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Chris Martin

Echo & The Bunnymen are the musical equivalent of Marmite... You either love them or you’re a ****

& The Bunnymen

Echo & The Bunnymen 30th Anniversary Special


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Supported by

Echo & The Bunnymen

Story behind Liverpool legends E

CHO & the Bunnymen defined the sound of a generation with their bittersweet lyrics and haunting melodies. The Liverpool legends attracted a massive cult following, and they remain a seminal influence for a host of today’s best-known bands. Formed in the musical wilderness of 1978, Echo & the Bunnymen brought


“IT all started at Eric’s,” says Will. “We would go there two or three times a week. That’s where our mates were – and there would always be amazing bands on. “It’s flattering to have bands being influenced by us. But we were influenced too. David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, Talking Heads and Roxy Music ” he says. The band’s name came from Mac’s flat mate at the time, Smelly Elly, after they turned down such classic names like Glycerol and the Fan Extractors, Mona Lisa and the Grease Guns and the Daz Men. The Bunnymen’s first ever gig was at Eric’s on November 15 1978 in front of a small crowd of about 30 people, all of which pretty much knew the band. They played a song called I Bagsey Yours which was an early version of Monkeys. It was the only song they had and it lasted for 15 minutes. At the end of the song Will turned the drum machine off and there was a stunned silence, then applause. Les remembers it was great just to play loud as practice round at Will’s house had to be quiet. Mac recalls: “As soon as we got off, I wanted to go back on again.” Just four months later in March 1979, the band’s first single - Pictures On My Wall/Read It In Books - was released on Zoo Records. Zoo records had been set up by their then manager, Bill

by JADE WRIGHT their own brand of psychedelic new wave and military charity- shop chic to the masses. Ian McCulloch himself remains ever youthful and unfeasibly cool and Will Sergeant, a guitarist that never ceases to amaze! The Bunnymen are now an inspiration to a whole new generation of bands.

Drummond and Dave Balfe. The single was released on May 5, Mac’s 20th birthday. Zoo pressed up 4,000 copies, it went on to be single of the week in the NME & Sounds. So, just six months after their first gig at Eric’s, Echo & the Bunnymen were suddenly the in-thing so Zoo Records quickly pressed up another 3,000 copies. It was decided the band

Miles Kane The Rascals/The Last Shadow Puppets

The Bunnymen are one of my favourite bands, they have been a massive inspiration to me. The melody of the singing is dark and dramatic, it's the type of music I like to sing and write. From the guitar work on Show of Strength on Heaven Up Here to the haunting vocal on Nocturnal Me from Ocean Rain. These two records to me are perfect. We also covered All That Jazz off Crocodiles because it's a real stomper and gets your knees shaking. We are back off tour before the ECHO Arena show, so we very excited about going. Still waiting for the invite to get up and sing with them – my phone is on vibrate!

The band’s name has become a cultural marker, a short hand for a sound which has generated a thousand imitations. Now, 30 years since their first success, they have come full circle and have recently played Ocean Rain; their classic album to sell-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York. Both shows got rave reviews – and they’ve just recorded a new landmark

needed a drummer. Enter Pete De Freitas, born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, his brother knew Dave Balfe from Zoo’s London trips, Pete was in. De Frietas’s first show with The Bunnymen was at the Nashville Rooms in London, Pete soon got a reputation as one of the best drummers around. A month later and Echo & The Bunnymen signed to Korova Records (the ubercool label formed by Warner Bros as the home for their new signings) and a new chapter opened in musical history. Things would never be the same again. “Korova were our first major label – we’d been on one independent label before that, but they were the big ones who helped launch us,” explains Ian.


