The Faces to replace Rod Stewart with Mick Hucknall?

Rod Stewart says no to a Faces reformation. But a certain ginger soul lothario might yet take his place ...

After decades of wavering, Rod Stewart has formally said no to reuniting with the Faces, according to keyboardist Ian McLagan. The group's three other surviving members are now "seriously talking about touring" with other singers, including ... Simply Red's Mick Hucknall.

For years, fans of the Faces – and perhaps the Faces themselves – have held out for Stewart to return to the group. They all rehearsed together last year, "just to check" if they could remember the songs, but no concerts resulted. Three weeks ago, the remaining Faces played Royal Albert Hall, and yet Stewart was absent, "out of the country" promoting his new solo album.

Still, many held out hope – including drummer Kenney Jones, who called it a "matter of time" before everyone got back together. Now however, McLagan said they are done stalling. "We've been waiting and waiting for Rod to say yes; now he's finally said no," he told Billboard. "He's busy doing other shit. So we're gonna do it."

"I'm 64, for chrissakes!" McLagan continued. "If we don't do it very soon, one of us is gonna check out."

For their performance in London on 25 October, the Faces consisted of McLagan, Jones, guitarist Ron Wood and Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman filling in for the late Ronnie Lane. Instead of Stewart, singers including Hucknall, Mel C and Andy Fairweather-Low took the mic. "I think it's more exciting, actually, with different singers, different bass players, maybe some other guests, another guitarist or whatever," McLagan said. "[Saxophonist] Bobby Keys would probably sit in [on tour]. It's more adventurous. It won't be the same old shit."

As Wyman does not like to fly, the Faces would have to find a new bassist – preferably Glenn Matlock, McLagan said, an original member of the Sex Pistols who "started playing bass because of Ronnie Lane". They could also borrow the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, who recently played with Thom Yorke's new band. "I like Flea. I don't necessarily think he's a good replacement for Ronnie, but if he wants to do it we should talk about it." Hucknall tops their list of potential singers, though they might bring several guests.

"It would be much better to have [Rod] with us," McLagan admitted, but ultimately "I just want to play". "The world's our oyster here; it will still be Ronnie, Kenney and me. We're just steaming right ahead."


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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