Happy 55th birthday Ian McCulloch! Your present from me is that I have listened to two of your tracks today - Market Town, from new album Meteorites, and classic track The Killing Moon, from Ocean Rain. They do say it’s the thought that counts, you know.

And the very good new is that I really like them both. Obviously I already knew I liked The Killing Moon, having recorded no fewer than 6 (six!) listens before today, but Market Town has an easy groove that puts to rest the concerns I usually have about seminal bands that are still releasing new material after so many years together. (I’m probably thinking of The Cure when I say that, and without wishing to drop spoilers (or pun-based clues) in here, they might be appearing later in the month). I just sometimes feel that if a band’s been around this long, where do I start? If I start with the old stuff, I sometimes worry I could be listening to something fresh and new instead, and if I start with the new album, if it’s not up with their very best I could be listening to something better, and I’m only making it less likely I’ll go back into whatever’s considered to be the band’s prime. And then you have the continuity problem: few bands exist through time with a consistent line-up - for Echo & The Bunnymen this is borne out by the current line-up, with Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sargeant its only current permanent members.


On the strength of the songs I already know, however, I’d have to be foolish or forgetful not to delve into the Echo & The Bunnymen back catalogue, and explore the rest of Meteorites when it is released towards the end of this month (or possibly sooner, since, confusingly, it seems to be available to me on Spotify already). As an idiot with occasional memory lapses, that’s probably exactly what I’ll do, then. Sorry Ian.