As a teenager growing up in the suburbs, I was always on the lookout for something to take my mind away from the mundane suburban lifestyle that befits Australia. With music filling a large void in my life there were always plenty of bands who covered over the gaps in quality music that commercial radio stations neglected as they persisted in playing the same boring music, day after day and night after night.
The biggest problem with commercial radio networks is that they get stuck in time warps and never deviate. You still hear the same boring shite today as you did 20 years ago allowing for a few new editions.
One band that caught my attention around the age of 16 or so were Echo & The Bunnymen. They were a Merseyside act who had a distinct sound that set them apart from the mainstream. The first record of theirs I purchased was “Ocean Rain”, an album recorded in 1984 with a unique sound that still, to this day, has a resolute sound and style unlike any other before or since its release.
Fast forward a few years and i’ve got their entire back catalogue housed in my collection and they sit comfortably in my top 10 of adored bands and artists. So when they announce a tour to Australia there was never going to be any doubt about getting myself along to their Brisbane show.
I was working on and off as a D.J at the host venue for the Bunnymen and as such, the venue management allowed me into the bands soundcheck on the afternoon of the gig. Ian McCollough was nowhere to be seen however, Will Sergeant was and after the soundcheck was completed the guitarist came over to sign my records and have a chat for a while about music and football.
The gig rolled around a few hours later and I was perched up front, just to the left hand side of the stage. Macca was only a few yards away from me during the entire show (he barely moves an inch) and I was swooning over a musical idol with a smile on my nugget as wide as Sydney heads! It’s hard to describe how I feel about musicians I love and adore. They just have this knack of taking control of my thoughts and making me feel incredibly warm and fuzzy when I listen to their music, read their books or watch them act. When I watch them perform in front of me on stage I become mesmerized in their presence. It’s kind of like being on a good trip, stoned off your head and smacked out on “H” all in one when I watch my idols sing and play in front of me. Or so I would imagine as i’m a good boy and don’t touch drugs!
After the show, I was allowed back stage and managed a few minutes with Ian McCollough. One on one! We waxed lyrical over footy and Bowie. We are both massive fans of Bowie and Liverpool FC so the conversation didn’t venture far off those two topics. He was a bit whacked out none the less, but still cool as fuck! He hardly smiles either. Every photo i’ve ever seen of him, he just stares into space. In the coolest way possible of course.
Of course i’ve since seen the Bunnymen a number of times in England but that one night in little old Brisbane will remain firmly near and dear to my heart for many years to come, perhaps forever?