09/02/2012 03:43 GMT | Updated 09/04/2012 06:12 BST

Kool & The Gang To Support Van Halen On Tour

It was Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth's idea to book disco band Kool & The Gang as the rock group's support act on its upcoming North American tour after he saw them perform at the Glastonbury festival last year.

Fans and the members of the Joanna hitmakers were surprised when Van Halen announced who they'd hit the road with in 2012 - but Kool & The Gang star Robert Bell insists the two odd acts will make for a great show.

However, even Bell admits he was a little puzzled when he received a call asking if he'd be interested in supporting the Jump stars.

He tells Billboard.com, "I was kind of surprised, because Van Halen is more on the rock side and we do what we do. I said, 'That's an interesting combination.' It really caught us by surprise. But the more people I mention it to, the more interesting they're saying it is.

"We had big hits in the 80s, and so did they. They've been kind of like a party band on the rock side, with their audience, and their audience is 60 per cent female and we have songs like Ladies' Night and Celebration... and our audience is at least 80 per cent a pop audience. Most of the time we have a crowd that's 80 per cent white. Plus we do a lot of international dates with Def Leppard, Meat Loaf, Uriah Heep, Chicago, Elton John... A lot of people don't know that 'cause they don't really see it."