"We are surprised": The estate of late Saints singer Chris Bailey say they weren't consulted over upcoming tour with Mudhoney's Mark Arm

The Saints in 1977, standing against a wall
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images)

Australian punk legends The Saints, who announced plans to play a series of six shows later this year under the banner The Saints 1973-1978, have had their plans called into question by the estate of late Saints frontman Chris Bailey, who died in 2022.

In a statement, Chris Bailey’s Family and the Chris Bailey Estate claim they were neither informed nor consulted on the plans for the tour, which will see the band fronted by Mudhoney singer Mark Arm, alongside original members guitarist Ed Kuepper and drummer Ivor Hay, plus former Birthday Party/Bad Seeds guitarist Mick Harvey and Sunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley.  

"We are surprised that Mark Arm agreed to do this without consultation," says the statement. "The Chris Bailey Estate owns The Saints name and our primary objective is to honour Chris Bailey’s memory and the Saints significant legacy with integrity. 

"More importantly, Ed Kuepper and his management team, Feel Presents, also recently put out unauthorised merchandise and reissues without any consultation with the Estate and were eventually forced to change the name to The Saints 1973-1978  and promised not to do anything else without consultation. 

"Furthermore, there have been attempts in interviews to reduce or negate the role Chris Bailey played in the original Saints. "

Meanwhile, Mark Arm has been quick to praise Bailey, telling ABC News, "I want to be true to Chris and try to honour him. I'm not going to just scream my way through Saints songs: That doesn't make sense. I'm focusing on trying to get the attitude and the delivery… I want to do it right.

"It's not about me. This isn't about me at all. I just get to participate in it."

Bailey's estate have also confirmed the release of a previously unreleased song from the Bailey-fronted Saints. Break Away comes from an album he was working on prior to his death. 

The Saints - Break Away (Official Audio) - YouTube The Saints - Break Away (Official Audio) - YouTube
Watch On

The Saints 1973-1978 tour coincides with the release of a deluxe edition of The Saints' classic debut album I'm Stranded, a four-LP set that features all the band's live and studio recordings from 1976 and 1977. The package will also include a photo essay of the band covering the band's early years, a band history, a 1976 promo photo and an (I’m) Stranded sticker.

The Saints ’73-’78 tour dates

Nov 13: Adelaide Hindley Street Music Hall, SA, Australia
Nov 15: Castlemaine Theatre Royal, VIC, Australia
Nov 16: Melbourne Northcote Theatre, VIC, Australia
Nov 20: Fremantle Freo Social, WA, Australia
Nov 22: Sydney Enmore Theatre, NSW, Australia
Nov 23: Brisbane Princess Theatre, QLD, Australia

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Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.