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Echo & the Bunnymen - Solid and decent show without sharp edges
With twelve albums to their name, Echo & the Bunnymen know how it is done. Formed in Liverpool in 1978 during the heydays of post-punk and new wave, few bands have been as influential as this one. Among the bands that cite Echo & the Bunnymen as an influence are Interpol and The Killers. In a packed Patronaat the band came right out of the blocks with 'Crocodiles' and 'Rescue', after which 'Villiers Terrace' segued into a low down 'Roadhouse Blues'. After old favourite 'Seven Seas' and a cover of The Doors’s 'People Are Strange', the main set drew to a close with 'The Killing Moon' and 'The Cutter'.

An encore saw McCulloch and co sign off with 'Nothing Lasts Forever', through 'Walk on the Wild Side' and 'Don’t Let me Down' to an extended version of 'Lips Like Sugar'.

The band played like a well-oiled machine, which is good, but at the same time excruciatingly boring. Echo & the Bunnymen run the risk of a giving away a one-size-fits-all-performance: The setlist is always more or less the same and not adapted for the occassion. The sound is flawless but one dimensional, the performance tight but soulless. Ian McCullochs talking in between the songs is nicely tried but meaningless and most of the time completely incomprehensible (“I like this building…”, “Yeah, I like this building…”, “mrsblemthrblemre bleosythetoth tuttutsikstysquamrbl…”).

If you want to see a band that is guaranteed to put out a decent and solid show, Echo & the Bunnymen is your thing. If you want to be surprised and are looking for a raw and energetic edge, look further…

(reviewed by Astrid Zijl)