ON May 5th the group released their first single on Korova, Rescue/Simple Stuff, produced by Kingbird (Ian Broudie) it reached the dizzy heights of number 61 - closely followed by Crocodiles, their first LP, in July that year. Broudie’s commitment to his own band Original Mirrors prevented him from producing Crocodiles, so in stepped the Chameleons (alias Drummond and Balfe). Crocodiles was released to enormous critical acclaim on July 18, 1980 and shot straight into the Top 20. The reviews were some of the most ecstatic ever to greet an unknown band’s debut album. Crocodiles is destined to be one of the contemporary rock albums of the year, wrote the NME. It remains, to this day one of the most striking debut LPs of our time.

album called The Fountain to be released in 2009. They’ve been ploughing their own furrow for 30 years and the rest of the music world has been running to keep up. Their current line-up comprises original members Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant along with Nick Kilroe on drums, Stephen Brannan on bass, Gordy Goudie on guitar, and Paul Fleming on keyboards.

Brian Griffin, photographer, who shot the front cover of Crocodiles remembers, they wanted to set fire to a tree. Griffin suggested lighting a small glade of woods instead, and the start of the Bunnymen classic album covers had begun. The group then undertook their first nationwide club/college tour through July and August. In October, their second single, The Puppet/Do It Clean (a majestic b-side) was released and reached only number 91 in the charts. A more extensive UK tour saw them evolve their 'camo' look style and their 'apocalyptic' stage set. No self-respecting Bunnymen fan attended the shows without first visiting The Army & Navy surplus stores. “We started all that camo stuff because it was cheap,” says Ian. “We wanted a look, a style, and that was a way we could do it.

Janice Long Broadcaster

Thank you so much for 30 years of brilliant music, gigs and memories. You take up more space on my iPod than anyone else, and Ocean Rain is still my favourite album of all time. Genius. Ian, thank you for being funny, a babysitter, a fellow cryptic crossword geek, a giver of match tickets, a shoulder to cry on, a very big mate. With love to you all, Your biggest fan.

“Other bands at the time were pretending they had no money, doing it to be cool. We’d come from estates in Liverpool. We had nothing, and they were all copying us.”


FROM the beginning, the band was always keen to play unusual venues and push the boundaries of what was possible. They played a special one-off date on January 17 that year in the Derbyshire Peak District playing Buxton Pavilion Gardens. Fans were given maps and taken to the mystery location on coach trips, some drove from all over to the venue to see the Bunnymen play, the show was to start at 5pm to allow people to get home easily, the heavy January snowfall added to the situation. By now, the demand for more material was ever increasing, and in May they released a live 12" EP, Shine So Hard recorded at the mystery gig at Buxton Pavilion. It charted in the Top 40 within days of release. Soon afterwards, in March that year, the Bunnymen undertook a US tour. “I loved touring America,” says Ian. It would go on to be the first of many. On their triumphant return, the band played their first major UK tour culminating in a capacity show at Hammersmith Odeon. The camo-chic was abandoned, it was becoming more popular than the band itself. Without pausing for breath,

in June, the group's second album, Heaven Up Here was released and shot straight into the Top 10 LP chart. Again, the cover was a classic sleeve. Brian Griffin was brought in to photograph it, and his only brief was seagulls. At Porthcaw, near Rockfield he found an ideal beach setting, and shot the band in a promising sunset. It was an incredibly powerful shot, and once again became a talking point. “It carried a mood,” says Griffin. “And it was looking out to the future.” Martin Atkins, the designer had to battle with the record label to keep that shot, says Griffin. “They always like to see the band’s faces!” The battle won, Brian felt he’d broken down two barriers with the Heaven Up Here cover. “One, we’d got two album covers that were building up to something and secondly, we managed to get

Guy Garvey Elbow

The Bunnymen are such an intrinsic part of music that the whole thing would collapse without them like a house of cards.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


30th Anniversary Special

Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield The Stone Roses/Primal Scream

The Bunnymen live at Eric’s 1979, a snide quality cassette tape comes into my possession, and a lifelong love affair with the Bunnymen begins. A bit weird for a Manc to be so reverential about something so Scouse but this is music not football. I've laughed with Will about whether I was there at their first Manc gig as a three piece with drum machine and I tell him I was at the Tingle Tangle club and had pizza for my freebie dinner. Twenty or so gigs later and it’s Ocean Rain at the Albert Hall with the orchestra and having worked with Will Sergeant on a scream tune, had a few nights shakin all over with lips McCulloch. This band should be bigger than U2 and in my eyes they always have been. Viva la Bunnymen.

