Black Grape Is Ryder And Saber

The reports of disharmony within the ranks of Black Grape have proved to be true with the confirmed departure of co-founder Kermit and fellow rapper Carl "Psycho" McCarthy.

The split solidifies the position of Danny Saber, best known as a producer and engineer for The Rolling Stones, Garbage, David Bowie and U2, as a Black Grape bandmember along side front man Shaun Ryder.

According to Britain's New Musical Express, the pair are in Los Angeles this week meeting and rehearsing with friends of Saber's. Black Grape's second album, "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid," is now out in Europe and is due for an American release January 27, and the band plans on touring in the near future to support its release.

The NME report indicates that the split with Kermit and Psycho was more due to business politics than the well-worn 'creative differences.' Ryder told the magazine he blamed the break on "a power play" between longtime Black Grape tour manager Tony Murray and Black Grape's American

management company, 3AM. Murray also manages Psycho and Kermit's band Manmade, who were apparently also under pressure tour but were unable to due to their Black Grape commitments. The friction reportedly culminated in a violent row mostly between Ryder and Murray backstage at a scheduled Doncaster Dome concert in December. The band failed to perform, plus their other dates including an ensuing tour of Australia were cancelled.

They're now finalizing European and American tours, plus festival dates in the U.K. for May. NME reports that Black Grape are also considering an invitation to play the giant South By South West showcase in Austin, Texas in March.