Chameleons announce very special guests. . . IST IST

Reclaiming its rightful place in the annual live calendar, Chameleons return to Manchester this Winter with…


Celebrating their 40th Anniversary in style, the legendary Mancunian band will be back for a bumper edition of their annual homecoming this year (17-18 Dec).

In a special announcement today, it can be revealed that IST IST have been added to the Saturday bill (18th Dec) as Very Special Guests.

From their establishment in late 2014 to the release of their stunning debut ‘Architecture’ last year, Ist Ist have forged a formidable reputation as one of Manchester’s most promising post-punk acolytes. With admirers across the world and fans in Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6, the band have earned a reputation for an uncompromising, intense live show which is guaranteed to get the evening at the O2 Ritz off with a bang.

Speaking about the gig, Adam of Ist Ist says:
“We’re very much looking forward to playing with The Chameleons to see out the end of this strange year. We have always been a fan of their sound and we think that it will be an excellent fit and a great show.”

As in previous years, Chameleons will be joined by allies new and old for their Home Is Where The Heart Is… homecoming shows. With IST IST providing a glimpse of the future; long-time post-punk familiars THEATRE OF HATE will be bringing some of their classic offerings to their previously announced support slot on the Friday night (17th Dec).


One Night Tickets – £26.00 Advance STBF

Friday December 17th 2021

Saturday December 18th 2021

Weekend Tickets (17th & 18th December) – £52.00 Advance STBF

8+ Under 14s to be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 at all times

Doors 6.00pm / Show starts 6.30pm

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Making up for precious time lost and marking a landmark four decades since their inception, this Winter Chameleons will be returning to the scene of 2019’s triumphant capacity showstopper: Manchester’s O2 Ritz, for an unmissable two-night residency.

Taking place on Friday 17th December + Saturday 18th December, ‘NOSTALGIA – 81-21’ PART ONE and PART TWO respectively, will see the Middleton-formed band serve-up a career spanning set across a weekend that promises reunions, reminiscence and live resurrection.

Helmed from the front by long-standing ‘Chameleons Vox’ custodian Mark Burgess, the upcoming O2 Ritz residency will also see founding Chameleons member Reg Smithies returning to the frame to add his definitive guitar stylistics to proceedings.

Hinting at what to expect from Home Is Where The Heart Is… 2021, Burgess says:

“Restrictions permitting we’ve been invited back to perform two nights at what I have to say, is my favourite venue in Manchester, The Ritz on Whitworth Street. Throughout the two nights we’ll be performing songs that represent the entire history of the band, from the earliest John Peel sessions to the very last recordings we did. I see this as more than just another celebration of the music of the Chameleons however, as joyous as those occasions have been. For me this will also be a celebration of the triumph of live music over the horrendous circumstances that threatened to kill its very existence. So I hope you’ll all join us over the two nights and help make this a weekend we’ll never forget. Stay safe and well.”

From its inaugural edition back in 2014, the Home Is Where The Heart Is… homecoming shows have now become something of pre-Christmas tradition for many. Each year, the annual series has seen the influential frontman of Chameleons: Mark Burgess digging deep into the cult band’s coveted back-catalogue to unearth forgotten gems and dust-off glittering rarities on the live stage. Moving from its spiritual home at Manchester Academy 2 to the O2 Ritz in 2019, the band will be looking to repeat the roaring success of their last show with a return visit in 2021.

With an appeal that is now transcending generations and an audience that is growing exponentially year-on-year, Chameleons are already planning its follow up. In 2022, the band set their sights on a mouth-watering headline show at the capacious Manchester Academy. Booking now, “CHAMELEONS: HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS… 2022: RESURRECTION – THE ACADEMY SET FROM JUNE 2000” will see Burgess and co. go back-to-the-future to revisit the setlist of their seminal 2000 show in full. More details here.

Post punk four-piece The Chameleons formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1981. Fronted by singer and bassist Mark Burgess, the band went on to release six studio albums and an EP, along with many Peel sessions, live records and compilations in a career spanning three decades. With a cult following hooked on their iridescent indie, Burgess has continued performing the material recorded during this time live under the moniker Chameleons Vox to an ever-adoring fan base. Welcoming their founding guitarist back into the line-up, 2021 will see the first Chameleons show featuring both Mark Burgess (Bass / Vocals) & Reg Smithies (Guitar) in Manchester for over 16 years.

Home at last. Chameleons will return to the Manchester O2 Ritz for “Home Is Where The Heart is… 2021: Nostalgia 81-21” Parts One + Two, on 17th + 18th December 2021. Tickets on general sale now.

** A special commemorative lanyard and laminate pass will also be available for collection from the venue for all weekend ticket holders – book early to avoid missing out. **

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