1. ITV Report

Classically Smiths gigs pulled day after announcement


A string of classical concerts celebrating the music of legendary Manchester band The Smiths have been pulled just a day after they were announced - as two out of the three former Smiths stars said to be reuniting for the project are no longer involved.

Credit: ITV

The Classically Smiths shows had been launched to the media on Monday morning with original Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, bassist Andy Rourke and second guitarist Craig Gannon all said to be joining forces with the Manchester Camerata for the concerts this summer.

Credit: MEN Syndication

Quotes from all three were provided in a press release, with all saying how excited they were to take part in the shows, which would “reimagine” a host of classic Smiths tracks with the orchestra at shows, opening at the 02 Apollo in Manchester in June.

But on Monday night Andy denied he had ever signed up to the shows and that the quotes were “fabricated” - and now drummer Mike Joyce has confirmed he is pulling out.

Andy said:

At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name, and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team.

– Andy Rourke

Mike posted a statement to his social media accounts on Tuesday afternoon saying:

It is with much regret that I have to announce that I will not be taking part in the show(s) Classically Smiths. I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon.

Unfortunately it became apparent very late that Andy would not be taking part. I agreed with Andy that I would take part in the press conference and inform people that he would not be taking part. Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference I was informed I would not be able to say this.

I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy’s participation in the venture at any point during all tv, radio and print interviews.

After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision.

I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve.

– Mike Joyce

The Smiths formed in Manchester in 1982 with frontman Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce - Craig Gannon joined in 1986 and became known as the "fifth member" of the band.

Their music recorded during their five years together made them one of the most influential bands of modern times.

Organisers Bad Productions have confirmed that the shows will no longer be taking place.