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Bigelf tour won't feature Portnoy

Drummer confirms his schedule only allowed for studio sessions but says: "Go catch them live"

Mike Portnoy has confirmed he won't take part in the upcoming Bigelf tour of Europe in support of their album Into The Maelstrom.

Mainman Damon Fox brought the drummer in to record their long-awaited fourth album – and admitted the record might not have happened without the ex Dream Theater's man's support.

Fox said in 2013: "I had been keeping in close touch with Mike after his public and difficult departure from Dream Theater. My musical future seemed bleak and I was very vocal to him about not being able to sustain the band any longer.

"He implored me to carry on. Recognising that I needed some new allies, I asked him he would help fight the good fight, and he readily agreed."

The result was the well-received launch of Into The Maelstrom in March, which also featured new guitarist Louis Maldonado. But Portnoy has now confirmed he won't be with the the band when they visit the UK and Europe later this year.

He says: "Sadly, I am not playing drums with Bigelf on their upcoming European tour. As much as I wish I could, I was only ever able to commit to playing on the album and doing the Progressive Nation At Sea shows with them.

"However, I still strongly urge you all to go catch them live and help support the mighty Elf! Not only are they my brothers, they are still one of my favourite musical discoveries of the past decade. So go support great music!"

Bigelf UK dates

Aug 03: Resonance festival, London 

Nov 14: Manchester Deaf Institute 

Nov 15: Hard Rock Hell VII, Pwllheli 

Nov 17: Glasgow Cathouse 

Nov 18: Wolverhampton Slade Rooms 

Nov 19: London Garage

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