Looking Evergreen, almost (left to right): Sergeant, McCulloch, Pattinson
Echo gets stronger
Hairspray manufacturers are said to be rubbing their hands in glee at the news of Echo And The Bunnymen's reformation. Words: Neil Davenport.
There’s a tingle of excitement at being here — Brian‘s Diner in Liverpool. It’s the cafe Echo And The Bunnymen once called their local and later immortalised via the tour-da-‘Pool jaunt of ‘Crystal Day‘ in 84.
That was only one of a series of spectacular events and happenings that made the Bunnymen seem special and unforgettable. Way back in the early-to- mid 80s. the band were the pinnacle of overcoat cool. They looked great and sounded better than any guitar band imaginable. After a messy demise and nine years apart. the original line-up are back together once more. reclaiming lost glories and making grand claims for the future.
‘We don‘t see this as a reformation but a continuation.‘ says drawling. beshaded frontman Ian McCulloch. ‘We wanna pick up were we left off after ()(‘r'art Ruin.’
McCulloch. straggly-haired guitarist Will Sergeant and portly bassist Les Pattinson are in a quietly defiant mood. wrny making out that even asking ‘why' is the most stupid of questions to field. Like. why ever not'.’ ‘When we played as Iilectrafixion.‘ says Will. ‘all the crowd wanted was old Bunnymen songs. It seemed like a logical thing to do. Most journalists are missing the point as to why we’re back together.
‘One of the reasons behind Electrafixion was to see if me and Will could sit on a tour bus together. We
’One of the reasons behind Electrafixion was to see if me and Will could sit on a tour bus together. We found out we could, so why not play as The Bunnymen?‘ Ian McCulloch
found out we could. so why not play as The Bunnymen‘.” adds McCulloch.
Electrafixion. while by no means had. were just another lukewarm idea in a long list of post- Bunnymen let-downs. There were McCulloch‘s wilderness years as a solo crooner and Sergeant and Pattinson‘s ungainly attempt at retaining The Bunnymen’s good name with the Mac-less Rl’l‘t’I'/)(’I'(lll()ll album. Reforming the band should ease the pain at such wasted years and serve to underline their glory days.
As ever. McCulloch is not exactly shy in stating the Bunnymen‘s case: ‘We were always the coolest band in the 8()s.‘ he says. ‘Back then there was us and the likes of Nik Kershaw and Bono. We showed that you didn‘t have to make grand gestures with video screens in huge stadiums. I bet Bono thinks he's cutting it now. People will think he's now closer to us. but he‘s still a divvy. Iispecially in that recent video.‘
fir. quite. But. yes it‘s true. The Bunnymen scaled Olympian heights with such impeccable good taste. From blocked-up. taut psychedelia (1980‘s debut (“rm‘mli/m) they progressed via brittle. spectral winterscapes (Will's Heaven Up Hr't't' and I 983‘s
I’ni'r‘llptltt’) to the lush.
orchestrated romanticism of
()(‘t’U/l Ruin (I984). The Bunnymen approached every album with an individual sound. but without sacrificing their car for a memorable. soaring tune. Only the stodgy. eponymous fifth album from I987 was below par.
‘We lost quality control with that last album.’ says Mc('.‘ulloch. ‘I wanted to make another album as good as ()cr'an Ruin. before moving into a new area.‘
And that album is lz‘i'mgn'r'n. a fine. consolidating record that does indeed recall the swoonsome ()(‘r'an Ruin. coupled with the grace of McC‘uIIoch‘s solo debut. ('uiirlleluiul. ‘I‘m proud of this album.‘ he adds. "I‘here's some great songs on there. Something like “Nothing Lasts Forever" is one of the best things we‘ve written‘.
Absolutely. Return of the Mac.
Evergreen is released on London on Mon 7 Jul.
preview MUSIC Bigmouth
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah . . .
’Dexedrines and vegetables, that’s my way forward. That’s health to me.’
Bobby ’Scream’ Gillespie reveals his new F-ed plan diet, the system that made him into the hot and hunky bundle of lurve that he is today.
'You’ve gotta understand, man. I’m such a traditionalist! I’m computer illiterate; I think microwave ovens are computers! If you can’t put your foot on it and rock, it ain’t real!’
Jon Bon lovi shudders at the thought of being introduced to the concept of loops and samples by Steve Lironi, who produced his new album, Destination Anywhere.
’Marilyn Manson’s just a fucking twelve-year-old crap metal tramp that never grew out of it. Wouldn't have ’im. And his make-up’s terrible.’
Lauren of Kenickie infamy fails to fall for Marilyn ’s charm, despite his winning ways with the old mascara.
’We’ve got our own genre — Punk Paste. It looks like Swarfega, tastes like hummus, smells like napalm and it's very toxic.’
The L0 Fidelity Allstars remain one step ahead of being pigeon-holed by pesky music hacks.
’And in LA you get all that hippy trippy bollocks: "Aw man, your music makes me feel like this." Fuck off! If one more person labels me a hippy, I’ll bite them hard.’ Alex Paterson of The Orb suffers from a case of mistaken identity.
'It just takes time to comprehend it among the chaos, like. A glass can be full and one little drop makes it go over, makes the rush of recognition.’
John Power goes off on one again, in Morocco, unsurprising/y.
Do you think that if this band stopped taking drugs you'd turn into straight-edge political activists?
’That's a good thing all that, but you’ve seen these guys. The only straight edge they know is a fuckin' razorblade.’
Bobby ’pure as the driven’ Gillespie puts a Loaded journalist back on the right line.
2/ Jun—~10 Jul I997 THE LIST 41