A true indie icon at the Assembly

Ian McCulloch
Ian McCulloch

The word ‘iconic’ may be overused these days, but it can be employed with some justification to describe Ian McCulloch.

He’s the frontman of Echo & The Bunnymen and was one of the leading lights of British indie-rock as it blossomed in the 1980s.

His music, attitude, attire and hairstyles have influenced countless bands since – and he’s coming to the Assembly in Leamington on May 7 for what promises to be an unusually intimate acoustic gig.

Formed in Liverpool in 1978, Echo & the Bunnymen grew to become one of the UK’s most popular indie-rock bands responsible for hit albums and singles such as The Cutter, Seven Seas, Bring on the Dancing Horses and The Killing Moon.

Their melodramatic stylings owed a debt to The Doors, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and David Bowie, while the band enjoyed a resurgence in the wake of Britpop in the late 1990s, with Liam Gallagher of Oasis singing backing vocals on their 1997 top 10 hit Nothing Lasts Forever.

And McCulloch continues to inspire many of today’s biggest acts, with Arcade Fire inviting him onstage to perform with them at Earl’s Court last year as they prepared to headline Glastonbury,

At the height of the Bunnymen’s popularity, McCulloch earned the nickname “Mac the Mouth” due to a penchant for witty, blunt criticism of artists he deemed inferior, while proclaiming the Bunnymen’s superiority. He has described The Killing Moon as “perfect” and possessing “the best title of a song of all time”, and told an interviewer: “How can you not sell the first three Bunnymen albums? It’s like, how can you not sell the Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch?”

The show, for over-18s only, will feature stripped down versions of classic Bunnymen tracks as well as songs from his own solo catalogue, before a seated audience. Tickets cost £19.50. Call 0871 220 0260.