away with the band being a long way from the camera.” Many of the band's staple live songs stemmed from this LP Over The Wall, All My Colours, Show Of Strength and No Dark Things. They were quickly becoming known as the best live band in the world. In July, A Promise from Heaven Up Here was released and August saw the Buxton feature film, Shine So Hard, open for a week at London's ICA, coupled with another short, La Via Lounge, filmed in Europe. It also played in selected cinemas throughout the country. In October and November the Bunnymen returned to America and then toured Australia and New Zealand. This was followed by a German tour and a further 10 dates in the UK before a well-deserved break for Christmas.


THE year began with the release of the Shine So Hard/La Via Lounge films on video and, masquerading as Louis Vincent, Pete De Freitas produced the acclaimed first and last single by the Wild Swans: Revolutionary Spirit. In April the Bunnymen toured the Scottish Highlands. The young Ian Broudie guested on guitar and behind the mixing desk, and the band found he worked well. So well, that in May that year, The Back Of Love, produced by Broudie in the guise of Kingbird, gave the band its first Top 20 single. Continuing their multimedia exploits, Will Sergeant recorded the soundtrack to the as-yet uncompleted film, Grind. The LP was released in early

1983. The film is still unfinished. In July, the Bunnymen headlined the second night at the WOMAD festival. A live version of All My Colours was recorded with the Drummers of Burundi. The group then headlined a series of European Festivals and made a lightning visit to play in New York. Going from strength to strength, they played in Liverpool's

Pat Gilbert Mojo Magazine

There are loads of reasons why the Bunnymen are brilliant, but one is they made Art School music without any of them ever going to Art School. It meant they came at music from a completely original angle. The fact they were (bar one) these working-class Liverpool council estate kids, trying to channel the ghosts of The Doors and Lou Reed, gave them a weird energy and power : their songs were dark, uplifting and serious, but also full of humour and humanity. They weren't scared to be romantic and mysterious and have values. They weren't scared of anything, in fact. They were a beacon of dignity and pride in a decade overflowing with *****.

Sefton Park before 20,000 people as part of BBC 2's Pop Carnival series in November, before filming six tracks from their forthcoming LP in Liverpool and in Iceland.


In January, The Cutter was released as a single and the Bunnymen was, at last, a top ten band. The 12" version included the live All My Colours with the Drummers of Burundi. Porcupine, their third LP, was released. In July, following the success of the Top 20 hit Never Stop, the post-Porcupine tour found The Bunnymen in even more bizarre places. Beginning in the remote Scottish Islands and culminating at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Bunnymen laid down their raincoats and grooved. “We did two shows there,” explains Ian. “It was during our time of playing the weirdest places we could find. “We wanted somewhere to play in London that no-one else could get into. At that point, that was the Royal Albert Hall. “They didn’t do bands in those days. “I think it was Mott The Hoople who had played there in 1973. “There had been trouble and some damage had been done. They’d said no more bands. “It took a year of meetings for our manager and promoter to get us there. “They’d go in and play our acoustic tracks to the people in charge of the hall to prove we weren’t a rock band. I think they played them Simon and Garfunkel and said that was us.

“Eventually we got the go ahead to play. It was great. “It’s an amazing place to play. It feels like a part of history.” The tour featured an augmented line-up with additional guitarist, percussionist, violinist and cellist swelling the ranks. After spending some time in

Liverpool, the band recorded their sixth session for John Peel's radio show on in September, which included Nocturnal Me, Ocean Rain and Watch Out Below. The live debut of The Killing Moon, Seven Seas and Silver came at another unusual venue – the Royal Shakespeare

Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. “The director at the time approached us to do it,” explains Ian. “He said I was the Shakespeare of Liverpool. How could I refuse?” They are still the only band to have played there.

Richard Hawley

Ocean Rain is the only album I ever queued up for on its release day. I waited in the rain outside for the shop to open. I was late for school and got in trouble for it. If it was released tomorrow I’d do the same again. It was definitely the most important album of its era by a mile and it’s one of my favourite records of all time. The Bunnymen rule!


