NWOBHM legends CLOVEN HOOF have issued the following update:
"Ben Read (lead guitar), Mick Powell (rhythm guitar) and Jon Brown (drums) no longer members of Cloven Hoof.
Ben Read and Mick Powell have walked out on the band with only 5 weeks to go before 2 prestigious gigs in Finland and Germany. They are letting down the fans, the promoters and the good name of Cloven Hoof.
It had been noticed for some time that their stage presence was nil and their musicianship was deteriorating by the day.
In order not to let the fans down they were still kept on board until the 2 dates had been honoured. As their sacking was inevitable, Mr Powell and Mr Read decided to do the maximum amount of damage possible and leave the band high and dry.
As a direct consequence of Ben and Mick's action, Cloven Hoof have taken the decision to dispense with the services of Jon Brown.
Lee Payne (bass) and stand-in vocalist Russ North are currently in negotiation with the promoters to see if they can still make an appearance at the 2 festivals out of loyalty to the fans.
Cloven Hoof have vowed to return stronger than ever with dedicated band members fit to be in the band."