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Classically Smiths shows called off as Joyce and Gannon pull out too

By | Published on Wednesday 24 January 2018

Classically Smiths

Well, this has been quite the rollercoaster. On Monday morning it was announced that three former members of the Smiths were reuniting for a new orchestral live show. By the following afternoon the whole thing had collapsed. There will now be no show at all.

Following hints over the weekend that Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce and short-lived guitarist Craig Gannon were involved in a new project, on Monday morning it was announced that the three of them would be performing Smiths songs live, with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra filling in for Morrissey and Johnny Marr.

Three live dates were confirmed, with the promise of a UK tour to follow. Despite the lack of two fairly key members of the group, people seemed to be excited about the offering. People like those nostalgic orchestral shows, don’t they? The Manchester Camerata Orchestra did that Hacienda one too.

However, after the show was announced, Andy Rourke issued a statement claiming that he had no involvement in the show and had never signed up to take part in it at all. This despite being quoted in the press release saying how very excited about it all he was.

Now Joyce and Gannon have both pulled out too, resulting in the shows being cancelled. Both seem to have understood Rourke to be taking part until very close to the big announcement. They were then told not to mention their former bandmate at a press conference.

“I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon”, said Joyce in a statement. “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”, Joyce continued, “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”.

He continued: “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”.

He signed off by saying that he hoped the shows were a success, despite his decision to pull out. But when Gannon issued his own statement a short time later, he announced that the shows were all off.

Gannon disputed Rourke’s claim that he had never agreed to be involved in the project, saying: “Five months ago myself, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke all agreed to be a part of this project as the core three which was why it all went ahead. Unfortunately Andy pulled out at the very last minute”.

He too confirmed that he and Joyce had been told not to mention Rourke’s lack of involvement at the press conference, saying that “the last thing we wanted was to mislead anyone”.

In conclusion, he said: “This is disappointing as we were all really excited about putting on these shows. I for one have been working solidly on this project for the last five months and it’s a shame that it’s fallen apart in this way”.

Joel Perry of the company behind the Classically Smiths shows, Bad Productions, later confirmed via email that all the shows had been cancelled.



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