Vocalist/bassist Burke Shelley of legendary Welsh rockers BUDGIE, who recently underwent emergency surgery, forcing the band to cancel its previously announced European tour, has issued the following statement:"I'd like to say sorry to all the Polish and Czech fans for the recent cancellation of the tour dates. This is because I became ill just before the tour began and had to have emergency surgery in Poland. I'm now recovering at home and I don't yet know what the future holds. "Thanks to all those who supported me, particularly the Polish surgeons. Thanks also to all those who sent messages and thanks to God the Father and Jesus Christ my saviour and the Holy Spirit." Shelley was admitted to hospital after complaining of pains in his abdomen on November 9 in Wejherowo. A team of surgeons was quickly assembled to operate on the singer and bassist who was diagnosed as having a 6cm aneurism of the aorta. Tests revealed that Burke's aorta was leaking blood into the outer wall of the aneurism which could have burst at any time. He subsequently underwent a two-hour, 40-minute operation. BUDGIE was widely considered as one of the first heavy metal bands and a seminal influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Although BUDGIE was never more than a cult band in the United States, their influence was felt by many notable American bands. They are highly respected by METALLICA, who went on record as having credited BUDGIE as a major influence, while SOUNDGARDEN — who emerged from the Seattle grunge scene — covered "Homicidal Suicidal".