Sunday, 7 November 2010

280 ELECTRAFIXION, MARION, Reverb, Gloucester Guildhall Arts Centre, Saturday 19 November 1994

For this eagerly awaited "Return Of The Mac", I was on my own, having a good run (3/4 hour) to Gloucester, and parking up in St. Michael's Car Park while some louts were smashing up the nearby phone boxes! Needless to say, I made a check on the car during the evening!

Reverb, a local (Cheltenham) band, came on at 1/4 to 9 and kicked off with their best number, the slightly-delic guitar noise of the aptly-named "Swirl". Their ensuing set was a very enjoyable romp through their record collection, taking in shades of the Wedding Present's choppy guitar attack, Husker Du's popcore and The Jam's modish push'n'shove delivery along the way. Good stuff! Better yet was to come, however, as tour support Marion burst onto the stage, impressing and exciting both myself and most of the packed crowd of Indie kids and old Bunnyfans with an edgy, insistent and urgent set, not unlike the early Wonderstuff crossed with Sweet Jesus! Jamie, their young pretty boy vocalist, can certainly hold a tune, and, furthermore, their songs have a definite driving, sinister "edge" which usually denotes a great band. Their debut single "Sleep", tremendous tonight, is out in January; definitely one to hunt down!

The witching hour arrived; 10.30, and dry ice enveloped the darkened stage, heralding the entrance of Electrafixion, former Echo And the Bunnymen vocalist Ian McCulloch's new band, incorporating fellow former Bunnyman Will Sergeant, plus a couple of spritely young pups. Their set was excellent; typical Bunnymen imagery and characteristics such as strong strident vocals, brain hugging tunes and a fair amount of light and shade style song construction, only this time married to Sugar-esque loud, fierce and driving guitar work. Mac, older, wiser and less fluffy of hair, was no less a star; shooting out the lights with his fingers, asking, "any Scousers here?" in self-mocking tone, and singing with a surprising passion that blew away the years, and underlined their vitality. The accompanying light show (and a more baffling black and white newsreel of The Grand National, filmed backwards and upside down!) merely augmented the overall impression. A night to remember; make no mistake, Mac is back!

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