stage and open with a lengthy “Top Of The World”. Tim Booths vocals tonight are searing in places, especially here. Tonights set is a 2 hour trawl through the back catalogue which should please everyone. “Seven” and “Waltzing Song” are well received before Tim decides to join us down the front during “How Was It For You” – the man is in his element, as are we!

The performance this evening shows the band more in entertaining mode as they make full use of the stage. Even the trumpet player decides to perform in the VIP area! We get 3 or 4 new songs debuted to good responses but I like most are here for the classics. Tim announces “Feel Like Fred Astaire” as a wedding song, and quite frankly who are we to argue! “Sit Down” sounds slightly different these days but we all sing along anyway. The last of the new songs comes in the shape of “Of Monsters And Heroes And Men” which is great, long but great! The simply excellent “Come Home” comes next before a quite euphoric “Laid” before they leave the stage. Great applause follows and they return with the frankly humourous “Johnny Yen” then “Sometimes”. As trips down “memory lane” go this was a great one. Two “Indie Heavyweights”, doing what they do best. In Tim Booth James have the most consummate of performers and tonight there are no half measures-the man never stopped moving! We leave as it started, on “Top Of The World”!


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Top Of The World
Dust Motes
Waltzing Along
How Was It For You
All In The Mind
I Feel Like Fred Astaire
Sit Down
Of Monsters And Heroes And Men
Come Home

Johnny Yen

Echo & The Bunnymen
Lips Like Sugar
Do It Clean
Seven Seas
Bring On The Dancing Horses
Bedbugs And Ballyhoo
Never Stop
Nothing Last Forever
The Killing Moon
The Cutter


Band Links


Review By Ross Ferrone
Pictures by Charlie Raven
Videos By Dave “Ummm YouTube” Chinery (Chinners)

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