R.E.M are currently lining up UK dates for early next year...

R.E.M are currently booking UK concert dates for Spring 1999. The London office of the band’s label WEA say details at this point remain limited, but Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills plan to open their tour of what’s described as medium-sized venues in Australia in January.

The band are due to release their new album – their 11th and the first minus ex-drummer Bill Berry – in October this year. REM are recording the follow-up to 1996’s ‘New Adventures In Hi-Fi’ at the moment in San Francisco.

US music website Addicted To Noise reports that REM are working on the project with Screaming Trees percussionist Barrett Martin and their co-producer is Pat McCarthy, who’s worked with U2, the Counting Crows, The Wallflowers and Luna and who was an engineer on Madonna’s ‘Ray Of Light’ album. High Llamas’ producer Charlie Francis is engineering the album.