Rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have cancelled their upcoming live shows so their drummer Leah Shapiro can undergo brain surgery.

The percussionist has been diagnosed with Chiari malformations, a condition that can put pressure on the brain and cause symptoms including headaches, pain and depression.

Shapiro is now scheduled to undergo surgery as part of her treatment, prompting the group to call off a number of concerts.

A message from the drummer posted on the group's website reads, "A few weeks ago, I started experiencing some unusual symptoms, including dizziness, insomnia, headaches, tingling/numbness in my hands, stiff neck & pain. Even for a drummer, these symptoms were unusual for me so I went to the doctor to get it checked out. After having some pretty exotic tests, they have diagnosed me with something called Chiari Malformations, or Cms for short...

"The good news is that there's a surgical solution for it that is usually effective. The bad news is that when... I tried to rehearse this week... I realised that the effects of this illness has made it impossible for me to play drums. I just can't do the music any justice right now... As you can imagine, I'm hardly looking forward to having my skull cracked open and my brain operated on, but it's the only thing that's going to help me get better. And while the thought of not being able to play drums for several months while I recover from the surgery totally sucks, I'm determined to make a full recovery and get back to playing music... as soon as I can."

The cancelled dates included the band's slot at the Moon Block Party festival in California over the weekend (18-19Oct14).