Congratulations to you both on 30 years of great music... and many more to come. It’s been a pleasure working with you Love

Peasy & Peter Byrne Porcupine Management


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Supported by

Echo & The Bunnymen

Bunnymania in Brazil and The Lost Boys Ian and Will – Congratulations on a wonderful show!

C.C. Young & Co. Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors 48 Poland Street, London W1F 7ND Tel: 020 7494 5680 E-Mail:


The year began with a blistering start as new single, Killing Moon was released and earned the group another Top 10 hit in January. A trip to Japan was another revelation. Bunnymania was rife. They survived an earthquake but the high-point for all concerned was “eating beef curry on a bullet train going 150mph”. On their return, the fourth album called Ocean Rain was completed at Amazon studios in Liverpool. “The greatest album ever made”, or so the understated ads claimed, was released on May 4 in the wake of another hit single, the beautiful Silver. Later that month, on May 12, A Crystal Day in Liverpool of spurious happenings. Among other events the day included a bicycle rally, a trip on the Mersey Ferry, a choir recital at the Cathedral culminating in a show by the Bunnymen at St George’s Hall. Appropriately, the last group to play there had been The Beatles back in 1961. The show was filmed for the Midsummer Night’s Tube. In June, Seven Seas, a second single from Ocean Rain, gave the band another hit. At the end of this year The Bunnymen took a year off to recuperate and rejuvenate.


A year off is too long. The urge to tour got the better of them by April. Unconventional as ever, they played small venues throughout Scandinavia, two sets a night including one of covers. Widely bootlegged, they reworked Paint It Black, Soul Kitchen,

Friction, Action Women and more. True punk. In July, they headlined the final night at Glastonbury amidst the sludge and mud of a weekend's rainfall. In October, a somewhat different Bunnymen sound emerged on their first single in over a year, Bring On The Dancing Horses, produced by Laurie Latham in Brussels. The magnificent Bed Bugs And Ballyhoo was arguably their best ever B-side. A month later, the Bunnymen singles' compilation Songs To Learn And Sing featured all their A-sides in original singles form.


As the year began Pete De Freitas went off on his particular version of The Lost Weekend. He formed, recorded and filmed with a new group The Sex Gods. With Pete AWOL, The Bunnymen toured the US with drummer Blair Cunningham. This line-up played a one-off UK date at the Royal Albert Hall for Greenpeace. In June, still without Pete, the original three-piece aborted attempts at a fifth LP. A month on, Pete climbed back on the bus for two live songs on The Old Grey Whistle Test's Rock Around the Clock marathon, and they started recording again with Laurie Latham producing in September. Over the next six months, on and off, in a variety of studios in Berlin, Brussels, London and Liverpool, the fifth LP was recorded. The band were never entirely happy with the results. In December, Ray Manzarek of The Doors produced and played on a version of People Are Strange. Ian

McCulloch got to become Jim Morrison on the track recorded for the film, The Lost Boys.


The band played shows in Brazil, no-one knew what to expect out there, thousands of people turned up at the airport to see the band arrive it was like Beatle-mania They also made the video for the Game in Brazil again with Anton Corbijn directing. In June, The Game from the fifth LP was released in the UK, which went top 20. The album itself, Echo & The Bunnymen, was released and went on to become by far their most successful release in the US. It was also a top five LP in the UK. In August, Lips Like Sugar hit the shops - another Top 40 hit in the UK. The band spent the rest of the year touring in the UK and the US - they moved into 1988 with yet more worldwide dates


Thursday, November 27, 2008


30th Anniversary Special

Ken Nelson Triple Grammy

John Simm Actor

winning producer

Echo and the Bunnymen are (obviously) one of the greatest bands this country has ever produced. I've lost count of how many times I've seen them live, and they've never disappointed. If you're a fan, the sheer brilliance of those songs, Mac's golden voice and Will's shimmering guitar is always, at some point gonna make those hairs on the back of your neck start to tingle. But when they played Ocean Rain at the Royal Albert Hall in September, it was so INCREDIBLY emotional, that it transcended every gig I've seen them play. The only way I can imagine it being bettered is when they bring it home to Liverpool. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

