AFTER CONCERT INTERVIEW
The list of prepared questions - which I couldn't see anyway down to lack of light - went out of the window as we got into various bizarre conversations about favourite cartoon characters and where I had bought my glasses, which Ian said he liked. More fond of the dark than the light - evident by the fact that he wears sunglasses all the time - we were allowed to speak to Ian, who hasn't changed much in appearance over the years, in a darkened Cervantes Theatre dressing room. Prompted by Pedro, who's been one of Echo & The Bunnymen's biggest fans since he was 13 years old, I tried to ask questions about their music. But Ian didn't really want to delve into the subject of the band's 80s success other than berating their contemporaries of the time. He was keener to talk about the present and the new album 'The Fountain' saying that the song, which he had forgotten the words to during the concert (which I reckon went unnoticed by the audience) because of his alcohol intake, 'Whatever you want' was "incredible".
So on to the smoking while performing thing. When I asked if he always did that Ian replied in his authentic Liverpool drawl: "Yeah. Even when it's banned. They told me not to ... but I thought 'Hang on!'" In his opinion: "They should ban farting in concerts especially when Will's in the band." He was talking about the other original member of the current line up, Will Sergeant.
And back to the 80s ... In Ian's opinion: "I think there are a lot of new fans and I think a lot of the ones from the 80s are hopefully doing something else or in jail." Of course I agreed and told him that most of my male friends (some of whom might be locked up now I suppose) back then wanted to be him or dressed like him. According to Ian "It's even worse now I can't walk down Seventh Avenue in Liverpool without someone going hey ....". Ah right, Seventh Avenue where?
Let's try and talk about the music again. "Okay but not too much ... but we were better than New Order or some other crap," I was told. Ian did seem to remember the post punk period very affectionately though: "There was a lot going on at the time ... I think we are the best group of all time" he informed me. I know. I was there.
Marbella or Malaga?
Right, maybe the list of questions will work. We've heard you like Malaga and Marbella in particular? I got told sarcastically that he has a yacht there and he was staying in the five star Guadalpín Hotel which shouldn't really be a five star cause the bars of soap are so small and difficult to open. I was able to make sense of the fact: "I like Malaga more. I'm urbanised. I love being in a place where no one can find me." The truth is that the reason for the only concert in Spain this time around is more down to Ian having "a bit of a break" and the promoters, his "amigas" (he has some school boy Spanish which he threw in now and again), organising it, rather than it being some special draw that brings him back here.
So that about sums it up. Just before we left Ian told us: "You've caught me at my finest tonight interview wise." Well I for one had fun and hope that I can rise to the challenge the next time Echo & The Bunnymen come back to mix with the Marbella jet set and sing 'The Cutter' or 'The Killing Moon' for the umpteenth time in front of a bunch of loyal fans.