“This is fun, isn’t it?” mused Echo & the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch during his recent acoustic set at SPIN’s NYC office for staffers and invited friends. “I just wish we knew more songs!”
But McCulloch’s stripped down performance of four career-spanning Echo cuts absolutely sufficed — especially since his band won’t be touring the U.S. anytime soon.
McCulloch and band manager Pete Byrne, filling in on guitar, teamed to perform two cuts from 2009’s The Fountain, an excellent return to form for a band celebrating more than 30 years in the business. Without the studio version’s soaring electric guitars, “Think I Need It Too” morphed into a lilting, heartfelt come-on, while the album’s title track maintained its stately grace.
Then the duo reached back into the archives, slipping into 1980’s “Rescue,” the first Bunnymen single to reach the U.K. charts, before treating us to their most famous track: “The Killing Moon.” While McCulloch urged the small crowd to “sing along like a string quartet in the chorus,” we preferred to just watch and listen to one of the ’80s grandest songs, presented in its most elemental form.
Watch McCulloch’s set below, and tell us your favorite moment in the comments section.