Arriving onstage fag-in-hand and shades on, you could be forgiven for thinking that Ian McCulloch is a man grappling onto his former-self. Although it only takes seconds to realise that such a thought is nonsense. Echo and the Bunnymen have maintained their integrity and monochrome cool – something proven by the dynamic opener ‘Rescue’.
Playing against an overcast backdrop, it’s an apt setting for the cult eighties band. Whether you discovered them from The Lost Boys soundtrack or through their emergence alongside The Teardrop Explodes, it’s safe to say they pull a diverse bunch. The crowd can be seen bubbling over early into the night and it’s evident that this is a brilliant booking. That’s all before they’ve even delved into the true classics like ‘The Cutter’.
The Liverpool roots are prominent throughout the night as they smartly drop tales of the Mersey homeland into tracks. In many ways it’s a joy to see that the band are relishing such an opportunity, especially having been somewhat famed for a nonchalant persona.
As daytime ebbs away, the imposing silhouettes of ships remind us why we’re here; not only to see a prolific band, but to celebrate the beauty of this harbour and the part it’s played in Bristol’s history. It’s around this time when the group delve into a weepy rendition of ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ which makes for an obvious crowd-pleaser.
The most iconic tracks are saved until the end, it’s a flurry which leaves everyone satisfied before they spill out onto the messy streets of Bristol. Anthems like ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘Dancing Horses’ will no doubt remain imprinted in memories for a long time to come.
Check out ‘The Killing Moon’ right here: