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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 January 2006, 14:48 GMT
Smiths stars unite for cancer gig
Johnny Marr (l) and Andy Rourke
Johnny Marr (l) and Andy Rourke performed two Smiths song
Two former members of iconic 1980s band The Smiths performed at a benefit concert in aid of Manchester cancer hospital Christies on Saturday.

The Manchester versus Cancer gig at the MEN Arena saw Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke reunited on stage for the first time in almost 20 years.

Rourke organised the gig after hearing his manager's sister had cancer.

The duo played two Smiths' classics - How Soon Is Now and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.

New Order rolled back the years performing Joy Division songs.

The Stone Roses' Mani, and Badly Drawn Boy were also performing.

Other artists included fellow Mancunians Bez, Elbow, Doves, Mr Scruff, Stephen Fretwell and Nine Black Alps.

Johnny Marr (l) and Andy Rourke -  Great Northern Productions/Nat Curtis
Johnny Marr (l) and Andy Rourke lead a host of musicians
Johnny Marr and Andy Rourke have not played together in public since the four-piece band - led by singer Morrissey - split acrimoniously in 1987.

The event ended with a grande finale with most musicians on stage for the Happy Mondays Wrote For Luck.

"It was like Manchester's Let It Be," said organiser Steven Chapman.

Andy Rourke said before the gig: "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."

The Smiths made four studio albums - including The Queen is Dead and Meat is Murder - and had three top ten hits in the 1980s before they split.

After the group disbanded Morrissey embarked on a solo career. In 2004 he released his first album for seven years, You are the Quarry.

Rourke has played in many bands since The Smiths, some alongside The Smiths drummer Mike Joyce.




SEE ALSO:
Smiths duo reunite at charity gig
04 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Smiths hang in National Gallery
13 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Morrissey: Why the fuss?
17 May 04 |  Magazine
Smiths song 'best for depression'
09 Mar 04 |  Entertainment


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