Thunder guitarist Ben Matthews has cancer

Thunder And Whitesnake Perform In Sheffield

Thunder have revealed that guitarist Ben Matthews has cancer.

The band played their Calling Festival set at the end of June with temporary replacement Pete Shoulder in the six-string spot whilst Matthews had tonsil surgery.

Thunder frontman Danny Bowes said in a statement: “The surgeon found some ‘extra’ matter attached to one of them, and after some tests, it was found to be malignant.

“In effect he has cancer and needs treatment, which will mean a course of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Whilst the treatment is not pleasant, we’re told the percentage chances of a happy outcome are ‘in the high 90s’.”

Thunder have promised to keep fans updated and added: “In the meantime please join us in wishing him well.”

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Thunder draft in replacement guitarist for Calling Festival set

Download Festival 2013 - Day 2

Brit rock band Thunder have had to draft in a replacement guitarist ahead of their Calling Festival set this weekend.

Regular guitarist Ben Matthews has had to have his tonsils removed and is too ill to play or sing. Thunder have therefore called on the six-string services of Pete Shoulder, guitarist in Luke Morley’s other band, The Union.

Thunder frontman Danny Bowes said in a statement: “Ben is unable to go out or sing, so he cannot do the show on Saturday at Clapham. Rather than cancel, the band has asked our good friend Peter Shoulder to play guitar, and he has agreed to step in.

“Ben is currently advising Pete (via text) on hair tips and shape chucking. In return Pete has agreed not to sing and play too well. Please join us in wishing Ben a speedy recovery, and thanking Pete for saving the proverbial bacon.”

Thunder recently announced that they are to record a new studio album, despite previously indicating that 2008’s Bang! would be their last.

The Calling Festival, taking place this weekend on Clapham Common, features headliners Aerosmith, as well as Joe Bonamassa, Richie Sambora and The Walking Papers on Saturday the 28th June, with the 29th being headlined by Stevie Wonder.

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Aerosmith, Thunder and Joe Bonamassa to play Calling Festival

Aerosmith band lineupThe festival formerly known as Hard Rock Calling has a new name, location, and confirmed headliners.

The Calling Festival will take place this year on Clapham Common, on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June. Aerosmith have been confirmed as headliners for the Saturday night and will be joined by rock luminaries Thunder, Joe Bonamassa and Walking Papers.

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is quoted as saying “It’s been far too long since we have performed in the UK. We can’t wait to bring back some of the classics as well as some of the new songs… We miss our UK fans. See you soon.”

The festival will feature several stages and will boast around 20 acts each day.

“This year is one of the most exciting on record for the Calling Festival,” says Live Nation’s Vice President of Promotions, Toby Leighton-Pope. “We’re looking forward to bringing our new look event to Clapham Common. There’s still lots of announcements to come, including a big Sunday night headliner.”

Calling Festival 2014 tickets go on sale at 9am this coming Friday, 7th March.