The frustrated lead singer also repeatedly threatened to ‘kill himself’ later that night before he disappeared into the audience.
From the outset of the gig at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels on May 25, Barlow seemed troubled. He apologised to the crowd for the poor quality of the band’s playing, apparently because they had been forced to borrow amps and effects pedals for the evening. But after four songs, he began to hit his face and head with the body of his guitar.
One eyewitness told NME: “It was awful, like he’d gone mad. I think he bled, he kept looking at his hand. It was fucking weird and not at all funny.”
The singer then leapt into the audience. The rest of his bewildered band announced that ticket refunds would be made available to the audience if the singer failed to return.
However, NME understands that the show’s promoter caught up with him and persuaded him to return to the stage. The band played for a little longer and the evening concluded with a short acoustic set from Barlow.
A band spokeswoman said that Barlow had not needed hospital treatment, but that he probably had a “bad headache”.
She continued: “It’s nothing to worry about. They’ve been touring constantly for three months and obviously it’s just got to Lou.
“A load of kids went to go and give him a hug after the gig to make sure he was alright. It was really sweet.”
She added that the band’s UK tour would not be affected.
It is not the first time that Barlow has behaved self-destructively onstage. At Reading Festival in 1994, he smashed his guitar after only a few songs and cut his head. His excuse was that he was in a bad mood. Sebadoh play tonight with Clinic at Nottingham Rock City.
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