Astley made an unexpected appearance with Blossoms at their gig at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum last week (September 13), with the two acts joining forces to cover Morrissey and co’s ‘Panic’ and ‘This Charming Man’.
It was subsequently announced that two special live shows – billed as ‘The Songs Of The Smiths’ – will see Astley and Blossoms celebrate the iconic band next month in Manchester and London (October 8 and 9 respectively).
Speaking to the Daily Star‘s Wired column (via Contact Music), the ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ singer explained: “The Smiths were everything. They just did something that was completely different and it turned me on in a major way.
“And what is amazing is that Blossoms do exactly the same and they weren’t even born. That just goes to show The Smiths could have passed on but their music would still be here.”
He added: “Blossoms are great. They’re a really, really, really good live band.”
As for the importance of The Smiths to him, Astley said: “It meant an awful lot to me as a kid that there was a band that came from down the road that did a thing with the same instruments other bands have been using for 20, 30 years like the Stones or The Beatles – but [The Smiths] did something different, they added a twist to it, and the lyrics had a twist to it.”
Meanwhile, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has shared his thoughts on the unexpected Astley/Blossoms team-up – describing the covers project as “funny and horrible at the same time”.
“[…] I met The Blossoms a few weeks ago and they elected to not mention it,” he added. “Nice.”
Morrissey’s official website has also shared a blog post on the upcoming concerts, discussing a “futile attempt” to separate the controversial singer as a person from the music he wrote with The Smiths.