For fans of '60s man-made US pop-band The Monkees, it's already been a sad year after the death of singer Davy Jones. Chances of ever seeing the popular band regroup have now diminished beyond all doubt, although for every cloud, there is a silver lining.
One of the band's four members has announced his intention to return to the UK, his first for 30 years. Michael Nesmith, the quieter, taller, woolly-hatted member of The Monkees will be drawing from his well of liquid gold solo classics for just three (so far) UK concerts in October, including Glasgow on 26th October, London on the 28th and Manchester on 29th. We have tickets on sale now for the first and last shows, while London will be confirmed in due course.
So just what happened to the man who began as a solo folk singer, continued as a willing stooge in the biggest manufactured pop-band of the '60s, before heading back here for the rarest of shows? Well, quite a bit. Apart from starting out with his own recordings, Nesmith wrote accomplished songs for other artists, including Frankie Laine and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, pausing to record a brace of singles for a label called Colpix, ironically the same label that one Davy Jones belonged to - at that time, they didn't know each other and only met in The Monkees.
But after years of leaping around, falling over and performing on some of the greatest slices of pop ever (as well as penning a few lesser-known numbers such as 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere' and 'Mary Mary'), Nesmith quit the band in 1970 with a veritable pile of his own songs under one arm and a guitar and solo career under the other. Although he endured a decade of poverty, Nesmith's creativity continued right through the '70s and he racked up a few big hits in Australia, including 'Rio' which was later briefly featured in the bittersweet British comedy film, 'Peter's Friends'.
Although his last album appeared in 2006 ('Rays'), Nesmith's star has always shone brightly with most fans of both The Monkees and easy-going folk roots and these shows will sell out in double-quick time. Prices start at £27.50.