Long-running English rockers The Quireboys appear to have fired singer Spike from the band he founded in 1984.
Sharing a short statement alongside a photo of the new line-up, the band wrote, "The Quireboys have parted company with Spike and will continue as a five-piece with all other current members."
Spike responded with a statement of his own, saying. "Just to clarify, I have received a letter from three of my band members informing me that my services are no longer required to sing or perform with them.
"I will release an official statement shortly but for now, my sincere apologies go out to you all and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all my fans who are supporting me through this difficult time.
"Many of you I have known for years and consider my friends. Thank you for your love and support. Rest assured I will see you at the bar very soon.
"The Quireboys founder, only original member and singer, God bless, Spike x"
The new Quireboys line-up features guitarist and vocalist Guy Griffin, who first joined the band in 1989, alongside keyboardist Keith Weir (2001), guitarist Paul Guerin and drummer Pip Mailing (2004), with bassist Nick Mailing (2014). This lineup of the band have already performed without Spike, on the Monsters Of Rock cruise that set sail from Miami, Florida, in early February.
Fans on social media have reacted with a mix of support and dismay, with many remarking that the strength of Spike's association with the band is such that a lineup that doesn't feature him is "not the Quireboys."
Last month the band announced a return to the US to complete a tour originally curtailed by the pandemic. The run of dates kicks off at the Brooklyn Monarch in New York on May 5, and climaxes at the Whisky Ago Go in Los Angeles on May 18. For a full list of dates, visit the Quireboys website (opens in new tab).
Meanwhile, Spike will continue his solo acoustic tour at The Robin 2 in Bilston, Wolverhampton, on March 31. The evening promises, "Late night songs and late night stories," which should be interesting.