Bunnymen fans hoping to be over the moon

Echo And The Bunnymen perform on the Word Arena Stage at The Lattitude Festival at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 16, 2011. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Echo And The Bunnymen perform on the Word Arena Stage at The Lattitude Festival at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 16, 2011. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

THERE’LL be a full moon at the weekend, but Echo and the Bunnymen fans will be happy to make do with a Killing Moon at Newcastle’s O2 Academy this Friday.

The Liverpool band’s frontman, Ian McCulloch, will be at the Westgate Road venue as part of a solo acoustic tour to plug his new album, Pro Patria Mori, but those going along will no doubt be treated to a helping of hits from the Bunnymen’s back catalogue too.

Pro Patria Mori, released in the summer, isn’t available in the shops, but, unlike those kitsch plates featuring paintings of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and sad-looking puppies advertised on the back pages of TV supplements, that’s not because it’s rubbish.

According to McCulloch, though admittedly he’s probably more than a bit biased and, besides that, he’s never been shy about blowing his own trumpet, his fourth solo CD is touched by the same magic that turned the Bunnymen classics The Killing Moon and Nothing Lasts Forever into top 10 hits and contains some of the greatest songs ever written.

The 53-year-old would appear as untroubled by low self-esteem issues as ever, but, as a back catalogue of consistently high quality stretching back to 1980 bears out, his is a trumpet worth blowing.

Pro Patria Mori isn’t a record company release but has, rather, been funded by almost 1,300 pledges by fans to buy it. That means you won’t find it in the HMV at Silverlink or see reviews for it anywhere, but as none of his previous albums has made it any higher than his debut album Candleland’s No 18 placing back in 1989, it probably wasn’t likely to have much appeal beyond his fanbase anyway.

All three of his previous solo albums, the others being 1992’s Mysterio and 2003’s Slideling, have been re-released by Edsel, with extra tracks, this month, by the way, so fans will be able to judge for themselves how well the new stuff compares to what went before it.

McCulloch will also have over 30 years’ worth of Bunnymen classics such as The Cutter and Seven Seas to choose from too, so he won’t be short of the makings of a show to remember.

Friday’s concert, along with another to follow at Stockton the night after, is being promoted by SSD Concerts, run by North Shields man Steve Davis, a part-time radiographer at North Tyneside General Hospital and not to be confused with the snooker player of the same name.

For tickets, priced £16.50, go to www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk

To get hold of McCulloch’s new album, priced from £8, go to www.pledgemusic.com/projects/ianmcculloch

DARIN HUTSON