Echo & the Bunnymen + Erica Nockalls Gig Review

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Songs of Preys unpacks the Echo and the Bunnymen and Erica Nockalls show in Leeds at O2 Academy Leeds on March 22nd, providing a run down of the evening as well as some gig photographs.

Leeds, UK March 2024

Words & Pictures by Songs of Preys

For Echo & the Bunnymen, their success in the USA mainly came from their songs appear on iconic film soundtracks, ‘People Are Strange’ in The Lost Boys and ‘The Killing Moon’ in Donnie Darko, but in the UK, they had been pulling in crowds from their very beginning.  Often compared to U2 (and in my honest opinion, FAR superior to Bono and the boys) and but for the grace of God, they could have been one of the world’s most popular bands.  So, it was wonderful to be invited to go see them perform as the last time saw 40 (yes that isn’t a typo) years since I saw them live last, and that show was sadly marred by thugs that were Liverpool football supporters attending the event just for a fight rather than for music.

On to the show and the opening act.  Some may know Erica Nockalls as the current violinist for The Wonder Stuff, but if you do not know her own work, then I advise you that you should.  The statuesque Erica, and her partner-in-crime Jean-Charles Vasari produce, what can only be described as a fantastic sound.  Like an amalgamation of Sinead O’Connor, Cocteau Twins and Joy Division.  Erica’s violin and vocals complimented wonderfully by Jean-Charles crisp baritone voice and guitar.  The album, ‘Dark Music From A Warm Place’, HAS to be the album of the year, and a must for anyone who listens to music.  Songs like, ‘Mouth Full of Something’  and ‘This Silent Dog’ (which is often played on Songs of Preys Radio Show) are songs that your ears are made for.  The sound has emotion, atmosphere, power and keeps you engaged from start to finish.  Catch Erica’s music at https://www.ericanockalls.com/  

Onto the Bunnymen and their, ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’ live show.  The album that showcased the band’s greatest hits, so, you can imagine that the live show would not disappoint.  It was indeed great to hear some of the old classics like, ‘Never Stop’ and ‘Seven Seas’ and this audience member especially felt honoured to hear a live rendition of ‘Zimbo’ (known to many as ‘ All My Colours’.    Ian McCulloch engaged well with the audience and often had the crowd singing the choruses to several of their hits, which seemed to please the audience.  There was a 10-minute interval in the set which came as a surprise to most.  As I mentioned earlier in the review that it’s been 40 since seeing Echo & the Bunnymen playing live and I couldn’t help but miss the hypnotic, tribal drumming of the late Pete de Freitas, but all in all, it was a very joyous and entertaining show that I was glad to be witness to.

The ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’ Tour hits the USA 7th May 2024 in Austin. TX and continues on until 14th June 2024.  Tickets available from https://www.bunnymen.com/




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