Why did the partial Smiths reunion fall apart?

Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 10:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 10:03 am

Seminal Manchester rock band The Smiths have disappointed legions of fans after a promise of a partial reunion fell through soon after it was promised.

Living up to the title of their Strangeways hit I Started Something I Couldn't Finish, former members Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon pulled the plug on the self proclaimed "epic production" falling a misunderstanding over Rourke's involvement.

'False statements'

The Classically Smiths event was set to tour the UK with gigs in London, Edinburgh and hometown Manchester pencilled in.

The three former members were set to provide classic The Smiths hits with a new sound - collaborations with Manchester Camerate Orchestra were planned as part of the event.

However, in a statement, Rourke denied involvement in the tour.

The bassist called the announcements "false statements", before insisting, "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.”

I am heartbroken by the unexpected passing of Dolores. I’ve enjoyed the years spent together and privileged to call her a close friend. It was a bonus to work with her and witness her breathtaking & unique talent, I will miss her terribly. My condolences to her family/loved ones. pic.twitter.com/DBRhznK1Ug

— Andy Rourke (@AndyRourkeMusic) January 16, 2018

Speaking to Rolling Stone Rourke bemoaned the timing of the tour announcement.

"I am deeply saddened that during the week of the death of my dear friend Dolores O'Riordan, that false statements are made on my behalf."

'A difficult decision'

Following Rourke's disassociation with the tour, Joyce announced that he too was stepping away from the project via a Facebook post.

“I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with Andy Rourke and Craig Gannon,” he revealed. “Unfortunately it became apparent very late that Andy would not be taking part.

"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.”

'Statement from Mike Joyce with reference to Classically Smiths . 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 the production company...

— Mike Joyce (@mikejoycedrums) January 23, 2018

With the show's all but cancelled, Gannon confirmed that the promised Classically Smiths tour would now be pulled.

“It’s with regret that the Classically Smiths shows will no longer be going ahead." he said. “Five months ago myself, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke all agreed to be a part of this project.

"Unfortunately Andy pulled out at the very last minute... the last thing we wanted was to mislead anyone. This is disappointing as we were all really excited about putting on these shows."

Fans react

Fans of the This Charming Man performers were quick to voice their disappointment following the news.

One Twitter user commented on the absurdly short timescale in which events unfolded.

I’ve got records that last longer than the Classically Smiths reunion/thing.

— Marco Giannini (@mrmarcogiannini) January 24, 2018

Another user waited in anticipation to hear outspoken lead singer Morrissey's, who wasn't involved in the show to voice his thoughts.

Looking forward to reading Morrissey’s comments on this Classically Smiths fiasco 😊

— Dalliance68 (@Dalliance68) January 23, 2018

Posting on forum morrissey-solo.com fan Joe Frady described the events as "one more muddy footnote in The Smiths 'legacy'."

An anonymous poster on the fan forum speculated on the fall out following the events.

"The concept of the gigs was quite good imo [in my opinion] but what an absolute mess....! Not sure the three of them will be on speaking terms after this!!!"

While user ninetimesfined pointed the finger at a "dodgy promoter" for the shambolic events.

"This is clearly the work of a dodgy promoter going on what-ifs rather than fact."