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Supergrass cancel remaining UK tour dates over COVID concerns

The Britpop stalwarts were due to play their first hometown show in 12 years tomorrow (December 18)

By Joe Goggins

Supergrass press shot, 2019
The Oxford veterans are the latest band to pull tour dates due to COVID. (Photo: Press)

Supergrass have cancelled the remaining dates on their UK tour as coronavirus cases continue to rocket.

The Britpop veterans had three dates remaining on their current run, but now say that performing in the current climate would be “the wrong thing to do.”

Posting on Twitter yesterday (December 16), the band said: “Folks, we’re so sorry but we’re going to have to postpone our December shows. A lot has changed over the last few days with the rise in Omicron cases. It’s been an incredibly tough call to make but we feel to play these shows at this moment in time would be the wrong thing to do for all concerned.”

The statement continued: “We want to give you all the best show we can, everyone to feel safe and for no fan to lose out at Christmas due to all the uncertainty at the moment. We’re gutted to have to do this and we hope you all understand.”

Tomorrow night’s (December 18) show at the O2 Academy in Oxford would have been the four-piece’s first hometown show in 12 years. Gigs in Glasgow, at the O2 Academy on Sunday (December 19) and London, at O2 Academy Brixton on Monday (December 20), have also been axed. All tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled dates, which the band hope to announce as soon as possible.

The announcement makes Supergrass the latest in an increasingly long line of artists making the call to postpone tours in the face of the threat posed by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Sam Fender, Paul Weller, Jessie Ware and Coldplay had already been amongst those forced to shelve concerts because of positive COVID tests among their touring parties; in curtailing their own tour yesterday (December 16), meanwhile, The Charlatans acknowledged that the contagiousness of Omicron had played a part in their decision. In a statement, Tim Burgess‘ men said “it doesn’t feel right to gather people together with current numbers of infections around the UK.”

Supergrass reformed in 2019 after nearly a decade away, initially to play the Glastonbury offshoot Pilton Party that year. Since, they’ve toured the UK and Europe, playing two sold-out nights at London’s Alexandra Palace in March 2020. Last November, they released ‘Live from Other Planets’, a live record compiled from recordings of their reunion shows; the album was intended both to mark the group’s 25th anniversary, and raise funds for the #SaveOurVenues campaign. The last Supergrass studio album was 2008’s ‘Diamond Hoo Ha’. 

On Monday (December 15), the Music Venue Trust called for “decisive and immediate action” from the government to help stave off grassroots closures. Omicron concerns have apparently driven a considerable uptick in no-shows at gigs from ticket-holders, according to a report in The Observer.