FROM being able to hear a pin drop during songs to having a good old chuckle in between, Ian McCulloch is bringing a very different kind of show to Bury.

While Liverpool rockers Echo & the Bunnymen deliver electric performances, frontman Ian will appear at The Met for a rare solo performance, playing stripped down versions of the group's classic tracks, as well as his own solo songs.

All tickets for the gig on Saturday, March 14, have been snapped up as fans look forward to hearing hits including The Cutter, Seven Seas, Bring on the Dancing Horses, The Killing Moon and Nothing Lasts Forever.

But what they can also expect is a big dollop of banter, with more than a sprinkling of Scouse humour.

Looking forward to his first appearance at the venue, the 55-year-old said: "I'm doing quite a few dates in March.

"Every time I do a solo show, although it's the same songs, they are all so different.

"When I'm talking to the audience, it goes off on different tangents.

"I don't get the chance with the Bunnymen to really say anything.

"The solo stuff is a bit more intimate, it's a bit more revealing.

"It's not prepared at all and that's kind of what I'm like as a person.

"I've said in the past, making people laugh is my favourite thing — more than making people sing along.

"It's good to have things where you can make people laugh but hopefully not when I'm singing.

"It's so much a part of my personality.

"Especially being a Scouser, we're the best at taking the mickey out of someone."

Formed in 1978, Echo and The Bunnymen grew to become one of the UK's most popular indie rock bands, with the original line-up of Ian, guitarist Will Sergeant and bass player Les Pattinson.

Now Ian and Will continue to keep the band's moody and atmospheric music alive with a host of gigs including King George's Hall, Blackburn, on May 22, and Manchester Academy on May 23.

Ian said: "We are starting to write songs for the next album which we want to record later this year.

"In the past, there would be tensions with me and Will.

"I think we have just decided to not take issue with everything and understand other people's point of view.

"It's so much better when there is no tension in the air."

Ian's initial ambition was to become a footballer before discovering his passion for music and cites psychedelic rock star David Bowie as an early influence, saying hearing his voice "changed my life".

Thanks to his success with the Bunnymen, Ian has travelled the world and is a particular fan of touring the US.

He said: "When the dates come through for an American tour — San Francisco, LA, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago; and Canada — Toronto and Vancouver — they just sound fantastic.

"They don't have a place with a rubbish name.

"I really like South America, there's always a connection there with us and the fans."

But while he has enjoyed visits to exotic and far-flung places, home is where the heart is.

He said: "I can sit on my own for two weeks and not see anybody but I would feel like I was in Liverpool.

"It affects the way you think."

As well as continuing to entertain fans with the Bunnymen, Ian also has high hopes for another of his passions — Liverpool FC.

He said: "I want us to come top four, win the FA Cup and win the league next year."

Tickets for An Evening with Ian McCulloch have sold out. To join the waiting list for ticket returns, call The Met on 0161 761 2216.