DRUMMING Electro-pop pioneer Mal Holmes is staging a New Brighton "comeback" next month following last year’s brush with death on stage in Canada.

The Wirral-born Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark drummer feared he would never play again after suffering heart failure during a concert.

But encouraged by his friend Dean Johnson, with whom he recorded several albums in the late 1990s, he picked up his sticks and returned to the studio for the first time since his near-death experience.

The drum track he recorded is used to accompany a narration by Mark Reed (son of the late Oliver), and will be featured during Dean's production of Bullets And Daffodils, the musical based on the life and work of Wilfred Owen, which is staged at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Saturday, August 16.

From his home in Germany, Mal said: "I had a very close call, and I thought that I would never record again.

"But Dean is an old friend, and with this being the Centenary of World War One, I felt I had to contribute something.

Wilfred was a Wirral boy who achieved international fame, and in a way so did I, so there is a link.”

Tickets for Bullets And Daffodils are from the Floral Pavilion box office on 0151 666 0000.