Festival review: Bingley Music Live

Echo and the Bunnymen
Echo and the Bunnymen
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The music of Merseyside filled the Yorkshire air at the first day of Bingley Music Live with post punk heroes Echo & the Bunnymen headlining.

The sun was still shining as another Liverpool band The Lightning Seeds played all their hits, including the crowd pleasing and Match of the Day favourite The Life of Riley.

Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds

Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds

Singer Ian Broudie was relaxed and chatted between songs, perhaps the pre-gig kick-about with a beach ball helped. And the line-up included Abi Harding from The Zutons on sax and keyboard.

The sun had finally gone and the temperature dropped as the dry-ice began to cover the stage, it could only mean Echo & the Bunnymen.

Hello Yorkshire Ian ‘Mac’ McCulloch began and the band dived into their first song Going Up.

Mac has always been a bit of an enigma and their gigs can depend on his mood, fortunately he seemed on good form as he asked everyone to welcome the legend and their former producer, Ian Broudie back to the stage to perform Do It Clean.

Travis

Travis

As they waited, the crowd started chanting Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, much to his amusement and replying how they only shouted the county’s name as their football teams were so rubbish.

The band started in the late 70s, but only two original members remain in Mac and guitarist Will Sergeant, and with no chemistry between them on stage they instead let their music do the talking which still shines through.

Mac wore his usual shades and before playing Bedbugs and Ballyhoo he asked the audience to sing the chorus and he will sing the verses.

I’m not sure how the fans took this, but eventually join in.

Mac left the band in 1987 to pursue a solo career, but reformed in 1997 with Will and Les Pattinson – their drummer Pete de Freitas was killed in a motorbike crash in 1989.

And since reforming they have released new material to great success.

After The Killing Moon with a wonderful pretty guitar rift on the chorus, a stranger next to me told me this was the first single she ever bought, was a big fan but had never seen them live until this night. She was thrilled to be there.

They finished with the favourite The Cutter which sent the crowd wild and madness ensued in the mosh pit.

Security dragged people out and after the band left the stage, first aiders came to help a guy who had been knocked unconscious.

He was awake by the time the band came back for a final encore with Lips Like Sugar.

And then they were gone far too early.

The Bunnymen have now been recognised as the band which other groups loved and were influenced by, giving them the respect they deserved.

Mac always said he had the best band in the world and tonight I suspect many agreed.

Scottish rock band Travis have wowed the crowds as they closed Bingley Music Live for 2016 on Sunday.

The group bounced onto the stage and to everyone’s delight began with one of their old singles Sing and everyone in the crowd was dancing, even the masses who had brought their camping seats are up.

They roll through their songs with ease and singer Fran Healy chats away telling stories and even climbing into the crowd at one point to sing on a guy’s shoulders.

Before playing Do It Again he dedicated the song to his mum, while quoting a Philip Larkin poem.

And you know the band are ‘rock’ when guitarist Andy Dunlop climbs 10 feet up the scaffolding at the side of the stage to play his guitar, much to the surprise of the rest and Fran adding the guitarist actually suffers from vertigo.

The anthems continue with Turn and instead of them all leaving the stage at the end of the set, Fran stays on for an acoustic version of the beautiful Flowers in the Window.

The rest of the band returned for the encore with their comeback single Magnificent Time – where halfway through Fran painstakingly goes through the dance routine the crowd can join in with through the final chorus.

And they close with their most famous single and before they begin the singer thinks the jinx is finally over as they perform in front of a dry audience with Why Does It Always Rain On Me.

Fran Healy is an amazing reluctant star, he’s funny, charming, tragic and above all loveable.

It was a great end to what has been a fantastic festival in Bingley.

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