Smiths duo reunite
Manchester charity gig presents all-star line-up29 Jan 06 - Smiths stars Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke have played on stage together for the first time in almost 20 years.
The former bandmates were one of the highlights at the benefit show in aid of Manchester cancer hospital Christies, put together by Rourke.
Johnnny Marr's band The Healers played the Smiths' classic There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and were then joined by bassist Rourke for How Soon Is Now.
"It was like Manchester's Let It Be."Marr said on stage:
Steven Chapman, charity organiser
"I first played with this guy at school in 1978 and we last played together in 1987. We've done some good things and some not so good things, but it's been too long really."
The Manchester versus Cancer gig at the MEN Arena also featured New Order performing Joy Division songs, including Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart.
Other fellow Mancunians also in the line-up were The Stone Roses' Mani, Badly Drawn Boy, Bez, Elbow, Doves, Utah Saints, 808 State, Mr Scruff, Stephen Fretwell and Nine Black Alps.
Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke have not played together in public since the four-piece band - led by Morrissey - split acrimoniously in the late eighties. Drummer Mike Joyce went to court in 1991 to win £1m damages for lost royalties from the songwriting partners (Morrissey and Marr) while Andy Rourke settled out of court.
The event ended with a grande finale with most musicians on stage for the Happy Mondays' Wrote For Luck.
Organiser Steven Chapman said, "It was like Manchester's Let It Be."
Andy Rourke had been inspired to arrange the fundraiser after finding out that his manager's sister has cancer. Talking before the gig he said:
"All the musicians in Manchester know each other anyway, so we are just going to get them all to intermingle and jam and do cover versions."