The Smiths

Bittersweet symphony: The Smiths reunite! (Sort of…)

A new live show this summer will see three former members of The Smiths reunite to perform the band’s songs on stage for the first time in over three decades – but neither Morrissey nor Johnny Marr will be there.

The band’s drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke, plus Craig Gannon who served as the band’s temporary second guitarist during 1986, will be joined by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra for three shows in Manchester, London and Edinburgh this summer. These “Classically Smiths” shows are planned as the prelude to a full tour later in the year and are expected to feature classic hits such as Hand In Glove, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and The Boy With The Thorn In His Side reinterpreted in similar style to the Camerata’s recent Haçienda Classical concerts. Morrissey’s place will be taken by guest vocalists to be announced at a later date.

In an interview with the Manchester Evening News, Joyce said: “I’m massively excited to be playing with Andy and Craig again, but introducing a full orchestra into the mix takes this to another level. There’ll be Smiths classics in the set, but I can’t wait to play the songs that have never been heard live before. With the addition of an orchestra, it will sound as totally unique as it will immense. I’m really looking forward to fans being able to hear the songs in a way they’ve never been heard before, either on record or live.”

Rourke commented: “To have been there the first time round and seen it first hand, and to still be such a big fan of The Smiths today, I am both thrilled and excited to be involved in Classically Smiths,” while Gannon described the show as a “refreshing and exciting production, not only for us as musicians, but ultimately for the people coming to see and hear it.”

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The three shows confirmed so far are at Manchester O2 Apollo (28 June), Brixton O2 Academy (29 June) and Edinburgh Usher Hall (2 July). Tickets go on sale this Friday (26 January).