Gentlemen… restart your engines! Misery-dwelling soul-punk casanovas the Afghan Whigs are returning for their first shows in over a decade. SPIN can confirm that noir hero Greg Dulli, lead guitarist Rick McCollum, and bassist John Curley will all be returning to the fold for the band’s first shows since their last live appearance, a promotional show in New York circa 1999.
First up, the Whigs will play in London on May 27, 2012, headlining the final night of the All Tomorrow’s Parties I’ll Be Your Mirror Festival at Alexandra Palace. For their triumphant return, the band will share a stage with many other dark-hearted luminaries, including Slayer, Mogwai, Dirty Three, Melvins, Sleep, Mudhoney, Codiene, Yuck and new additions Archers Of Loaf, Chavez, Yob, Wolves In The Throne Room, Floor, Demdike Stare and Siskiyou.
For their first show in America, they retreat to the naturally gloomy habitat of Asbury Park, New Jersey on September 22, 2012, where Greg Dulli will also be curating the Saturday of ATP’s second annual weekend in New Jersey.
“My wife Deborah adores this band,” says ATP founder Barry Hogan, who has been organizing ATP events with his wife Deborah Higgins since 2004. “When we first started dating she would always say we had to get the Afghan Whigs to play for us. I used to love going to see them. They always sounded great, put 110% into their performances… We are truly honored that they chose I’ll Be Your Mirror UK to be their first ever show and Greg curating the next U.S. edition is something we have always dreamed of.”
As for hints to Dulli’s curatorial style, one need not look much further than the Twilight Singers Facebook page, where Dulli is fond of championing bands: Recent posts include a links to the new single from fellow Gutter Twin Mark Lanegan as well as a thumbs up to indie concept artists Antlers, electro-pop genius Penguin Prison, Emeralds’ acoustic plucker Mark McGuire, veteran Belgian art-punks dEUS, Spanish indie rockers Niños Mutantes and, uh, Harry Nilsson.
“We are working on a list and will be speaking shortly to figure it all out but I am sure it will eclectic, as I know he likes anything from Solomon Burke to Mazzy Star,” says Hogan. “I know Greg is a fan of great music, that’s why we are excited to work with him.”