Gig review: Ian McCulloch (Acoustic) – Coventry Kasbah

Mark Gunton went along to see Ian McCulloch – here’s his review.

After many years of gigging with Echo and the Bunnymen, lead singer Ian McCulloch has embarked on an acoustic tour in support of the re- issue of his first three solo albums and the release of his fourth, ‘Pro Patria Mori’, via the Pledgemusic website.

Assisted by Ian Broudie (Lightning Seeds), Mac seemed relaxed and at ease in the small surroundings of the Coventry Kasbah. With one leg on a chair, guitar resting on his raised thigh, a troubadour in shades, he began the set with ‘Rescue’, the Bunnymen’s second single. Ian Broudie, who produced the track in 1980, played the opening riff, with Mac accompanying him, his vocals much clearer without a full band with him.

He followed with other ‘Crocodiles’ album era tracks, ‘Do It Clean’, ‘Stars Are Stars’, ‘Monkeys’ and ‘Villiers Terrace’. During the set Mac attached a guitar strap so that he could play more freely and look less like an indie folk singer.

I had high hopes of hearing some of Mac’s solo songs, but was far from disappointed to hear many Bunnymen classics, some I hadn’t heard in years. ‘Rust’, ‘The Disease’, ‘All My Colours’, ‘Bedbugs And Ballyhoo’, ‘Seven Seas’, and ‘Bring On The Dancing Horses’ were interspersed with chat and banter, including a request for those at the back of the venue to stop talking. Why does that always happen at any acoustic gig I attend? A pet hate, I must admit. The hour long set was rounded off with Velvet Underground’s ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, ‘The Cutter’, Nothing Lasts Forever’ and ‘The Killing Moon’.

The small crowd of about 150, who had sung along with some of the more well known songs, hoping for an encore, waited 5 minutes before the venue’s background music indicated that there would not be one. Such a shame, but I suspect that it being a Saturday and the start of the University academic year, the venue was hosting a Fresher’s night.

Let’s hope that Ian McCulloch continues this solo tour without such time restrictions and perhaps some solo and less well known material in the future.