Live review: Ian McCulloch – the Record Collector edit

The July 2017 edition of Record Collector magazine – issue #468 – has hit the the news stands and apps, and features a truncated version of a controversial show I caught in Milton Keynes two months ago. The full shebang – Shambles At The Stables – can be read here

Ian McCulloch, Wavendon Stables 20/4/17

View: seated, circle

On a short solo acoustic tour, the Echo & The Bunnymen frontman sauntered on and gave repeated directions to his sound man, “Less reverb, right?”, apparently more interested in talking than singing.

Fuelled by the liquid refreshment, between-song and mid-song, we got a glimpse into his approach to the art of songwriting and amusing insights to life.

But Mac went down the mouthy route so often he halted songs after a verse, a line or even a word, in order to impart a barely audible anecdote or slating.

On the rare occasion that he sat through a whole song, it was intriguing to hear how well Bunnymen anthems like The Killing Moon and Seven Seas worked in acoustic form, shorn of the grandiosity, allowing their simple beauty to shine through.

Sadly, much of the gig was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Still, nothing lasts forever.

Steve Pafford