I first heard the Bunnymen on the radio. Pictures On My Wall was the song and I remember mentioning how great I thought it was to a friend and he had a copy of Rescue. I was hooked and I bought Crocodiles as soon as it came out. An amazing album ! They then followed this up with Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, and of course Ocean Rain. Each record at least the equal of the one before. And believe me that is no small feat for any band. That's not to mention the live EP Shine So Hard which I loved. You can hear their influence in so many great bands today; Arcade Fire, Interpol and The Killers spring to mind. Hats off to the Bunnymen for thirty years of great music.

when his motorbike collided with a car. Pete was on his way back to Liverpool to start practicing with Will and Les. R.I.P. DF In October that year, McCulloch's debut solo LP Candleland was released preceded by Proud To Fall. He began touring again a few months later with a new band, The Prodigal Sons and released a second single Faith And Healing in March 1991 Re-issued after the TV showing of The Lost Boys, People Are Strange made the UK Top 40 for the second time. in the US and Far East. The stress and strain as they entered their tenth year took its toll. Internal frictions and personality clashes reached a point where there were constant rumours of the band splitting up.


Ironically People Are Strange the Ray Manzarek produced revival of the 1967 Doors' hit reached

Number 12 in the US charts in March, marking itself out as easily their biggest hit there. The Lost Boys movie track earned them another Top 30 UK hit album. In the midst of all this Ian McCulloch announced he was leaving the band. Their final show took place in Japan on April 26.


Tragedy struck on June 14 when Pete de Freitas was killed


Will and Mac were reunited in a new band Electrafixion. An LP, Burned, was released. Electrafixion did, however, build up a strong following through touring. They even enjoyed a Top 30 UK hit, Sister Pain, the following year.


In the US, Echo & The

Bunnymen's cult status continued to grow. Their greatness having been acknowledged by the likes of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love who went as far as to cover Do It Clean with Hole. Other US bands were also covering Bunnymen songs. Flaming Lips regularly opened their set with All That Jazz, Pavement would close theirs with The Killing Moon. After a final US tour with Electrafixion, Will and Mac were playing more and more Echo & the Bunnymen tracks live. As Will puts it “why be Electrafixion when you can be The Bunnymen?” Les came back into the fold and Echo & The Bunnymen were reborn. Forging ahead of some fierce competition, London Records signed the band at the end of 1996.


Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch and Les Pattinson were back together in a recording studio for the first time in ten years. A month later they had

completed the latest LP by Echo & The Bunnymen. They saw the end result, 12 new songs, as not so much a reformation but more like a continuation of where they left off some nine years previously. The band made their live return in the UK on May 14 at Cream (where else but in Liverpool). Three days later they played the Mercury Lounge in New York, the start of a month of dates in America, a mixture of their own shows and prestigious radio festivals including K-ROQ in Los Angeles where they shared a bill with their new contemporaries - Oasis, Blur and Radiohead. Live reviews attest to the Bunnymen's triumphant return: "It's impossibly good. The first comeback in history not to be dogged by a nauseous sense of distress, the first one to actually sound important." (NME) "It's not really nostalgia 'cos over half the set is new and - here's the punchline - the new songs are as good as the old songs and probably better than almost anything you'll hear this year." (Melody Maker) Following the release of a new Best Of' entitled Bedbugs and Ballyhoo by their former label Warners, the first new Bunnymen

single was ten years was their debut for London Records on June 16th . A week later, the superb Nothing Lasts Forever crashed the UK Top Ten at number eight. Already the Bunnymen had achieved what no other band has achieved, a comeback that is commercially, conceptually and critically on a par with their great historic past achievements. Evergreen, the LP was released on July 14th which charted in the top 10. The brighter side of the Bunnymen was shown for the world to see, far more open and as relevant as any band yesterday or today. This was Echo & The Bunnymen in 1997, as good as ever maybe even better. A history to die for and a future to live for. By December, Evergreen had produced two further hits: Don't Let It Get You Down and I Want To Be There (When You Come), a UK tour in October was a sell-out everywhere, culminating in two capacity nights at London's Kilburn National. In America they toured extensively, including further major radio festivals and their own headline shows. In certain quarters people were now talking about the Bunnymen's achievements in 1997 as the greatest comeback since Elvis.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


