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Considering the feats they are capable of, Echo & the Bunnymen must have been magicians of some sort in another life. Their latest trick is staying together long enough to mesmerize their dedicated Japanese fans at gigs celebrating their 25th birthday.

Spearheading the wave of postpunk bands in early ’80s Liverpool, they managed to pull off that rare feat of achieving commercial success without sacrificing their underground kudos. Sonically, the Bunnymen’s sound hinged on the tense interplay of Will Sergeant’s searing, imaginative guitar work and Pete de Freitas’ skillful drumming. Add to this the intelligent, not to say evocative, lyrics urgently delivered by singer Ian McCulloch and it’s easy to see why the Bunnymen struck a chord. Their first album, 1980’s “Crocodiles,” injected a shot of their trademark moody atmospherics into the U.K.’s Top 20, paving the way for the commercial and artistic peaks of 1983’s “Porcupine” and 1984’s “Ocean Rain.”

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