The four original members of American rock band REM re-formed for a special performance on Saturday night (08OCT05) to celebrate the wedding of their long-serving technician.

The one-off gig in Athens, Georgia, is only the second time Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and PETER BUCK have played with drummer BILL BERRY since he quit the band in 1997 following brain surgery.

The LOSING MY RELIGION hitmakers only decided to take to the stage for a seven-song set at DEWITT BURTON's wedding when his official wedding band took a break.

ED CONNOLLY was delighted to have such big names playing at his Kingpins Bowl And Brew establishment: "By the time they got to the first chorus it was packed shoulder-to-shoulder.

"Nobody really knew it was going to happen. They didn't know if Bill was going to make it, and I don't know if they had a chance to rehearse.

"The beauty is it was in Athens on a warm Saturday night, with the band on the floor with no production. I had three old disco mirror balls and they hung them up. That was the extent of the lighting show."

And bassist Mills loved performing with his old rhythm partner: "It was awesome to look behind me and see Bill on drums."