A history to die for and a future to live for Happy 30th Anniversary to

The Bunnymen and all our best to Mac & Will on their great acheivement love from Steve and all at X-ray

Supported by

Echo & The Bunnymen


Following a highly successful European tour, the Bunnymen completed a short UK tour in February. They headlined a sold-out Brixton Academy and, as the NME reviewer points out, “they are, implausibly, as good as The Verve - or anyone out there - as a live force”. On Top Of The World, an Ian McCulloch song, originally written with Johnny Marr, is re-vamped and is chosen by the Football Association as the official England World Cup Song. It was recorded by the Bunnymen with The Spice Girls, Tommy Scott from Space and Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene under the name England United. The single shot straight into the Top Ten and sold exceptionally well world-wide. For Ian McCulloch, it is still one of the proudest moments of his career.


In March, the single Rust notched up another top 20 hit. The LP follows a month later. Sporting the longest ever Bunnymen LP title What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? and it earned even more critical plaudits than Evergreen.


The Bunnymen record a mixture of covers – some of their own plus Tim Hardin’s Hang On to A Dream and Dylan’s Baby Blue for a

forthcoming online only release. It was a mini LP for ‘fans only’ really and was eventually made available for a limited period in October.


The Bunnymen signed to a new label, Cooking Vinyl, releasing the first single It's Alright. Will and Mac were joined by three Liverpool based musicians for the self produced new recordings; Alex Gleave on bass, Vinny Jamieson on drums and Ceri James on keyboards. The new album, the band's eighth full length studio LP, Flowers was released to some of the best reviews

they'd had in their career. Reflecting a closer creative bond between Will and Mac, it was the Bunnymen's most guitar driven and 'psychedelic' record since the early eighties. A prestigious four CD, 71 track box set was released world-wide by Warners in April. Crystal Days: 1979-1999' featured two CDs of rare and unreleased material and was a major career retrospective that reaffirmed the Bunnymen's greatness. The band toured Flowers and Crystal Days with stints in the UK, Europe, America, a headline slot at The Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and finishing off with their first tour of Australia since 1981. On their return, they embarked on a sold out co-headline tour of America with The Psychedelic Furs.

Rob 2002 Gutmann Korova Corp

Ocean Rain' and the Bunnymen have always stabbed at my sorry heart, and Ian has always been my favourite singer. I was honoured to be a part of the audience to witness their grand stand at the Royal Albert Hall, a few weeks ago. Ocean Rain is the soundtrack to their life and loves, and to those of the generation that basked in their glory, and followed in the wake of the good ship McCulloch. All hands will be on deck at the Dock on the 27th. Can't wait.

The year began with a small tour of the UK to promote the release of Live In Liverpool, the band’s first live album, recorded at LIPA on the 17th and 18th of August and the 17 song collection mixes tracks throughout the Bunnymen's career - from Zimbo and All That Jazz through to selections from Flowers. In May the band flew out to Brazil and played three headline shows, two in Sao Paulo and one in Rio De Janeiro, before returning to play a triumphant “greatest hits” set on the bill of New Orders’ show at Finsbury Park, London, with Coldplay’s Chris Martin guesting on vocals on Nothing Lasts Forever. In October, they won the coveted Q Inspiration Award in a year that their influence seemed to have come to the


Thursday, November 27, 2008


30th Anniversary Special

Paul Donoghue


Echo and the Bunnymen mean so much to us it's hard to put on paper. We've been lucky enough to see their Ocean Rain show in New York and it was one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard. It made me remember why I picked up a guitar in the first place and made me forget all the bulls**t in the world which is an incredibly special talent to have.

Daniel Hunt Ladytron

My favourite band. A fair few groups over the years have claimed to be the best in the world, yet history is written by the winners. The crucial difference here being, that Mac was actually right...

fore once again, inspiring a new wave of Liverpool bands frontlined by The Coral.


