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We're happy Bunnies with Mac and co back in town

Taking a look at the gig listings for the city over the weekend, one could be forgiven for thinking that some disruption of the time/space continuum had occurred and sent us spinning back 30 years.

Not only did Dexys play on Thursday but you can catch the Specials in the Olympia on Monday and Tuesday, watch Adam Ant in all his dandy highwayman pomp at Vicar Street on Sunday and even shake a leg to Bad Manners, should you be so inclined. Hell, a decent record from David Bowie and it'd be just like 1983.

charisma

One of the veteran acts which has never lost even the slightest trace of its cantankerous charisma is also in town – Echo & the Bunnymen, headlining the Button Factory as part of the Meteor Camden Crawl.

Some 31 years after they first appeared in McGonagles in a fog of dry ice on a stage covered with camouflage netting to promote the release of their second album, Heaven Up Here, the Bunnymen are still as attractive a live proposition as ever.

The core songwriting team of Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant has created a great body of psychedelia-splashed pop, from the mystery and menace of early songs like Villiers Terrace and the stunning All That Jazz, to the Eastern-sounding The Cutter and through to what many, not least the band themselves, regard as their masterpiece, the epic 1984 album Ocean Rain.

cheekbones

Rather grandly advertised as 'the greatest album ever made' on its release, it's not quite that (my own Bunnymen preference is for the aforementioned Heaven Up Here) but does contain The Killing Moon, Silver and Seven Seas – magnificent songs all. Back then McCulloch featured regularly not only on the cover of the NME (when it meant something) but, due to a combination of a great haircut and fine cheekbones, also turned up as a poster boy in Smash Hits.

The cheekbones may be somewhat less pronounced these days, but Mac's deadly croon is as effective as ever and, true to form, he still hates U2 with a vengeance. Good man, Mac, welcome back.

>George Byrne


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