Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's A Shame About Ian....

Considering they are one of my favourite bands of all time I'm not really sure why I have never done a post on Echo And The Bunnymen before. Sadly this was not the post I intended but is a review of sorts of the "show" they performed last night at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

Ocean Rain is,for me, one of the greatest albums made by any band and last night was a one off opportunity to see and hear it performed in its entirety accompanied with strings.

From the off it was fairly obvious to everyone attending that Ian McCulloch had enjoyed a bevvy or three before coming onstage. The show was split into two parts with the first being a 40 minute set comprising mostly classic Bunnymen tunes such as Rescue, Dancing Horses and a terrific version of Never Stop. So far so good. During this part there was a lot of banter between McCulloch and the crowd, most of it lighthearted and in no way shape or form did it affect the performance.

I have no idea what occurred during the interval before the band re-appeared to "perform" Ocean Rain. McCulloch's mood had changed completely and instead of banter we had him challenging members of the crowd to come on the stage for a fight and generally being abusive to sections of the crowd. His ramblings between songs were largely incoherent, some lyrics were forgotten and most tracks were not finished. Sadly it got worse with McCulloch storming off stage seemingly due to him not liking the crowd's singing. There was quite a lot of abuse being thrown at him from the crowd also but most of it was understandable in the circumstances.

After about 20 minute the band re-appeared with only the pinnacle of the album still to play. Instead of the band playing Ocean Rain, however, they played The Killing Moon again at McCulloch's request. Then the most bizarre twist of the evening occurred when he walked over to where Will Sergeant was playing guitar and after watching him for a few seconds threw his mic down whilst berating Sergeant and then exiting stage left leaving the rest of the band and the six piece string section not knowing whether he would return. As there was no sign of that the show was effectively over.

In the end we did not get to hear the mighty Ocean Rain but sadder than that was the condition of McCulloch himself who was in no fit state to perform for whatever reason.

I have over the years seen Echo and The Bunnymen live more than any other band and, for me, they are still one of the best bands that Britain has ever produced and one of the best live acts I have seen but after last night I'm not sure how much longer we will see them perform for.

Ocean Rain was proclaimed by McCulloch upon it's release as "the greatest album ever made" and although that may not be entirely accurate it is certainly up there with other great albums and deserves it's place at the top table.

I just hope that Ian McCulloch can sort himself out and that we still get the chance to see Echo And The Bunnymen play live like only they can.


  1. Very sad for all of you who forked out the money to go and see what you thought would be a spectacle but not of the sort you ended up witnessing. I am a great believer in letting the band know if they are shit, after allyou have paid your money in good faith the least the band or in this case the singer can do is perform. It is their jobs after all.

    Hope it does not taint your memories of the album.

    McCulloch seems to be taking over MES mantle of complete cunt these days, as Smith has been on his best behaviour all year, I just hope he keeps it up for Edinburgh in Nov.

  2. Ocean Rain is still one of the best albums that I own and my opinion of the album has certainly not been tainted by last night. Although the show was ruined by McCulloch's antics I feel more sympathy for him than anger. It's not the first time that I have seen him forget lyrics but last night was on a different scale with the abuse he was dishing out to band, crowd and crew. Very sad to see but hopefully he can turn things around.

  3. Sad and a shame. He always had the potential to blow it. Don't feel so bad now about not getting tickets for MCR show.

  4. It was very sad to witness, but I'm sure he can sort this out. Hopefully it's not the end of the road for The Bunnymen.

  5. god, thats really quite horrible to hear - it is one of my favourite lps too - thought he was fairy sorted out now.

  6. Hopefully it was just a one off as the following night's show in York was apparently a blinder. Just our luck I suppose.