Five key U.K. gigs to be rescheduled.

Luke Pritchard, lead singer/guitarist of fast-selling U.K. pop/rock act the Kooks (Virgin Records), has fallen ill with tonsillitis and laryngitis, forcing the band to reschedule five key dates in the current U.K. tour.

Yesterday's (Sept. 28) show at the Brighton Dome had to be canceled. The band was also set to play at the following venues in major U.K. cities: the Guildhall in Southampton Sept. 30; the University of East Anglia in Norwich Oct. 1; the Carling Academy in Newcastle Oct. 2; and the Leeds Metropolitan University Oct. 3.

New dates will be unveiled as soon as possible, according to Kooks representatives.

"We are truly upset for all of the fans who have been waiting since May to see these shows. We do apologise, but Luke is really quite poorly," the band said in a statement.

Pritchard's illness comes at a time when the Kooks is establishing a reputation as one of the biggest new bands of 2006. The debut album "Inside In/Inside Out" has sold a million copies.

After the U.K. tour, the band will be heading to the United States. The act is scheduled to play the Bowery Ballroom in New York Oct. 23; Safari Sam's in Los Angeles Oct. 24; Los Angeles' Spaceland Oct. 25; 300 Ritch in San Francisco Oct. 26; and Northsix in Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 28.

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