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Echo and the Bunnymen (1985)

Courtesy of Channel Four Television

Main image of Echo and the Bunnymen (1985)
From The Tube, Channel Four tx. 4/1/1985
19 minutes, colour
DirectorsGeoff Wonfor
 Gavin Taylor

Presenter: Jools Holland); Music Performance: Echo And The Bunnymen

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The Liverpudlian post-punk act captured in performance in their home city for The Tube.

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Echo and the Bunnymen were the most lastingly successful of the generation of Liverpool bands formed after the first flourish of punk in the late 1970s. Singer Ian McCullough had been a member of the semi-legendary The Crucial Three with The Teardrop Explodes' Julian Cope and Wah!'s Pete Wylie, and sang for Cope's pre-Teardrop Explodes outfit A Shallow Madness before the two volatile personalities clashed and McCullough formed the Bunnymen in 1978. Cope's and McCullough's bands shared a fondness for 60s psychedelia and elliptical lyrics, wedded to a post-punk brevity and punch, but it was the Bunnymen who lasted, building on the cult success of early singles like 'Rescue' and 'A Promise' to have back-to-back Top 5 LPs with 1983's Porcupine and 1984's Ocean Rain.

On 12th May 1984, Echo and the Bunnymen organised a day's worth of events for fans in their home city under the banner 'A Crystal Day', beginning with a café breakfast, followed by a bike tour and ferry ride and culminating in a concert at Lime Street's St. George's Hall, then somewhat run-down but since restored to its 19th-century grandeur. The concert was filmed for Channel Four's The Tube (1982-87), whose cameras witnessed the band deliver flawless versions of their two biggest hits, 'The Cutter' and 'The Killing Moon', as well as 'Villiers Terrace', 'Never Stop' and 'Silver', all showcasing McCullough's soaring voice and Will Sargent's angular guitar.

Mark Duguid

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Video Clips
Complete segment (19:30)
Teardrop Explodes, The (1980)
Tube, The (1982-87)
Holland, Jools (1958-)
Liverpool: Sounds of the City