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20140508 00 echo and the bunnymenTivoli Oudegracht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
8th May 2014
Echo & the Bunnymen, Rats on Rafts

The venue Tivoli at the Oudegracht will close after many years. This beautiful venue has seen some great bands performing and it will be a loss for the Netherlands to see it vanish from the music scene. A lot of bands that once stood on the stage of Tivoli Oudegracht got a chance to perform one last time in a range of concerts under the name Tivoli Tijdloos (Tivoli Timeless). On Thursday May 8th it was time for the new wave legends ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN. They played a sold out concert.

Rats on Rafts

With a mixture of new wave and post-punk RATS ON RAFTS take a tour back to the eighties. Their music is being compared to bands like FIRE ENGINES, THE CURE, THE CHAMELEONS and THE SPECIALS. They have been around for a few years and performed on the Dutch national television. Their debut album ‘The Moon is Big’ was released on vinyl only in 2011. It took almost a year before a cd version was released. /

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Music & Performance
With no more than six songs on the setlist, the impression was made RATS ON RAFTS would not be on stage for too long. But this first impression was completely wrong. These young band members, that probably were only in diapers during the eighties, manage to take the audience back to these magical years. Their songs flow seemingly over into each other in such a way the performance feels like one big music piece. It is music made with a lot of feeling, that only becomes a bit bored during the song ‘Zebra Delic’. With no more lyrics than only the title, said over and over again, this song is the least moment during their performance. But that said, the song fluently becomes the next song and that one sounds wonderful again.

01. Little Child
02. Powder Monkey
03. Zebra Delic
04. Half African
05. Jazz
06. News

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8 / 10

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Echo & The Bunnymen

There are only two original band members left of ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN. Ian McCulloch and guitar player Will Sergeant. With a new set of musicians they announced the new album ‘Meteorites’ that will be released somewhat later this year. It is the first album after five years. The fans of ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN still love their old work, especially the classic songs that have become almost iconic to the eighties. Although the sound of the band changed throughout the years, it has become clear they returned to their old familiar sound. No mistake there: it is due to the voice of McCulloch and the guitar sound of Sergeant, that after all those years seemed to have rediscovered their own sound again. The fans, young and old, are certainly happy about that. /

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Music & Performance
“Do you remember me” someone shouts from the audience after the opening track ‘Meteorites’ ends. McCulloch takes a look and answers with a smile: “Oh yeah, I remember you”. This little moment seems to have an effect on the whole performance of ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, or better said, McCulloch, who is the personification of the band. McCulloch, who isn’t always that open and talkative during gigs, turns out to be in a very good mood this evening. He talks between songs and makes a lot of jokes. With a drink and a cigarette at hand he calls all the songs classics or semi classics, and by the looks of it he himself finds this very amusing. His words are not always audible but that doesn’t matter: it gives the evening an intimate atmosphere. The band struggles a bit with the sound, that is not always that good. Nevertheless ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN manage to give that special eighties feeling with a set of songs that are not only extracts from the new album, but also the real classics like ‘The Cutter’, ‘Seven Seas’, ‘Dancing Horses’ and of course ‘Killing Moon’ during which the audience sings out loud.

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McCulloch himself even stops singing and lets the audience take over for a moment. After a short brake the band reappears on stage for the encore with a sort of tribute to Lou Reed and an extra-long version of ‘Lips Like Sugar’. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN ends their show with a nice but modest version of ‘Ocean Rain’ and thus ends a very successful evening at Tivoli Oudegracht.

01. Meteorites
02. Nocturnal Me
03. Rescue
04. Holy Moses
05. My Kingdom
06. Bedbugs
07. Seven Seas
08. Constantinople
09. Silver
10. Never Stop
11. New Horizons
12. All That Jazz
13. Lovers On The Run
14. Dancing Horses
15. Killing Moon
16. The Cutter
17. Nothing Lasts
18. Lips Like Sugar
19. Ocean Rain

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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All pictures by Nando Harmsen (

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