Tag Archives: echo and the bunnymen

Riot Fest 2015 Spotlight: Echo and the Bunnymen and Wildlife

Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo is coming at us fast and furious on September 19 and 20 at Downsview Park. Weezer, The Prodigy, Bleachers, Cancer Bats, Courage My Love, and Ritual join a diverse array of bands previously announced. To top it off, Weezer will play both days of the festival, performing their eponymous debut (known as the Blue Album) one day and Pinkerton on the other. For fans a little tight on budget – Riot Fest brings back its layaway program, with the option to pay ticket costs in several installments during the lead up to the fest.

Don’t forget to enter my Riot Fest Ticket Giveaway!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Riot Fest & Expo Toronto 2015 Ticket Giveaway?

Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me which Riot Fest & Expo Toronto band you are interested in catching September 19th and 20th in Toronto. Easy peasy! I will announce the winner on Sunday August 30, 2015.

Echo and the Bunnymen

Echo & the Bunnymen are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bass player Les Pattinson, supplemented by a drum machine. By 1980, Pete de Freitas joined as the band’s drummer.

Their 1980 debut album, Crocodiles, met with critical acclaim and made the UK Top 20. Their second album, Heaven Up Here (1981), again found favour with the critics and reached number 10 in the UK Album chart. The band’s cult status was followed by mainstream success in the mid-1980s, as they scored a UK Top 10 hit with “The Cutter”, and the attendant album, Porcupine (1983), reached number 2 in the UK. Their next release, Ocean Rain (1984), continued the band’s UK chart success, and has since been regarded as their landmark release, spawning the hit singles “The Killing Moon”, “Silver” and “Seven Seas”. One more studio album, Echo & the Bunnymen (1987), was released before McCulloch left the band to pursue a solo career in 1988.

The following year, in 1989, de Freitas was killed in a motorcycle accident, and the band re-emerged with a new line-up. Original members Will Sergeant and Les Pattinson were joined by Noel Burke as lead singer, Damon Reece on drums and Jake Brockman on keyboards. This new incarnation of the band released Reverberation in 1990, but the disappointing critical and commercial reaction it received culminated with a complete split in 1993.

After working together as Electrafixion, McCulloch and Sergeant regrouped with Pattinson in 1997 and returned as Echo & the Bunnymen with the UK Top 10 hit “Nothing Lasts Forever”. An album of new material, Evergreen, was greeted enthusiastically by critics and the band made a successful return to the live arena. Though Pattinson left the group for a second time, McCulloch and Sergeant have continued to issue new material as Echo & the Bunnymen, including the albums What Are You Going to Do with Your Life? (1999), Flowers (2001), Siberia (2005), The Fountain (2009) and Meteorites (2014).

In 2012 Ian McCulloch released his fourth solo LP, Pro Patria Mori and a live album Holy Ghosts in 2013. In 2013 Will Sergeant and Les Pattinson formed a group called “Poltergeist” and released an album called Your Mind Is A Box (Let Us Fill It With Wonder) in June 2013.


The heart is a funny thing. It’s strong, vulnerable, vital, but unlike most of the important things in our lives, it’s not protected by bricks or Kevlar. Unless you have a Kevlar heart… and if so, where did you get it? Can I have one? For the rest of us, we put ourselves out into the world blind and unguarded; we love, we live and sometimes we get hit (possibly hard). When we mess-up or get messed-up, our hearts help us use those mess-ups to learn, to light the way, and get a bit closer to a less messed-up truth.

Wildlife has always kind of been about a similar kind of thinking. We’re all in this together, so lets get movin’, always forward, never back, don’t dwell on the past, let’s build on our mistakes, try new things and stop pretending you know everything cause you don’t and that’s annoying. AND That’s pretty much what our entire first record was about! Strike Hard, Young Diamond (our first record) was a study of letting go, an observation of youth, what it means to be young, reckless, naïve and all of the incredible things that can come out of happy accidents. We used themes of adventure, exploration and vitality to explain jumping into the dark, deep water not knowing or caring where you came up for air.

