Echo And The Bunnymen

Echo And The Bunnymen

with Rialto

Brixton Academy, London • 4.3.98

It’s in the way that a crystalline crescent moon actually appears in the sky during THE definitive version of “The Killing Moon” — and that Ian Mcollough can still sing his words with a choked feeling of loss. Cracked actor.

It’s in the way that Will Sargent took control of Echo And The Bunnymen tonight, standing near center-stage confident, on a whim reducing songs to molten noise. Or effortlessly demonstrating his control of the emotions of everyone in the hall — with the opening notes of “Bring On the Dancing Horses.”

It’s in the way that I don’t feel embarrassed for them at all (unlike the last Morrissey tour), reuniting and taking the stage again this late in the game. They scorn any pity or sympathy and spit in my face with the infinite perfection of “Lips Like Sugar.”

It’s in the last verse of “The Cutter” — delivered immaculately, as I had always hoped it would be; a calm amidst broken glass and emotional wreckage.

It is not Ian McCollough’s continuing metamorphosis into Liam Gallagher. Complete with arrogant inaudibilities and perpetual references to Manchester, football and being on top of the world.

It is not the weaker moments of “Evergreen” aired tonight, which make you wonder where all of the headless roses and delighted shudders went, replaced with workmanlike competent songwriting. Leave that cack to Oasis and Matchbox 20.

It is certainly not opening band Rialto, who would clearly strip the skin off of their drummer and throw him to cannibalistic Spice Girls fans just to be the proud owners of 23 seconds of the glory in “Bring On the Dancing Horses.” If I wanted to see Suede, I would have gone to see Suede.

Critical faculties surely out the window. Echo and the Bunnymen. Yes, yes, I’m thinking of Elvis Presley’s stunning black leather comeback special, only more hairspray.

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