Who knew this would work so well? (Picture: Avalon/Twitter/Getty)
Marvel reckoned that Avengers: Infinity War was the most ambitious crossover event in history, but we now give you – Rick Astley on stage with Blossoms covering The Smiths.
The internet has declared Rick Astley – he of Never Gonna Give You Up and Rickrolling fame – ‘infinitely cooler’ than Morrissey and petitioned for him to become the full-time frontman of The Smiths after he covered This Charming Man this week.
Indie band Blossoms kicked off their three nights at the O2 Kentish Town Forum on Monday night by inviting 80s legend Rick on stage to perform a selection of Smiths covers.
After doing a shot of Jägermeister (honestly, we just wanna party with Rick), the 55-year-old began to sing the 1984 indie disco classic This Charming Man.
As videos of the performance made their way online, people were stunned to learn that the mix of Rick, Blossoms and The Smiths was unironically brilliant, and expressed their love for Rick Astley.
Rufus Hound tweeted: ‘2021. Where Britain is run by proven liars, cheats and thieves and where Rick Astley is now objectively far, far cooler than Morrissey’, while Sooz Kempner: ‘ERMMMMMMMM right so this is f***ing GREAT.’
David Baddiel wrote: ‘What a brilliant tribute band this turned out to be’, while another person joked: ‘Great news everyone, we found a replacement for Morrissey.’
Another person tweeted: ‘Petition for us all to ignore Morrissey from now on and just pretend that Rick Astley fronted The Smiths’, while one tweet read: ‘If at least three promoters aren’t this morning offering Johnny Marr MILLIONS for a tour featuring the three non-Morrissey members of The Smiths fronted by Rick Astley, there’s something wrong with this industry.’
The crossover was such a success that Blossoms and Rick Astley are now staging two special concerts, titled The Songs of The Smiths, in Manchester’s Albert Hall on October 8 and the O2 Forum Kentish Town on October 9.
Blossoms said in a statement: ‘The Smiths have always meant so much to Blossoms, with even their rainiest songs complete with wry humour and soul-reaching musicianship and melody. Their poppier moments are pure, joyful, danceable poetry.
Rick is cooler than we ever gave him credit for (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
‘Imagine backing Rick Astley to play the songs of The Smiths? We’ve had wilder dreams, but not many. We’ll barely be able to believe it until it happens, but the dates are set, we’re studying every note, line and beat to say “thank you” to The Smiths alongside Rick and do both of them proud.’
Rick added: ‘From the moment The Smiths emerged in 1983 I was hooked and it’s as a fan, with deep respect as a musician for Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce, that I’ll be joining the endlessly enthusiastic and talented Blossoms on stage to sing their songs.
‘It’s no secret that it’s been an ambition of mine to turn an idea that first sounded crazy making more sense as Blossoms and I talked about it and then rehearsed it, into a reality. These shows will be nights that I’ll never forget.’
While it may seem like the stuff of a particular wild dream, this isn’t actually so out of the blue, as Rick mentioned back in 2016 that he’d love to do a Smiths cover show at some point.
The Together Forever singer told Rolling Stone: ‘Age has made me think I have to stop giving a s*** what anybody else thinks and do exactly what I want to do, so one day I’m going to do a gig in Manchester where I’m going to sing [all] Smiths songs because I absolutely love the Smiths. I’ll probably get lynched for it, but I just want to do it. Why not?’
We all need to be a bit more Rick.
While The Smiths remain beloved of indie fans the world over, Morrissey is less adored in recent years, due to his support of the far-right party For Britain.
In the past two years alone, the 62-year-old has claimed that halal meat is ‘evil’, that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan ‘can’t speak properly’, that Harvey Weinstein’s victims were ‘simply disappointed’, and that ‘everyone ultimately prefers their own race’.