The Jezabels has scrapped its slated world tour after the indie group’s keyboardist was instructed to undergo immediate treatment for ovarian cancer.
Heather Shannon was diagnosed with a “unique type” of ovarian cancer three years ago, though until now, she’s been able to work through her illness. According to a statement issued by the band, a “sudden turn of events” will require Shannon to stay in Sydney for treatment. And the band won’t hit the road without her.
The award-winning group was due to embark on an extensive tour next month in support of its third album, Synthia, due Feb. 12 (via MGM). A five-date tour of Australia was slated to start Feb. 26 at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre, but all dates have been canceled, according to Frontier Touring, the presenter of the national tour. A global trek was scheduled to kick off March 10 at Tufnell Park, U.K. but has been nixed “until further notice”.
A statement from the band reads, “Three years ago Heather was diagnosed with a unique type of ovarian cancer. Although she has been able to maintain life as usual generally, between treatments, the time has come for her to undergo further immediate treatment which will require her to stay in Sydney.
“We were very excited to be hitting the road again in support of our third album, Synthia, but sadly due to a sudden turn of events Heather’s condition requires attention now so touring in the proposed time frame is no longer possible.”
Shannon adds: “Up until now, I have preferred to not let this diagnosis get in the way of getting on with life. I feel a deep frustration at this new roadblock, as I now have to take a step back and undergo treatment. The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love. This album means so much to us, and we were so looking forward to sharing it live with everyone.
“Having said that, I feel very lucky to be in the care of the public health system here in Australia. I have met many inspiring people and I am receiving the best treatment possible. There is a lot of research going into ovarian cancer at the moment, and a big push for awareness.” Shannon also encouraged fans to make a donation to Ovarian Cancer Australia or Australian New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group.
The alternative rock outfit emerged as one of Australia’s hottest new bands when, in September 2011, its self-financed debut Prisoner opened at No. 2 on the ARIA albums chart. The album went on to win the prestigious Australian Music Prize. Follow-up The Brink also peaked at No. 2 following its release in January 2014.
Led by their passionate singer Hayley Mary, the Jezabels have also won an ARIA Award (Best Independent Release) and they’ve collected best independent artist honors, among others, at the national Independent Music Awards.
The four-piece shared the video for Synthia track “Pleasure Drive” earlier this week.