Quintessential 'Madchester' band Happy Mondays are reuniting for a series of gigs later this year, according to their long-time backing singer Rowetta Satchell.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester yesterday afternoon, the singer seemed to confirm what has been flying round the musical rumour mill for the last six months, that at least five of the band's original 1980-1993 line up are planning to take to the stage once again.
Rowetta, who performed with the band on their critically acclaimed Pills Thrills 'n' Bellyaches album, told listeners they plan to play a series of gigs in May this year as well as performing a number of new songs.
"We decided it would only be special and work if it was the total, original line-up," she told Darryl Morris.
She added: "We're all really excited. They are my family these boys, I've really missed them... and I'm sure they've missed each other."
The comments come following a period which saw the band allegedly turn down many 'big money' offers to reform following similarly successful and much-anticipated reunions from bands of the same era.
Talks apparently stepped up a gear following the Stone Roses' announcement of a series of concerts in Manchester's Heaton Park, scheduled for this summer, however Satchell refused to confirm whether the band planned to support them.
"It's up to the Roses. As long as we've not killed each other by then, we'd be up for it," she said.
Last week, members of the band were spotted leaving a five-star hotel in Manchester, allegedly following secret reunion talks. Previous attempts at reuniting the band have been thwarted due to acrimony within the band as well as Shaun Ryder's media commitments following his exit in 2000 after a feud with brother, bassist and fellow band member Paul.
Speaking to the MEN on Friday, Shaun's manager Warren Askew seemed to suggest that any concerts would be unlikely before late 2012 due to Shaun's media commitments.
He added that an announcement would be made 'in due course'.
However, Satchell said the initiative for reforming with original members had in fact come from Shaun and his manager.
The last time Happy Mondays played was in a short-lived three-piece reunion for the 2007 Manchester International Festival in which Shaun, Gaz and Bez performed.