The Smiths to reform (sort of) for series of gigs

The Smiths have announced a series of concerts for the first time in 30 years, but the anticipated comeback is two players short.

Neither frontman Morrissey nor lead guitarist Johnny Marr will feature in the reunion, which is titled Classically Smiths and, as the name suggests, will not feature any vocals.

Bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce and guitarist Craig Gannon will come together with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra to perform hits such as There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and How Soon Is Now?

"I'm really proud of the band's work, and being able to present those songs again in this particular production format promises to be a real gift for audiences everywhere," Rourke said.

Joyce issued a statement saying he is "massively excited" to be reuniting with Rourke and Gannon and take the songs "to another level".

"There'll be Smiths classics in the set, but I can't wait to play the songs that have never been heard live before. With the addition of an orchestra, it will sound as totally unique as it will immense," he said.

"When using an orchestra with a band, there are so many different approaches you can take," Gannon added.

"But rather than us bending something out of shape or forcing a completely different musical angle on it, we're doing this with the greatest respect and admiration for the songs we all love."

The Manchester band famously split in the late 80s due to friction between Morrissey and Marr.

Two years after Marr left, Joyce and Rourke sued him and Morrissey over royalties.

The concerts are set for June and July, with limited dates in Manchester, London and Edinburgh.