Entertainment & Arts

Pixies cancel Israel concert date

Black Francis of The Pixies
Image caption The Pixies, led by Black Francis, were an influence on Nirvana, Blur and Radiohead

Influential US rock group Pixies have cancelled their first performance in Israel, blaming "events beyond our control".

The group did not specify why they were pulling out of the show, which was due to take place in Tel Aviv on 9 June.

However, organisers said the decision was linked to Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last week.

The band, whose albums include Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, were due to be headliners at the Pic.Nic festival.

Other acts - including UK band Gorillaz Sound System - have also withdrawn from the event.

Last month, Elvis Costello pulled out of two gigs in Israel saying that his appearance there could have been "interpreted as a political act".

The musician said his decision was "a matter of instinct and conscience" and "too grave and complex" to be addressed at a concert.

Deepest apologies

Pixies had been sent letters by human rights activists before last week's raid, urging them to cancel their appearance because of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

It is not known whether this influenced them directly.

A short statement from the band read: "The decision was not reached easily and we all know well the Israeli fans have been waiting for this visit for far too long.

"We'd like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans but events beyond all our control have conspired against us."

Concert promoter Shuki Weiss, who has been responsible for bringing artists such as Madonna to Israel, is the driving force behind the Pic.Nic festival.

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