Rock band INXS have called it quits — in what appears to be a shock to its Northern Ireland frontman.
According to reports from the group’s native Australia, the band responsible for hits such as New Sensation, Mystify and Never Tear Us Apart are apparently no more.
The announcement was made on Sunday night at a gig in Perth Arena which saw INXS and its lead singer Ciaran Gribbin playing in support of American rockers Matchbox Twenty.
INXS drummer Jon Farriss took over the microphone from the Castledawson man to announce to thousands of shocked fans the gig would be the band’s last performance.
Farriss added “I'm getting teary”, before the band performed Need You Tonight.
There had been no formal statement from INXS but one was understood to be issued on Tuesday.
The band, which have sold more than 30 million records, have had three lead singers since Michael Hutchence's death in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.
Gribbin, a 36-year-old from south Derry, took over the role from Canadian JD Fortune just over a year ago and had said in a recent interview INXS had big plans for the future.
A message the singer wrote on Facebook on Monday said: “Dear friends, I know a lot of you are concerned and want clarification on what happened at the INXS gig last night in Perth.
“As I write this most of INXS are on a plane flying from Perth to Sydney.
“Please try and be patient as the band plan to release a full statement on the subject ASAP.
“I'm sorry I can't say anymore at this time and hope this helps ease a few worries and concerns. Thank you all for all the love and kind wishes. Ciaran.”
The news appears to have come as something of a surprise to Gribbin who spoke of the band’s future plans in a recent interview
“They're still creative, they're still hungry to prove they have something to say,'' he said.
“They're also still hungry to perform those songs, the songs that were a part of so many people’s lives growing up.''
JD Fortune was the INXS front-man from 2005 to 2011 after the band's search for a permanent singer was documented in the television reality series, Rock Star: INXS.
He took to Twitter after Sunday's night's news and said: “They are my friends and I feel very sad for them. It was an honour to have been a part of the band’s history. Love and Mayhem.”
Replacing a lead singer in a band is difficult and the energy, singing talent, charisma and sensual style of legendary Michael Hutchence has clearly been hard to match.
Singer who replaced Hutchence
- Ciaran Gribbin (36) is a married father-of-one from Castledawson, Co Londonderry. He was announced as the new frontman of Australian rock band INXS in September 2011. Prior to working with INXS, Gribbin performed as alter ego Joe Echo and co-wrote Madonna track Celebration.
- Australian rock band INXS have performed over 4,000 live shows to over 25 million people in almost 50 countries. Michael Hutchence was the band’s legendary lead singer from 1977 until his death in 1997.