The band are forced to axe a date for the first time in almost ten years...

REMwere forced to cancel a gig for the first time since 1995 in ST PETERSBURG last night (January 27).

The band’s equipment did not arrive at the venue on time, forcing the band to axe the last of their three dates in the Baltic region.

A statement on the band’s official website reads: “After a great night in Tallinn and an all-night journey to St Petersburg in wintry conditions, REM greatly regrets having to cancel the show tonight in St Petersburg. Lengthy delays at the Estonia/Russia border caused our trucks, crew, and gear (sound, lights, instruments, and so forth) to arrive too late to mount the show.

“This is the first time since the widely-chronicled 1995 tour that REM has had to cancel a show, and it is a major disappointment for the band not to be playing this particular city. “

The tour continues as normal in Helsinki on Saturday (January 29).

As NME.COM reported earlier this week, the band, currently on the indoor leg of their European tour, are to headline the Isle Of Wight Festival on June 12.

REM have now confirmed another six dates in Germany, Spain, Italy and Belgium. The majority are festival appearances – among those the US rockers will play are the Rock Am Ring event in Germany (June 3) and the Werchter bash in Belgium (July 3).

Following their indoor shows in Europe, which reaches the Estonian capital of Tallinn tonight (January 26), the band head for Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa. They then return to Europe in the summer for the outdoor shows.

The band are expected to release ‘Electron Blue’, the third single from their chart-topping ‘Around The Sun’ album, to coincide with the indoor UK dates in February.

The full list of remaining 2005 dates and confirmed supports so far are:

Helsinki Hartwell (29) (Brainstorm)

Stockholm Globe (31) (The Thrills)

Oslo Spektrum (February 1) (The Thrills)

Rotterdam Ahoy (3) (The Thrills)

Oberhausen Kopi Arena (4) (The Thrills)

Hannover Preussag Arena (5) (The Thrills)

Antwerp Sportpalais (7) (The Thrills)

Paris Bercy (8) (The Thrills)

Vienna Stadhalle (11) (The Thrills)

Stuttgart Schleyerhalle (12) (The Thrills)

Liepzig Arena (13) (The Thrills)

Berlin Velodrom (15) (The Thrills)

Copenhagen Forum (16) (The Thrills)

Hamburg Color Line Arena (17) (The Thrills)

London Carling Apollo Hammersmith (February 19) (Now It’s Overhead)

Sheffield Hallam FM Arena (21) (Now It’s Overhead)

Glasgow SECC (22) (Now It’s Overhead)

Birmingham NEC (23) (Now It’s Overhead)

Belfast Odyssey (25) (Now It’s Overhead)

Dublin Point Theatre (26/27) (Now It’s Overhead)

Cape Town Bellville Velodrome (March 4/5)

Durban ABSA Stadium (8)

Johannesburg Coca-Cola Dome (10/11)

Tokyo Budokan (15)

Nagoya Geijyutsu Gekijyo (17)

Osaka Grand Cube (18)

Hong Kong (Wanchai) Convention & Exhibition (20)

Christchurch Westpac (24) (Bright Eyes)

New Plymouth Bowl Of Brooklands (26) (Bright Eyes)

Brisbane Entertainment Centre (29) (Bright Eyes)

Sydney Entertainment Centre (31) (Bright Eyes)

Melbourne Rod Laver Arena (April 3) (Bright Eyes)

Adelaide Entertainment Centre (6) (Bright Eyes)

Perth Burswood Dome (8) (Bright Eyes)

Torrevieja Campo De Futbol (May 27)

Zaragoza Recinto Ferial Dela Feria Fe Mestras (28)

Hipodromo De Las Mestas (May 29)

Magdeburg Dom Platz (June 1)

Rock Am Ring Festival (3)

Rock Im Park Festival (4)

Graz Freizeitzentrum (5)

Rome Stadio Olimpico (10)

Bologna Heineken Festival (11)

Isle Of Wight Festival (12)

Lancashire County Cricket Ground (17) (Feeder)

Loch Lomond Balloch Country Park (18)

Dublin Ardgillan Castle (19)

Gothenburg Tragarn (21)

Oslo Ullevall Stadium (22)

Stavanger Viking Stadion (23)

Horsens Stadium (25)

Bonn Museumplatz (28)

Dresden Elbufer (29)

Werchter Festival (July 3)

Hull The KC Stadium (5)

Nottingham Forest Football Club (6)

Ipswich Town Football Club (8)

London Hyde Park (9) (Feeder)

Cardiff Millennium Stadium (10)

For ticket availability for the UK shows [url=]click here or call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663.