Two Ex-Smiths Sniffing For Record Deal

Mike Joyce, Andy Rourke head stateside to showcase new band, Specter.

Drummer Mike Joyce and bassist Andy Rourke, one half of quintessential U.K. gloom troupe the Smiths, will make the Stateside debut of their new band, Specter, on Saturday in New York, according to a group spokesperson.

Five East Coast dates have been lined up to give the band, which takes its name from frontman Jason Specter and is rounded out by guitarist Will Carol, a chance to shop around their demo in hopes of securing a U.S. record deal. The band has previously played a handful of shows around their hometown of Manchester, England.

In what can either be viewed as a slap in the face for Joyce and Rourke or a blessed coming for diehard Smiths fans, Specter’s Sunday show at New York’s Don Hill’s will be part of the second annual Smiths tribute night, titled “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” after the song of the same name which appeared on the Smiths’ 1984 singles collection Hatful of Hollow.

In March, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joined ex-Crowded House singer Neil Finn for a series of guest-star-studded gigs in New Zealand (see “Neil Finn’s House To Get Crowded With Radiohead Members, Vedder” ). The Smiths’ frontman Morrissey, meanwhile, has kept relatively quiet since being legally required to pay an estimated $1.7 million to Joyce for back royalties three years ago (see “Morrissey Loses Smiths Appeal” ).

Specter tour dates, according to Mike Joyce’s Web site:


  • 5/26 – New York, NY @ CB’s 313 Gallery
  • 5/27 – New York, NY @ Don Hill’s
  • 5/29 – Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge
  • 5/30 – Boston, MA @ Milky Way
  • 5/31 – New Haven, CT @ Tune Inn