ASH READING/LEEDS CARLING SHOWS IN SERIOUS DOUBT

Doctors say stricken drummer Rick McMurray can only play for ten minutes at a time...

ASH could wait until the day of their appearances at the CARLING WEEKEND before deciding whether or not they are fit enough to play.

A question mark hangs over the band’s sets at Reading and Leeds on Saturday (August 24) and Sunday (25) following a major bus crash while the group were in the US. Drummer Rick McMurray was most seriously injured, breaking his ribs.

Writing to fans on the band’s official website, www.ash-official.com, band manager Tav said that the group are coming to London to appear on television show ‘CD:UK’ on Saturday morning – a commitment they aim to fulfil. However, it is unclear if McMurray will be able to perform a full set, and the manager said a final decision could be made as late as the day of the show.

He wrote: “Yesterday, I flew to Belfast to visit Rick. He is still worried about playing Reading. The band are due to pre-record ‘Top Of The Pops’ tonight (August 22), he said he thought he could manage that and ‘cd:uk’ this weekend because it’s only one song.

“A full gig is a different matter of course and his doctor has told him that he could cause more damage to his ribs if he was to play for longer that 10 minutes (aside from the excruciating pain). So, the official word is that we are going to asses the situation after ‘cd:uk’ on Saturday afternoon. Everyone else is fine apart from Mark, who does have whiplash and has been told by his doctor to wear a neck brace.”

In a recent interview with NME.COM, bassist Mark Hamilton explained how the crash occurred. He said: “It was completely black, the bunks were all darkened off. The whole place was just carnage. Rick and Charlotte were both thrown out of their bunks into the isle. Rick broke his ribs.”

“At the minute it looks like it’s down to Rick”, he said. “I’ve had broken ribs before and it’s hard to breathe. And if he’s going to be playing for an hour, I don’t know, drumming’s quite physical.”

Hamilton added that the band will do everything they can to appear.