John Cale to perform The Velvet Underground & Nico in full in Liverpool and New York

Our favourite viola-scraper has two very special shows up his sleeve.

John Cale will celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico album with shows in Liverpool and New York next year.

Following a recent concert at the Philharmonie de Paris, has decided to perform the album in its entirety in two more cities: the band’s home, New York, and Liverpool, the city the Welsh musician sailed from on his journey to America more than 50 years ago.

“I’m often reluctant to spend too much time on things past, then a time marker shows up – The Velvet Underground & Nico turns 50! As so many bands can attest to, it is the fulfilment of the ultimate dream to record your first album. We were an unfriendly brand, dabbling in a world of challenging lyrics and weird sonics that didn’t fit into anyone’s playlist at the time,” said Cale.

“Remaining ferociously true to our viewpoints, Lou and I never doubted for a moment we could create something to give a voice to things not regularly explored in rock music at the time. That bizarre combination of four distinctly disparate musicians and a reluctant beauty queen perfectly summed up what it meant to be The Velvet Underground.”

The 1967 album, which was backed by Andy Warhol and featured the voice of budding singer and model Nico, remains an ur-text of avant-rock after five decades, with its influence reaching from Roxy Music, Echo and the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, Galaxie 500 to most of the punk, jangle-pop, shoegaze and noise underground.

The first show will take place on May 26 at a bespoke open-air stage facing out to the Atlantic in Liverpool’s historic docklands. Cale will be joined by a selection of “high-profile collaborators”, to be announced nearer the time. This year’s Paris concert featured The Libertines, Animal Collective and Mark Lanegan.

Tickets for the Liverpool gig go on sale at 9am on Friday, October 28, from all the usual outlets. Further details on the New York show will be announced later.

A movie about the final year of Nico’s life is also coming in 2017, with Danish actress Trine Dyrholm in the lead role.

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