James, who take the V98 Main Stage at Leeds on Saturday and Chelmsford on Sunday, have announced a December UK arena tour to round off their successful year.

The band have just started work on their next album with Brian Eno, who also produced 1993’s ‘Laid’. The new LP, as-yet untitled and the follow-up to last year’s Top Ten ‘Whiplash’, is due out early in 1999. This year James notched up their first Number One in the album charts with their ‘Best Of’ compilation which has sold 500,000 copies.

James play Hereford Leisure Centre (December 4), Birmingham NEC (5), Plymouth Pavilions (7), Newport Centre (8), Brighton Centre (9), London Wembley Arena (11), Manchester Evening News Arena (formerly NYNEX) (12) and Glasgow SECC (14). Support has yet to be confirmed. For tickets call the NME 24-hour ticketline on 0870-1212 500.