Tony Rogers, keyboardist for veteran groove-rockers Charlatans U.K., has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, according to a post on the group's official Web site. Rogers, who joined the group in 19
Tony Rogers, keyboardist for veteran groove-rockers Charlatans U.K., has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, according to a post on the group's official Web site. Rogers, who joined the group in 1996 following the death of founding member Rob Collins, was diagnosed in late June with the disease and has since had an operation and started chemotherapy and radiology treatment.
The announcement on the Web site says that "the initial signs to his prescribed treatment are proving positive," and that Rogers is continuing to work "virtually unaffected" by the disease. The news comes as the band is navigating a series of short promotional tours in advance of its seventh studio album, "Wonderland," due Sept. 11 from MCA.
"Wonderland" was recorded in Los Angeles and features a return to the electronic rhythms and textures the Charlatans featured early in their career. The first single will be the up-tempo "Love is the Key." Having recently completed a five-date promotional tour of the U.S., the group is getting ready for two performances at the V2001 festival in the U.K. this weekend. Nine October tour dates in the U.K. have also been confirmed.
Often hailed as "survivors" in the U.K. press, the Charlatans have had their share of mishaps over the course of a 12-year career. Collins served an eight-month prison sentence as an accessory to armed robbery in 1993, hurriedly recording his contributions to the group's third album "Up to Our Hips" before the sentence begun. Then, during the sessions for the group's fifth album, the U.K. chart-topping "Tellin' Stories," Collins was killed in a drunk driving accident near the band's studio. He was replaced with Rogers for the album "Us and Us Only" in 1999.
Speaking recently to Billboard.com, Rogers said his time with the band has not been a growing process, per se, but a solid musical connection from the start. "We haven't become more cohesive, because the theory of the group is that we're a gang," he said. "Either you're in it or you're not."
Here are the Charlatans U.K.'s new tour dates:
Oct. 5: Liverpool, England (Royal Court)
Oct. 6: Middlesborough, England (Town Hall)
Oct. 8: Newcastle, England (Northumbrian University)
Oct. 9: Aberdeen, England (Music Hall)
Oct. 12: Leeds, England (University)
Oct. 13: Norwich, England (UEA)
Oct. 14: Bristol, England (Rock)
Oct. 16: Southampton, England (Guildhall)
Oct. 29: Birmingham, England (Academy)