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Grandaddy

Smiths duo reunite

Manchester charity gig presents all-star line-up
29 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."
Steven Chapman, charity organiser
Marr said on stage:

"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."

Bill Overton

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Comments so far

TOBY COTTER BARNSLEY
THATS A GIG I WOULD HAVE LOVED MORE SO 20 YEAR AGO.MY GOD THATS SCARY!SHAME MOZZA DESPISES MIKE JOYCE(AND WHO CAN BLAME HIM)ALAS THE FAB FOUR SHALL REMAIN A GRAINY MEMORY ON A LONG SINCE THROWN AWAY SALFORDS LADS CLUB POSTER.

Gary, aberdeen
more effort required!!! All of the Smiths back together, a Stone roses reformation and the resurrection of Ian Curtis mighta been better! Also, wheres The Fall?

Claire, Newcastle upon Tyne
This gig was fantastic - having been too young to have seen Joy Division, and with my mother believing I was too young to go and see the Smiths, I heard songs played live on Saturday that I never thought I would. Every performer was at the top of his or her game, and it was one of those one offs that I'm still pinching myself about, because I was there. No egos on stage, great collaborations, fantastic night.

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