BROWN BOY IN THE RING

Ian Brown is to play five secret gigs around the UK in the run-up to his first solo festival appearances this summer. He also releases his third single, ‘Can’t See Me’, on June 1. Details of the secret gigs, scheduled for June 19-24 , are to be revealed by Radio 1 just before they take place, on either Steve Lamacq’s Evening Session or Jo Whiley’s afternoon show. The gigs will be at venues of between 300 and 700 capacity.

Explaining the reasoning behind the secret gigs, Brown said: “I decided to play small clubs to give people a chance to experience the music in a hot, crowded situation. I am looking forward to seeing a few smiling faces and to help get everybody moving. I feel really excited about live shows. My band are really tight and powerful. We’re capable of throwing some great parties!” Support on all dates comes from Manchester DJ Madface who DJed on the British leg of the last Stone Roses world tour.

Brown plays Glastonbury Festival on June 26, T In The Park in the NME tent on July 12 and on the NME stages at V98 on August 22 and 23 at Leeds and Chelmsford. A full UK tour is being planned for the autumn. The singer added: “I didn’t get a chance to play Glastonbury with the Roses. It’s something I’m really looking forward to. I’d also like to reach the people who’ve never heard of me.”

Brown, who made his live debut at London’s Blue Note on March 31 in aid of The Big Issue, will be fronting a four-piece band including former Stone Roses guitarist Aziz Ibrahim. The other members are former Trans-Global Underground and Fun^Da^Mental percussionist Inder Matharu, former Eek-A-Mouse and Maxi Priest drummer Simon Moore and Sylvan Richardson Jr, formerly of Simply Red, on bass. As to how he’d picked his band, Ian Brown explained: “Aziz Ibrahim and drummer Simon Moore appear on ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’, and Inder and Sylvan were chosen for their musical skills.”

Meanwhile, ‘Can’t See Me’, which was co-written by Ian’s former Stone Roses bandmate Mani, will be the third single to be lifted form ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’. The original version comes backed by two. CD-ROM versions feature the videos for the first two singles, ‘My Star’ and ‘Corpses’, plus extra tracks ‘Come Again Part 2’ and ‘Under The Paving Stone: The Beach (Gabriel’s 13th Dream Remix)’. The remix of ‘Under The Paving Stone…’, the introduction to the album, is actually an unsolicited version sent to Ian by a fan.

Tickets for Ian Brown’s appearances at T In The Park and V98 are available on the NME 24-hour Ticketline on 0870 1212 500. All calls are charged at standard national rate.