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- Posted on Aug 2nd 2010 10:45AM by Jody Thompson
The former Verve frontman, currently touring the country with new outfit the United Nations of Sound, cut short opening track 'Are You Ready?'
According to witnesses amongst the 5,000 festivalgoers watching, he didn't even get to the end of it before he was seen to throw his tambourine at a monitor, chuck his microphone across the stage, then leap down into the moshpit and vanish into the crowd at the site in Woodford, near Brisbane, Queensland.
The singer had introduced himself simply with "welcome to our little patch," which some fans took to mean he wasn't happy playing on one of the smaller stages at the bash. Ashcroft and his band were also up against local heroes Empire of the Sun and the re-formed Pixies at the same time on the bill.
Australian alternative radio station Triple M quoted a Splendour in the Grass security guard as saying, "He got the s---- because there weren't any spectators. And then he jumped straight into a car and drove off site."
Organisers afterwards released a statement saying, "Please don't take your aggression out on us. Richard had an unfortunate incident and had to cancel the show."
However, a statement released today (Aug. 2) on Ashcroft's official website denied vehemently that the incident was anything to do with crowd size.
Jazz Summers, Ashcroft's manager, said, "After three gigs in two days, including a two-hour show in Sydney on Saturday night, we knew Richard would have to look after his voice for the Splendour in the Grass, set so we cancelled all promotional activity for Sunday. It wasn't until he got on stage on Sunday night at Splendour that he realized his voice wouldn't make it through the set.
"I was watching the show from the sound desk and was surprised when he appeared to missing the high notes on his opening track ... I could sense his total frustration at the situation. Immediately following the show, Richard sought advice from a doctor and was ordered not to speak or sing for 72 hours."
Ashcroft has been in the country promoting his latest album, 'RPA and the United Nations of Sound,' which was released on July 16.
Other acts playing three-day Splendour in the Grass meanwhile included Scissor Sisters, Temper Trap, Strokes, Florence and the Machine and Band of Horses.