Echo & The Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch will strike back out on his own next year with the release of both a new live album and his first solo record in nearly a decade — projects that he’ll support with a series of U.S. dates that so far include a single concert in San Francisco and two nights in Chicago in March.
MuCulloch hasn’t formally announced a title or release date, but Echo & The Bunnymen’s official Facebook page has been posting updates about the recording and promises full details soon. Today, the band announced that McCulloch will perform March 20 in San Francisco and March 27 and 28 in Chicago with the promise that “we’ll announce more shows in the New Year.”
The singer also appeared on BBC’s Radio Merseyside today to promote the Bunnymen’s hometown gigs at Liverpool’s O2 Academy on Friday and Saturday. He said the new solo album — the first since 2003’s Slideling and his fourth overall — will be out in March. It’s not clear if the live album will be packaged with that or released separately.
As for how the new record will sound, Mac told host Billy Butler that one song, in particular, that’s now almost finished sounds “like Hunky Dory Bowie looking for Brian Wilson’s surfboard on the moon.” The singer then added, “It’s big in places and then it’s stripped down in others. It’s a direction I’ve been wanting to go with my solo stuff for a long time.”
Tickets for the San Francisco show go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, while the Chicago gigs go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday. Those dates happen to fall right after South By Southwest, and while Mac hasn’t been announced as performing at the festival, it’s a pretty good bet he might be added.
UPDATE 12/16/11: McCulloch this morning announced details of his new solo album Pro Patria Mori, which will be released via Pledge Music (available for download March 5) along with a live set recorded at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral last January. Fans can buy the releases in digital, CD and vinyl formats in a wide variety of packages that include signed items, handwritten lyric sheets, and, at the top end, an autographed guitar. Full details here.
Ian McCulloch tour dates:
March 20: Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco, CA
March 27: Shuba’s, Chicago, IL
March 28: Shuba’s, Chicago, IL
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- Free MP3s: Echo & The Bunnymen, ‘Pride’ and ‘Show of Strength’ — off ‘Do It Clean’ live CD
- Ian McCulloch is 52 today; watch full Echo & The Bunnymen show from 1984
- Echo & The Bunnymen to perform 1984’s ‘Ocean Rain’ on U.K. tour in September
- Echo & The Bunnymen unveil North American ‘Crocodiles,’ ‘Heaven Up Here’ dates
- Echo & The Bunnymen to play ‘Crocodiles,’ ‘Heaven Up Here’ on U.S. tour in May
- Vintage Video: Echo & The Bunnymen and Billy Bragg cover ‘Run Run Run’
- Video: Ian McCulloch plays ‘The Killing Moon’ for ‘A Take Away Show’