The band’s friendship with Coldplay grew. Chris Martin made no secret of his immense admiration for Ian’s voice – still as clear today as it was at the height of the Bunnymen. So what was it like meeting him? “I didn’t meet Chris Martin,” says Ian. “He met me.” He goes on: “For Rush Of Blood To The Head he came to see me to glean as much information as he could.

ChrisPeck Boy Kill Boy

When I saw Echo & The Bunnymen live it blew me away. We supported them when they were touring America’s east coast They were the only band I’ve stood and watched every single night, from 50 different points. There ended up being an almost psychic connection between Ian and myself, me playing him our new album at 3 in the morning, and him playing me his. Me and Ian became good friends, which was a privilege, an absolute privilege. Echo & The Bunnymen are legends. Always have been, always will be.

“He is great. He’d had a pasting in the press for the last album and gave me a call. “It felt like, in the 90s, nobody was very interested in us or what we were doing. Then people like Chris come along and help bring us back into the spotlight."


The band released the album Siberia to positive reviews, with some commentators calling it their best work since Ocean Rain.


Echo & the Bunnymen released an updated version of their 1985 Songs to Learn and Sing compilation. Now re-titled More Songs to Learn and Sing, this new compilation was issued in two versions, a 17-track single CD and a 20-track version with a DVD featuring 8 videos from their career.


In March, the Bunnymen announced that they had re-signed to their original record label, Warner, and were also working on a new album. “It’s like we’ve come full circle: We’re part of the Warner Bros family, like Bugs Bunny,” says Ian. “We’re Echo and the Bugs Bunnymen.” A live DVD, entitled Dancing Horses, which also contained interviews with the band, was released in May. In the summer of 2007 the band were awarded the prestigious Maverick award by Mojo magazine.


In the year of Liverpool being the European Capital Of Culture, The Bunnymen became the first band to play the new ECHO Arena at the Caspital of Culture Opening Ceremony – they performed Nothing Lasts Forever, accompanied by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.The rest of the year has seen the band put the finishing touches to the new album, with some festival appearances over the summer, including T in the Park & V festivals. Here’s to another 30 glittering years at the top of your game. You certainly deserve it...


Ian McNabb

I first saw Echo & the Bunnymen at the Futurama festival in Leeds in 1980. They came on at tea time just after U2. Bono was sporting the regretful mullet and leather trousers and seemed more allied to the past than the future. The Bunnymen were definitely more of the new, less of the old. Ian McCulloch looked cooler than anyone I'd ever seen. Totally original haircut, long grey coat, tall, handsome, brilliant voice. Will Sergeant hid behind a thick fringe and conjured up mystery from a Fender Telecaster through a delay unit into a Fender amp. He sounded like no one else. Les Pattinson had a great quiff, played clean melodic basslines that were inventive that you could always dance to. He looked a bit like James Dean. Pete De Frietas was the greatest drummer of his generation and looked about 14. One thing people never seem to mention about the Bunnymen is what a great dance band they were. This band was FUNKY. I've always loved them. Tragedy and break ups may have blighted their path over the years but when I saw them perform Ocean Rain at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of months ago I realised the years have not diminished their power. They were trancendant. Magical. Powerful. Sexual. Dangerous. Still the best. See you at the barricades.

The Lightning Seeds

Ocean Rain stood out for me as a unique and special album the first time I heard it. It captured a great band at the perfect moment and has a lasting, timeless quality which still reverberates in every song. It’s ace, a world class album hatched on the banks of the River Mersey.

WayneCoin The Flaming Lips

There was something special about Echo & the Bunnymen. They had a cool name and they sang about cool, existential stuff . . . it was good enough for us!

Congratulations to Echo & The Bunnymen on 30 years of great music, from everyone at Curly Music

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Echo & The Bunnymen, 30th Anniversary Special  
Echo & The Bunnymen, 30th Anniversary Special  

Echo & The Bunnymen. 30th Anniversary Special from the Liverpool Echo