Review - Echo and The Bunnymen - Engine Rooms

It is amazing to think that Echo & The Bunnymen released their first single over 40 years ago back in the post punk days of 1979 and apart from a spell in the mid part of the 1990's have been doing it ever since.

These days they play smaller venues than their 1980's heyday, but they sold out their second visit to the Engine Rooms in Southampton weeks before the gig, something that their first three years ago didn't achieve, showing their legacy is getting stronger and growing.

The Engine Rooms is the type of venue we  never in the City had during the Bunnymen's first burst of success, if it was then we would have seen them as they headed for stardom back then, but good things come to those that wait and it is a great little venue to see a band in, compact and sweaty just how rock n roll should be viewed live and not the stadium gigs of today where the band is a dot on the horizon.

If the venue didn't disappoint then the Bunnymen didn't either, starting with Going Up and drawing mainly from their first five albums up to their break up around 1987  there was only a sprinkling of songs written after that date.

But this was giving the crowd what they wanted the old favourites and the anthems, Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant  the only two originals in the band from the heady late 70's know that their relevance in today's music is from their legacy, one that has inspired many perhaps the most significant being Coldplay.

This means that they celebrate their past unlike some of their generation who try to justify their relevance by playing shows packed with new songs that the crowd don't want to hear.

For a band with such a rich back catalogue they were never going to squeeze all their back catalogue into 80 minutes but they had a try and they got most of their well know songs in, Rescue, The Killing Moon, Villiers Terrace and Lips Like Sugar being highlights ending with their most atmospheric, the title track from arguably their best album 1984's Ocean Rain.

For the Bunnymen this was a very downbeat track to end on, but the crowd went home happy having seen a great set  that encompassed their glory days, long may these days be celebrated and hopefully It won't be another three years before they return to Southampton.