Echo & The Bunnymen in concert tonight. Recorded live at the Liverpool Empire in 1988 by BBC Radio 1 for their In Concert series. As a band who started life in 1978 as a cult attraction, Echo & The Bunnymen quickly evolved into one of the most popular Post-Punk/New Wave/Neo-Psych/Alternative bands of the 1980s. With their debut album reaching the top-20 in the UK album charts, their follow-up album in 1983 achieved mainstream success, hitting number 2 on the album charts and spinning off several top-10 hit singles.
The success was not without shakeups and changes. The year this concert was broadcast (1988) founding member and singer Ian McCulloch would leave the band to pursue a solo career.
This concert catches the band in the midst of changes. McCulloch would leave the band soon. Drummer Pete de Freitas would be killed in a motorcycle accident in 1989, and the band would call it quits by 1993. However, McCulloch and co-founder Will Sargent, along with original bass player Les Pattison resurrected Echo & The Bunnymen in 1996. Pattison again left in 1998, leaving McCulloch and Sargent the only two original members, as they are today. Still recording and releasing albums and still gigging.
This particular concert has seen the light of day as an official (of sorts) release – first on lp and later on CD via Windsong. However, this is the re-broadcast of the In Concert/BBC version that was just recently aired by BBC 6 Music as part of their Concert Hour series.
A band that was seminal during those formative days of New Wave and neo-Psych – mashing up and crossing over into several different genres was one aspect that made them an interesting band to watch. But like so many groups at the time, they were straddling the underground while making inroads to the mainstream – but it signified the real appeal of this group – that they were able to get their point across to a wide range of audiences gives you some idea of just how versatile and essential they were in the grand scheme of things.
Turn it up and enjoy. Dancing is optional, but encouraged.