Tim Booth says the group's forthcoming UK tour will be the "last chance to catch the current line-up"...

JAMES vocalist TIM BOOTH has announced he is to quit the band.

In a posting on the group's official website, www.jamestheband.com, it is claimed that the group's current UK tour in December will be the "last chance to catch the current line-up". The remaining members of the group are set to continue recording together, with an announcement on the group to follow.

A statement from Tim Booth reads: "After much deliberation I have decided it's time for me to leave James. When we started the band we always said we'd give it a year and see how it went. If you had told me we'd last nearly 20 years I'd have asked you what drugs you were on. I am leaving on a high. The tour is selling well and will be a great farewell party. For the last two years we have been getting on better with each other than ever before. We have made a CD that I believe to be our best since 'Laid'; yes I have heard that reviews state otherwise but by not reading them I keep myself in a blissful bubble of ignorance. Although some of the summer gigs were a bit hit and miss the last gig we did, in Athens, was one of the best we have ever done.

"So why am I leaving? Well because I want to stop while we are on top. To leave great memories knowing that I feel proud of just about everything we have done. And I am leaving because it feels like THE RIGHT TIME. This is an intuitive decision enabling me to let go of a huge commitment and make space for something new to come in. I am sure the press will try and find all kinds of smaller reasons and many of them may be factually true. But this is the greater truth.

"I am midway through a screen play - which may just be for an audience of one. I am looking forward to teaching creativity workshops, to act and create some new music. If you want to keep in touch, my own web-site should be running by December at timbooth.net.

"I don't know what the rest of the guys are going to do but I want to thank them for an amazing ride and for taking my departure so well. For those of you who hate award acceptance thank you's turn away now. I want to thank all the musicians who have ever played in James throughout our various incarnations...and finally you. The quality of your listening has enabled us to produce quality. Your faith in us has lifted us to higher levels. It seems like you have managed to always see us through the smokescreen of hipness and cool that the music industry is drowning in. Thank you for listening. Much love."

A UK spokesperson for the group is currently unable to confirm Booth's departure from the group.

To buy tickets for the group's final tour, click here.

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