R.E.M. play King's Arms - almost

Three-fifths of the legendary band R.E.M hit town next week, but don't expect to hear any of the Grammy-winning group's tracks.

Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey make up the Venus 3, playing with British rock/folk artist Robyn Hitchcock at the King's Arms on Tuesday night.

While Buck is well-known as the lead guitarist of R.E.M, Rieflin and McCaughey are both unofficial members of the group.

McCaughey initially joined the group in 1994 as a touring musician and has since stayed on with the band, joining them both in the studio and on tour.

Rieflin became the replacement drummer for the band, after founding member and drummer Bill Berry left the group due to ill-health.

After joining R.E.M. on their Around the Sun tour, Rieflin was named the "indefinite replacement"for Berry, but has never been acknowledged as an official member.

* Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 play at Auckland's King's Arms, Tuesday October 24, 8pm. Tickets are $54 from Ticketek.

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