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Elvis Costello cancels tour after surgery to remove 'aggressive' tumour

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe star advised fans to seek medical advice if they were worried about their health

Elvis Costello has cancelled the remaining dates of his European tour as he recovers from surgery to remove a "very aggressive" tumour.

The singer-songwriter went under the knife in May, but decided to go ahead with his tour dates in June.

"The spirit has been more than willing," he said in a statement announcing the cancellation.

"But I have to now accept it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength."

The 63-year-old, whose best known songs include Oliver's Army, Shipbuilding and I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down, is one of the most influential and prolific artists to emerge from the 1970s punk and new wave scene.

Over the years, he has collaborated with the likes of Paul McCartney, Green Day and Burt Bacharach; and he received an Oscar nomination for writing The Scarlet Tide from the Nicole Kidman movie Cold Mountain in 2003.

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His 31st studio album is scheduled to be released in October.

He had already cancelled concerts in Southend and Plymouth before deciding to scrap all future dates, including shows in Manchester, Croatia and Sweden.

In a statement, Costello said: "Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, 'You should start playing the Lotto'.

"He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.

"I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.

"Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel.

"It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a travelling musician, playing 90-minute to two-hour plus performances on a nightly basis but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse [on 24 June], I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed.

"The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour."

He also advised fans to seek advice if they were worried about their health.

"Take very good care of your loved ones but gentleman, do talk to you friends - you'll find you are not alone - seek your doctor's advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters.

"It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette."

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Related Topics

  • Cancer
  • Music

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