A painting of me

Echo and the Bunnymen @ The Carlu

   25 November 2005, the wee hours

The Carlu is on the top floor of one of the older buildings in Toronto. It has a very rich history; after several years of neglect, the venue was restored in 2003 and used to host events ever since. It’s a strange, but cool, place to have a concert. I went there last night to see Echo and the Bunnymen. The band was big in the 80s, but for whatever reason never got really big; a true indie band I suppose. A strange mishmash of people filled the venue. Heather, Ben, and I were probably some of the younger people in the crowd. We bought some 7 dollar Stellas and waited for the band to play. The opening act was reminiscent of Guns and Roses and Radiohead stuck together. They played a short set. Echo and the Bunnymen didn’t take the stage till 11:00, which was quite late considering this was a wednesday night show; I would have expected with an older crowd out they would have started things earlier. I suppose that doesn’t matter, they were quite good live. They look and sound very much like a hip 80s band. You may recall hearing the song The Killing Moon in the movie Donnie Darko. They played that song, which was from 1984, and what I would imagine was a mix of old and new songs. I liked their stuff, and will need to track down some compilations or something. They’re touring in support of a new album called Siberia. If you have a chance to see them, I think you should. They are definitely a cool band.

Echo and the Bunnymen at the Carlu.



  1. I’m writing this comment as a 25 year fan of Echo’s music, and music dating from that time period. I saw the band play last night at The House Of Blues in Hollwood, California, it’s my second time seeing them. I saw them one other time in Santa Barbara, on their “Grey Album” tour. I don’t enjoy saying this, however It’s an honest, and I feel qualified opinion. The band sounded healthy, however it was a different story for Ian McCulloch. His voice was in terrible shape. Although rough, he started out their set reasonably well. Within a song or two, his voice quickly degenerated into a series or gravelly, choked sounds that seemed to be pushing Ian’s ability to reach notes, even though the required range is set in the lower scales. He smoked 5 cigaretes during the set, often inhaling smoke and singing with smoke filled lungs. He appeared somewhat careless of the performance, and even forgot a verse of “Stormy Weather” in the early part of the song. My opinion is that Ian should begin taking better care of himself and his voice. If he doesn’t care for himself, than he should do it for the band, and it’s one of a kind contribution to the music community. He naturally has a beautiful voice, however if he continues on this path, His singing days will be limited.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. He lit a smoke several times during the set here in Toronto, though I don’t recall his voice being the worse for it. I thought they sounded pretty good in Toronto. Mind you, I’m not familiar with most of their music, so if they messed up a song but covered well enough I wouldn’t notice.

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