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Vampire Weekend still on the bill at political rally following guitarist's shock departure

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig has assured fans the band isn't breaking up following the departure of co-founder Rostam Batmanglij.

The musician announced his decision to leave the group after 10 years on Tuesday (26Jan16), but Koenig and company have no plans to disband - and a scheduled performance at a Bernie Sanders rally in Iowa City, Iowa on Saturday (30Jan16) is still going ahead.


Koenig and drummer Chris Tomson will take the stage alongside Killer Mike and Foster the People for the free concert at the University of Iowa Field House, being staged to swell the youth vote for presidential hopeful Sanders.


It has since been reported bassist Chris Baio will not be joining his bandmates at the rally, but no reason has been given for his absence.


Announcing the show will go on without Baio and Batmanglij, Koenig tweets: "performance will be me, CT, Dave Longstreth, @lucasbros & the U of Iowa Hawkapellas."


Vampire Weekend aren't the only rockers showing their support for Sanders - Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced plans to headline a Feel The Bern benefit in Los Angeles next month (Feb16).


The group and a few special guests will perform at The Theater at Ace Hotel, and they can't wait to salute the Democratic hopeful, who is up against fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, and Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the polls.


"So excited to be playing this concert for Bernie Sanders next week," bassist Flea wrote in a statement. "Feels great to support someone I believe in.


"The Rhcp offered to give him the money to pay for the theater that night but he wouldn't accept, he only accepts small donations from individuals. Every other politician greedily grabs every cent they can get from any scumbag lobbyist. This is a man with integrity. If you can please buy the expensive seats to help out the campaign. Thank you so much. Bernie sanders for president."