Bad Lieutenant, circa 2009

As feared, Bernard Sumner’s Bad Lieutenant has joined the growing list of bands — including Johnny Marr and The Cribs — to cancel their appearances at the just-underway Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival because a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland has grounded thousands of European flights.

Bad Lieutenant’s publicist this afternoon issued a statement saying the band’s members, “having exhausted every possible scenario to make their way to the United States from their U.K. homes…  have determined that there is simply no way for them to play at tomorrow’s Coachella festival.” The band was scheduled to play at 8:15 p.m. PST Saturday in the Gobi tent — and had even announced its setlist already.

The group — featuring Sumner and former New Order bandmates Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham — already had canceled tonight’s gig in San Francisco, which was supposed to have been its belated American debut. Bad Lieutenant also had been planning to perform Monday in Chicago and Wednesday in New York; it’s not yet known whether the band still will attempt to make next week’s gigs.

As for Marr and The Cribs, that band was one of the first to announce yesterday it wouldn’t make its Coachella slot, writing on its MySpace blog, “Unfortunately, despite a Herculean effort, we won’t be able to play at Coachella this year. We are pretty gutted to be frank, currently languishing in the grimmest ferry port after waiting for good news about free airspace that never came.”

And Numan yesterday posted a statement saying the best he could do was a flight to Los Angeles on Sunday that would arrive just hours before he is due on stage — and with no time to rehearse with ex-Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, who is slated to play with Numan’s band at Coachella and at shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles next week.

Numan writes, “We are still waiting to find out if British Airways can offer any better alternatives. Very upsetting, though, to see such a huge opportunity slipping through your fingers. I am glued to the TV news at the moment.”

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