Ahead of his two Morrissey-channelling gigs with Blossoms, the singer talks Twitter, his London pub and how he once followed Andy Rourke around the Arndale centre

Last Monday, Rick Astley (as in 80s, bequiffed, Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley) made a surprise guest appearance at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town, with Blossoms, to sing Panic and This Charming Man by the Smiths. This was to announce two proper October tour dates – Rick Astley and Blossoms Perform Songs of the Smiths. With footage immediately doing the rounds, people quickly went bonkers.

“I’m not a slave to Twitter,” says Astley three days later, supping on an afternoon beer outside the Mikkeller Brewpub in London’s Exmouth Market. (“I’ve had a pint already, and some are quite strong,” he warns.) He’s co-owned the pub since 2019 (“Working in a pub is hard, I don’t work here!”). And he’s playing a gig here tonight with his house band (“No Smiths, we’re just going to jam”).

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