Former Smiths members cancel reunion gigs just days after announcement

Just days after it was announced, a string of classical concerts celebrating the music of legendary Manchester band The Smiths have been cancelled – after both Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce said they wanted nothing to do with them.

It was previously reported that former Smiths drummer Joyce, bassist Rourke and second guitarist Craig Gannon were to debut ‘Classically Smiths’, joined by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra for shows in London, Manchester and Edinburgh before a full UK tour.

Quotes from all three were provided in a press release, with each of them saying how excited they were to take part in a series of live dates, which included a visit to the Usher Hall this summer.

But Rourke has denied he had ever signed up for the gigs and that the quotes were “fabricated” – and now Joyce has confirmed he is pulling out.

Organisers Bad Productions have now confirmed that the shows have been cancelled.

Rourke 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.”

Joyce posted a statement to his social media accounts 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.”

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