THE VERVE CANCEL ROSKILDE AS BASSIST’S ILLNESS LINGERS

THE VERVE will not be playing at Denmark's Roskilde Festival as scheduled this weekend...

THE VERVE have cancelled their scheduled performance at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival on Saturday (June 27).

Rumours persist in London that Verve bassist Simon Jones (pictured) is more seriously ill than first admitted by the band’s representatives. As previously reported by NME.com, Jones collapsed twice backstage at gigs in Munich and Dusseldorf in early June, leading to the cancellation of the remainder of their German tour, a Swedish festival and the Tibetan Freedom Festival in Washington DC.

Back in London Jones underwent a number of medical tests with a Harley Street doctor. However, the band’s representatives are refusing to disclose the results of the tests. The band said they would resume their touring schedule at the Imola Festival in Italy on June 21. However they did not appear at Imola.

Yesterday afternoon (Thursday) organisers of the Roskilde Festival (second only in size to Glastonbury on the European festival circuit) were informed that The Verve would not be appearing on Saturday.

A spokesman for The Verve told NME: “There are lots of rumours going round that the band have split but it’s simply not true. The delay is all down to making sure that Simon’s fully recovered enough to get him onto a plane and be able to tour. It’s not a little gig for them anymore. All I’ve heard is that he is suffering from a viral infection and that he has to rest completely. As soon as they think he’s up to it he’ll be on the plane.”

A number of other acts have also pulled out of Roskilde this weekend. Marilyn Manson have wiped all their European dates due to their drummer’s illness (See earlier story); A Tribe Called Quest have also canned their entire European tour as a result of friction within the group; Echo & The Bunnymen have pulled Roskilde due to “compassionate reasons” their spokesman says. Fu Manchu have cancelled as well.

The next dates on The Verve’s abortive European tour itinerary are Torhout Festival, Belgium (July 4), Werchter Festival, Belgium (5), the Doctor Music Festival, Spain (10), V98 Festival, Chelmsford and Leeds, England (August 22, 23) and Slane Castle Festival, Ireland (29). At the moment, the Verve’s performances at these events are still presumed.

The Verve’s planned appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York has been pulled. The prestigious August gig, with Massive Attack, was to have been the centrepiece of the band’s US tour. The concert will transfer to two shows at NY’s 3,000-capacity Hammerstein Ballroom.