I guess it only makes sense that our new record is about realization. It probably asks more questions than gives answers. The one answer it does give is really nothing new, but it has a lot of meaning to me either way, which is why we call it “…On The Heart”. We view it as an essay, a love letter, a tribute to the heart itself. Everything it does for us, to us, how it helps us and hurts us. How it heals us, holds us up and pushes us forward. It keeps us going, keeps us living and gives us a place to be free. Don’t stop believin’? Follow your dreams? Sure. But it seems to me that the heart is too complex to be summed up in a catchphrase. I think it would be fair to say that this new album was created to try to make a little sense of that complex, mysterious, vital muscle. Maybe with a couple catchphrases thrown in for good measure.

Check out Echo and the Bunnymen and Wildlife at Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo!

In previous years, Riot Fest and their partners at Union Events have cultivated lineups that have featured reunions and rare appearances—and 2015 is no exception. Bands such as Drive Like Jehu and Thrice will be making reunion appearances at Riot Fest & Expo. Moreover, rare appearances by Alexisonfire, Echo & The Bunnymen and Motörhead give 2015’s edition its unique feel.

Outside of the announced bands, this year’s festival will also include a circus tent featuring the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, a miniature golf course, a video arcade hall, and a wide array of food and drink options.

Link to purchase Riot Fest & Expo Toronto tickets:



Live Nation Presents: ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall (August 12, 2014)

Live Nation Presents:  ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall (August 12, 2014)

Live Nation Presents: ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall (August 12, 2014)

Before ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ took the stage at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall on August 12, 2014 the opening sequence of ‘Shadowplay’ from Joy Division washed over the silver haired crowd.  The swooning was so intense that when Ian McCulloch and crew finally took the stage there was a collective gasp.  Our teenage musical first loves were finally here.

To say that Ian and the band were tight would be an understatement.  They were in Olympic form.  They were a long way from Liverpool but every ounce of their stride oozed Northern England.  Swagger, too cool for school mixed with English aloofness was just what this polite Canadian audience needed.

I remember being introduced to ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ as a 13 year old in a suburban neighbourhood of Toronto that was defiantly hair metal.  My classmates were decidedly worshippers of Duran Duran and Madonna.  I was an outsider and probably knew way more beyond my musical years for my own good.  ‘Echo and The Bunnymen’ swooped in just at the right time.

It all started for me when John Hughes popped ‘Bring on the Dancing Horses’ onto my PINK “Pretty In Pink Soundtrack” cassette.   I was not only romanced by the band’s name but the new wave post punk sound that was coming out of my mini Sony boom box.  My musical taste was forming and I was alright about it.

McCulloch the consummate rock star puffed away at his e-cigarettes and sucked back many a hot drink in between songs.  There has been a lot said about how his voice isn’t the same due to excesses – but rock stars always come through and like true athletes never let us down when the pressure is on.

Even as someone who just celebrated her 41st birthday ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ were eager to remind me of my roots and who I have grown into.  ‘Rescue’, ‘Do It Clean’, ‘The Cutter’ and ‘The Killing Moon’ were offered up like finally curated tracks worthy of meditation but also to shake your tail feather to that may have only been done in the privacy of your parent’s basement or bedroom 20 some years ago.

McCulloch encouraged the crowd to further sing-along to the tunes.  At one point saying (in an unrecognizable scouser accent) that ‘People used to tell us to shut up.  These songs are yours – sing it!’.  Gosh, I wish was given that permission at 13.

The spookiness of ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘People Are Strange’ from the Lost Boys soundtrack took us into a darker direction away from the psychedelia of the moment.  It was moving and also a lovely reminder of how much depth ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ have and how not many bands since have been able to emulate their distinctive style.

If you are extra keen, the boys have new music!  Echo & the Bunnymen’s most recent album, entitled Meteorites, was released on 26 May 2014 in the UK, and on 3 June 2014 in the US via 429 Records.   Pick it up when you have a moment.

I crossed a massive trailblazer off my bucket last night.  When will you?