The Smiths' Mike Joyce to Perform Orchestral Concerts of Classic Songs

"With the addition of an orchestra, it will sound as totally unique as it will immense," Joyce says of Classically Smiths shows

Former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce will perform the band's music live alongside an orchestra. Credit: Will Ireland/Getty Images

UPDATE: A rep for former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke tells Rolling Stone that an erroneous press release announcing Rourke's involvement with the show was distributed. Rourke is not, and has never been, involved in the production. Reps for Bad Productions, the production company behind the show, did not immediately respond to requests for clarification and comment. This story has been updated to reflect the new information.

Former Smiths drummer Mike Joyce and rhythm guitarist and temporary "Fifth Smith" Craig Gannon will reunite this summer to perform the band's music live alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra.

Dubbed "Classically Smiths," Joyce and Gannon will stage concerts in Manchester, London and Edinburgh in June before launching a full-scale U.K. tour later in the year, the Manchester Evening News reports. Still-unannounced guest vocalists will fill in for Morrissey at the concerts.

Former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke appeared on an initial press release surrounding the shows, but his rep has since denied that the musician is involved.

"At no point in time did Andy Rourke agree to participate or otherwise license or authorize the use of his name, likeness or any personal quotes in any manner in connection with this Classically Smiths project," he said in a statement. "The parties involved were advised of this on multiple occasions prior to them going to press. A press conference and press release were scheduled and serviced to the media without Andy Rourke’s or his team’s knowledge or approval. Any quotes by Andy Rourke that were attributed in any press materials in regards to the Classically Smiths project were not provided, authorized or otherwise approved by him or his representatives."

"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," Rourke added. "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."

"At no point in time did Andy Rourke agree to participate or otherwise license or authorize the use of his name, likeness or any personal quotes in any manner in connection with this Classically Smiths project. The parties involved were advised of this on multiple occasions prior to them going to press. A press conference and press release were scheduled and serviced to the media without Andy Rourke’s or his team’s knowledge or approval. Any quotes by Andy Rourke that were attributed in any press materials in regards to the Classically Smiths project were not provided, authorized or otherwise approved by him or his representatives."

"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. 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." Andy Rourke

The shows promise to be an "epic production" with the Smiths' music delivered "as you never heard it before" thanks to the involvement of the Manchester Camerate Orchestra, who were previously involved in a similar pop music collaboration dedicated to the rave music of the Hacienda era.

"I'm massively excited to be playing with Andy and Craig again, but introducing a full orchestra into the mix takes this to another level," Joyce said of the Classically Smiths shows in a statement.

"There'll be Smiths classics in the set, but I can’t wait to play the songs that have never been heard live before. With the addition of an orchestra, it will sound as totally unique as it will immense. I’m really looking forward to fans being able to hear the songs in a way they've never been heard before, either on record or live. On the stage, or out front, this is going to be quite an experience for us all."

Gannon spent less than year as a member of the Smiths in 1986, taking over as bassist when Andy Rourke was briefly fired and then sliding over to rhythm guitar for Smiths songs like "Ask" and "Panic." Gannon also recorded with Morrissey on the singer's "Last of the Famous International Playboys" and "Interesting Drug" singles.