Echo and The Bunnymen

by Jo

4th August – Gig in the Park, Halesworth, Sussex

A fine event, this one. Local cool stuff for local people, by volunteers and other ace beings. For an entire weekend the town park is transformed into a mini festival. A little bit of showcasing in the Jungle tent, after a few months’ jamming with your mates? Or play to a wider audience on the main stage. People travel from all over to do that. West Country and the Scottish traditional Japanese drummers are evidence. It’s the do’s 10th birthday, so much happiness and a few messages from rock wellwishers up on screen.
It was a hot day, glorious to wander, watch the shenanigans and browse the shops. And YAAY! This year, there are CHIPS! Not quite a chip van, but obviously my stinging review of last year’s chip noshow galvanised something into action.
To the main event then. What I went for, and missed a load of stuff in Leeds for (well, as well as seeing Andy, Rosie, Sarah, Ian, Helen and Janine). Echo and his damn fine Bunnymen. You don’t see many bands better than this. Not punk, goth, indie – balancing on the apex of so many things from the late 70’s/early 80’s. Built into my teenage psyche.
Well, the band have put on a bit of weight, which is hardly surprising after so many years! But it sits well. This never was a band built on looks, although that Mr McCulloch was a pretty thing, it has to be said. D’you know, I noticed his hair is curly on the camera closeups. Always gelled to the nines in my memory! Bloody fine to hear that accent again.
He doesn’t say much, and doesn’t smoke on stage nearly as much as he did! Last time it was one per song, on average! Music prevails. It’s not the best gig they’ve done. Open air ones never are, I guess.
There are a fair few Bunny fans here, more than I thought, though the younger ones at the front haven’t got a clue about it really. And triple thanks to the stupid teeny girls and bemused boy who stood in front of me and shrieked and giggled about being oooo at a gig after dark, outside. GRRRR.
Whatever I wanted out of this gig was delivered in heaps. I didn’t want musical performance perfection. I wanted the songs I love and cherish(aaghhh except Villiers Terrace), the timewarp to who I was and should have stayed being. That feeling when during a gig, already bouyed up by music and emotion, you suddenly reach nirvana. Everything at that moment is perfect, golden, whole. When it ebbs away, it leaves you with a healing touch – just for a few hours, because nothing ever lasts forever.
Echo and the Bunnymen aren’t the only band that can do that. There really aren’t many that can, though, and last year, one of them failed. All hail. May the Echoes resound as long as possible.

Setlist: (AC=acoustic guitar)
Villiers Terrace
Show of Strength
Stormy Weather
Seven Seas AC
Dancing Horses
All that Jazz
Never Stop
Back of Love
Killing Moon AC
The Cutter
Nothing Lasts AC
Lips Like Sugar