Entertainment & Arts

John Cale to play Velvet Underground and Nico live

John Cale Image copyright Andy Hughes
Image caption John Cale said it was time to put the album 'into perspective'

The Velvet Underground's John Cale is to perform the band's legendary album The Velvet Underground and Nico live in Liverpool next year for the 50th anniversary of its release.

Cale and guests will play the seminal rock group's debut album in full.

The Liverpool date will take place at Clarence Dock on 26 May.

Cale told BBC News: "We were all really proud of what we did so it was time to have a look at it with some new voices and new presentations."

The Velvet Underground and Nico, with its famous banana LP cover designed by Andy Warhol, was not a commercial success when it was released in March 1967.

But it has come to be seen as one of the most influential albums of all time, with tracks including I'm Waiting for the Man, All Tomorrow's Parties and I'll Be Your Mirror.

Image copyright Shutterstock
Image caption Andy Warhol designed what has become one of the most famous record covers in rock

Brian Eno once said that the album only sold 30,000 copies during its first five years but that "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band".

The Velvet Underground formed after Cale moved from his home in Carmarthenshire, south west Wales, to New York and met singer Lou Reed in 1964. Thursday will be the third anniversary of Reed's death.

Cale, who played viola, piano and bass guitar on their first album, said it was time to put the record "into perspective".

Special guests

He continued: "I'd shied away from looking at it for a long time but it really deserved to get its due.

"It stands up. It still encapsulates everything we were trying to do, which was take rock 'n' roll in a different direction and talk about subject matter that generally wasn't talked about, and using arrangements and atmospheres and noises that weren't generally in the vocabulary of the day."

Speaking about next year's shows, he said: "We're going to do our best to keep everything as it was, but not keep out any new ideas of what the songs are about.

"There will be a lot of characters. I'm going to find some really good personas to come and join and it will be great."

Cale performed the album in Paris in April with special guests including The Libertines, Animal Collective, Mark Lanegan and Lemon Jelly.

Tickets for the Liverpool show go on sale at 09:00 BST on Friday 28 October.

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