Thursday, 3 February 2011

2 ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, THE WILD SWANS, Oxford New Theatre, Friday 4 December 1981

This gig, which I went to with a school friend and his dad (!), really confirmed my changing tastes from the increasingly samey leather and studs punk rock, to a new breed of band, using the power and energy of punk but playing emotive, tuneful and meaningful rock, with Echo And The Bunnymen at the forefront of said "rockist" wave.

This, the Bunnymen's "Christmas Crescent" tour, saw us getting front centre balcony tickets for an excellent view, initially of the excellent and haunting support band The Wild Swans and their wonderful rendition of forthcoming single "Revolutionary Spirit", and then for the Bunnymen's set itself. The stage set swathed in dry ice and hanging black drapes (not the camo, I just missed that "live" Bunnymen phase despite wearing it religiously myself at this time) welcomed the Bunnymen and their vocalist Ian McCulloch, a most extraordinary dancer with a wonderful soaring voice. The setlist went thus;

"With A Hip", "Show Of Strength", "Pride", "All That Jazz", "Crocodiles", "The Disease", "All I Want", "Turquoise Days", "Zimbo", "A Promise", "Rescue", "Villiers Terrace", "Heaven Up Here", "No Dark Things", then encores, the brilliant highlight "Over The Wall" and a lengthy "Do It Clean".

Most of the above songs ended in mighty crescendos of sound and fury; the Bunnymen were a superb live experience to really confirm my new musical tastes, and kickstart my gigging days!

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