GENE are to play a benefit gig for the Hillsborough Families Campaign at the Liverpool Lomax on October 26, the first date of a short UK club tour by the band. Singer Martin Rossiter said they were doing the gig to keep the cause in the public eye.
The gig follows controversy caused by the Manic Street Preachers’ album track ‘SYMM’, which attacks those in charge of policing the 1989 Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool match at the Hillsborough ground, where 96 people died in a crush. Martin explained: “It’s important to us as football fans, but also to play a little part in keeping the momentum of the campaign going. The families (of the victims) still need more than they’ve got.” The tour will preview material from a new, as-yet untitled album, which was recorded and mixed in just seven weeks at Rockfield Studios in Wales.
Martin continued: “We simply all sat in a room and played and became a band again. I’m absolutely pleased with the album. It sounds really young, as if we’ve just started shaving!” He said the first single from the LP was “90 per cent certain” to be ‘As Good As It Gets’, released in January. The album, Gene’s third, will follow early 1999. It was produced by Hugh Jones, who has worked with The Bluetones and Dodgy.
After Liverpool, the band play Glasgow Garage (October 27), Newcastle Riverside (for Radio 1, 28), Manchester Hop & Grape (29), Leicester Princess Charlotte (31), Stoke Stage (November 1), Leeds Cockpit (2), Gloucester Guildhall (4), Plymouth Cooperage (5) and London WC2 Astoria (6). Tickets are available now via the NME 24-hour ticketline on 0870 1212 500. Calls are charged at national standard rate.
The band are also asking fans to vote for the songs they most want as encores on the tour. Anyone already on the Gene mailing list is also asked to write to the band, as the company who previously ran the fanbase went into liquidation recently and some information has been lost. The address to write to in either case is PO Box 6074, London SW6 3WG or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org