Ian McCulloch - Holy Ghosts
Let’s get the easy bit out of the way first: the first disc of Holy Ghosts is fantastic. Orchestral reworkings of some of Echo & The Bunnymen’s greatest songs? We'll have some of that. It was never likely to be a misfire and it isn’t. From the lush violin intro on ‘Bring On the Dancing Horses’ to the fragile ending of 'Lips Like Sugar' there is nary a weak point on a live album that is a worthy addition to any Bunnymen fan's collection.
But the problems start with the second disc, Pro Patria Mori, Ian McCulloch’s fan-funded album from 2012, which is dreary, lightweight and a mere shadow of his former work. It is likely to find itself gathering dust pretty quickly. The real issue, however, is that fans who forked out for the album last year could be rightly miffed that it is now available as a cheap reissue with a different live album to the one that was released as part of the Pro Patria Mori campaign. This means that the fans need to fork out again for something they already own. In totality, the whole thing just feels a bit too like the money-grabbing antics of the major labels - and is a very disappointing move from such a lauded artist.