Twenty, no thirty (30?!) years ago, Ian McCulloch's melancholy timbre neatly juxtaposed Echo and the Bunnymen's jaunty wrapping to present a haunting über-cool New Wave tsunami that looked like it would sweep all in its way.
Not for the Bunnymen the skipping synths of Depeche Mode or the gloomy Cheshire skies of Joy Division. No, somewhere in-between lay a new soundscape of thoroughbred post-punk pop surveyed by McCulloch and his majestic vocal. Tracks like The Cutter, Seven Seas, Bring on the Dancing Horses and The Killing Moon were the sound of mid-eighties England, perhaps informed by the troubles their hometown of Liverpool experienced at that time.
Three decades later and the kids are still listening to The Killing Moon, Liverpool is an altogether brighter, lighter place and Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant have ridden the storms within Echo and the Bunnymen to emerge wiser and, musically (and probably materially) richer.
While the band continues to work and release new material, McCulloch splits his time between the Bunnymen and other projects, including his solo career. His first solo outing, released during one of the band's darker times, was 1989's Candleland - a Top 20 album. His fourth, Pro Patria Mori ('to die for one's country', from Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est) is set for release later this month and McCulloch is following the record with a smattering of live dates in May.
Ian McCulloch is playing two hometown shows at the newly restored Epstein Theatre in Liverpool on 10th and 11th May, followed a Union Chapel gig in Islington on Saturday 12th May 2012.
We will have tickest available when they go on sale at 9am on Friday 9th May, priced £22.50 for London and £22 for the Liverpool dates.