AUSTRALIAN rockers The Vines have cancelled all their upcoming shows after the deterioration of singer Craig Nicholls’ mental condition.
Nicholls suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, which causes him to behave erratically.
The band has cancelled appearances at the Homebake, Pyramid Rock and Big Day Out festivals, as well as their upcoming Japanese tour.
“It is with a great deal of regret that The Vines today announced that they have cancelled all of their Australian festival appearances,” the band said in a statement.
“Craig Nicholls’ mental condition has deteriorated extremely rapidly over the past month to the point where he requires immediate help over an extended period of time.”
The Sydney four-piece formed in the late 1990s and found international success with their 2001 debut album Highly Evolved, which went top 10 in Australia and the UK.
The Vines fell from grace after their second album, Winning Days, failed to match expectations in 2004, and Nicholls’ erratic behaviour turned violent.
After abusing fans and assaulting a Sydney photographer, Nicholls was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
A two-year hiatus followed, before The Vines released their third album, Vision Valley, in 2006 and resumed touring.
Nicholls’ bandmates Hamish Rosser, Ryan Griffiths and Brad Heald sent their thanks to fans, friends and family who had supported them since their 2006 return.
“On behalf of The Vines we would like to extend our sincerest apologies to those of you who won’t be able to see us perform,” Rosser said.
“We are all absolutely devastated that we’ve been forced to cancel all upcoming shows as there’s nothing we love more than playing on stage before an enthusiastic audience.”
“The band and Craig’s family would like to ask that sensitivity be shown at a difficult time and ask that this statement be taken as their only comment on this matter,” The Vines said.