BILL THRILL!

The original member sings and even gets behind the drumkit as the band complete their North American tour...

REM founding member and original drummer BILL BERRY has rejoined the band onstage.

Berry, who quit the band in 1997, had come to see his old band on the penultimate show of their North American tour on Friday night (October 9) at the show in Raleigh, North Carolina’s Alltell Pavilion.

During the encore, he gave his old friends a hand in the encore by singing backing vocals on their first ever single, ‘Radio Free Europe’ followed by a quick stint on the drums for unreleased oldie ‘Permanent Vacation’.

Berry has been onstage REM once before since his departure – in August 1999 in Atlanta the band got him on for a wave, but this was the first time he had performed live with the band. Since his departure, he has become a trained sushi chef, as revealed on NME.COM earlier this year.

REM completed their tour at the Philips Arena in Atlanta on Saturday (October 11). Their set included a ten-song encore packed with old favourites including ‘Life And How To Live It’, ‘Sitting Still’ and ‘Wolves, Lower’.

The band visit the UK this week to promote their forthcoming best of compilation ‘In Time’, released on October 27. The jaunt includes an show for invited guests and competition winners at the tiny Bush Hall in west London on Thursday (October 18).