Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Beres Hammond abandons UK concerts

2013-07-18 18:47:01

Beres Hammond
Beres has returned to Jamaica

Reggae legend Beres Hammond failed to show up to his own concert in east London's IndigO2 last night (July 17), after his band member was denied entry into the UK.

The drummer for the Rockaway hitmaker was allegedly stopped at customs a few hours ahead of the star's headline performance, forcing Hammond to make the difficult decision to stand by his friend and return to Jamaica.

"Apparently, they wouldn't let his drummer come into the country," a source told The Voice.

"Beres has been working with his band for years, they're like a family, so if one is refused, they all are refused."

Hammond, 57, was due to perform at the popular venue in Greenwich alongside fellow reggae stars Morgan Heritage and Marcia Griffiths as part of the 'Beres and Friends' UK tour. The show went ahead without the headline act, with many fans left wondering whether the star's health was to blame for the no-show.

"Hope to God it was a immigration thing," wrote Sarah Ward on Hammond's Facebook page. "Keep hearing he's not well, was going in case it might be last tour, GB u Beres my reggae hero wherever you are and however u doing, you'll be missed this evening, I've cancelled hope you come again soon x x x"

While others were more open to the story of the drummer being refused entry into the UK. "Nothing is wrong with Beres he just dident want to work with another drummer," said Everton Ellis.

Angela Souter added: "Beres is not ill that is not the reason he was offered a substitute drummer for his band and said no so him and his band have returned to Jamaica".

A statement, believed to have been issued by Base Incorporated & Bigga Tings Promotions, the names behind the sold out show, said: "Due to circumstances beyond our control BERES HAMMOND will not be appearing for his UK tour due start this week July 17 – 21, 2013.

"Reason being a member of his Band was refused at Immigration and Passport control and was unable to enter into the country. His refusal led to Beres Hammond deciding not to perform after he was giving an opportunity to use a substitute."

The statement went on: "His actions have left everybody very disappointed and he has now returned back to Jamaica. To avoid further disappointment we have decided to let the show continue with MORGAN HERITAGE & MARCIA GRIFFITHS and were are currently negotiating with another top reggae artist to appear on the bill."

Although the show went ahead, Ticketmaster offered refunds to fans who requested one.

"We're happy to issue a refund if you don't want to attend anymore. We're sorry again for any disappointment caused," the ticket outlet said in a statement on their website.

"Wounded and annoyed how he has let the fans down so easily...," wrote Darren Lee Blades on Facebook. "No doubt I'll still be forever listening to his music lol, just depends who's next in line to replace him wether or not I decide To go"

The tour will continue on to Birmingham, Bristol and Huddersfield, before returning to London's Brixton Academy on July 21.

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