Rick Astley on The Smiths’ covers band with Blossoms: “I don’t want to tread on that history”

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“I’m just paying tribute to some amazing music that still means so much to a generation that I can be their father”

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Rick Astley has spoken with Blossom about his upcoming The Smiths cover show, admitting that he “doesn’t want to walk through history” of the legendary Manchester band.

  • Read more: Blossom and Rick Astley play Smith? All collaborations must be this random
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Lancashire’s 80s pop icon and Stockport band made headlines last week when they played surprise covers of The Smiths’ “Panic” and “This Charming Man” at Blossom’s headline show at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum. appeared on stage together. , before announcing two special one-off tribute shows for Manchester Indie Legends in London and Manchester.

Shortly after, Smith’s former guitarist Johnny Marr gave his verdict on the stunt – describing their collaboration as “weird and terrifying at the same time”, before adding that Blossom would talk about his gigs when they met. I failed to tell and he “had no problem” with Cover or Astley. However, he also added that there was a “backstory” behind his complaint.

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Rick Astley and Blossom the Smiths performing the songs of Kentish Town Forum, 13.9.21 (Picture: Peter Neill / Press)

Now Astley, who decorated the cover of the 2013 re-release of Morrissey’s 2013 re-release of The Last of the Famous International Playboys, was taken backstage with the frontman in a photo of himself top of the Pops In 1989, revealed how the cover show ideas came together.

talking to GuardianAstley said he first met Blossom when he played alongside Noel Gallagher and the Courtenays at the reopening of the Manchester Arena after the 2017 terror attack. appearing on pubcast podcast. From there, their shared love for Smith emerged.

“My older brother Mike introduced me to Smith,” Astley said. “We were just in Manchester, saw [bass player] Andy Rourke with his girlfriend and I’m ashamed to say they followed him, because it was a real, living man from Manchester – a stone’s throw from us – who made the music we loved. We shouldn’t have followed him around the Arendelle center… Christ knows what would have happened if we had seen Johnny Marr or Morrissey…

“So I confess: One day, I just want to do a gig where I sing my favorite Smith songs, walk off the stage and go: ‘Checked that box. Thank you so much.’ A few weeks later, he sent a message: ‘We can be the other part of that equation’.

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On the subject of the pressure of the show himself, Astley continued: “I understand that Smith means a lot to people, so I don’t want to walk on that history. I know the words of every Smith song. Sing them in the shower, but it’s another thing in front of 2,500 people.

“Also, the arrangements don’t play: intro, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus. They’re unorthodox. I’ll have the words on the monitor. I’ll have a karaoke machine if I have to.”

Later in the interview, Astley allowed Morrissey to cover his viral hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, as well as adding: “I am paying tribute to some wonderful music that still means so much to a generation.” maintains that I could have been their father.”

Blossom and Rick Astley
Blossom and Rick Astley. credit: Lewis Evans

Earlier this week, Astley gave another interview where he compared Blossom to Smith.

“Smith was everything,” he said. “He just did something that was completely different and it turned me on in a major way.

“The amazing thing is that blossoms do exactly that and they weren’t even born. It just goes to show that Smith could have moved on but his music would still be here. “

Morrissey’s website recently shared an opinion on the matter, with one fan writing: “Maybe Rick Astley will do well in the upcoming show, and maybe he’ll be successful and enjoyed by fans – but make no mistake, No other artist can bring to the table everything Morrissey can do. (Let’s face it, there’s a reason why artists like Astley still cover and perform songs written by Morrissey today).

Astley is no stranger to such surprising rock n’ roll antics, having agreed to join Foo Fighters Dave Grohl on stage at the club Granthshala To run through some Foos classics and renditions of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ at the Moth Club in London in August 2019 before doing so at the Reading Festival.

Blossom and Rick Astley will perform Smith’s songs at Manchester’s Albert Hall on 8 October and London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town on 9 October. Blossom and Johnny Marr will also share a bill this weekend when they support the Courtenays at Old Trafford in Manchester.

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