REM fans, still distraught after the legendary band broke up in 2011, can do the next best thing and get along to a gig by tribute artists Stipe when they come to The Live Rooms in Chester on January 24.

It was an early REM album loaned to Stipe’s lead vocalist, Richard Southern, which worked its magic and convinced him to make a first visit to see the band live.

“That was the best live performance, ever,” said Richard. “The music of REM left such an impression that it will always be a part of my life. For as long as I am able, I will keep singing those songs and performing as Michael Stipe.”

Also in Stipe are Martyn Smith on drums and with vocals, Steve Bell as lead guitar, James Davies rhythm guitar and vocals and Johnny Stringer for bass guitar and vocals.

Their professionalism and commitment has led to repeat bookings across the country and tours in Europe.

Michael Stipe himself, on hearing Stipe perform live, declared: “These guys are awesome.”

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