Tim Burgess' new project increases speculation that the band's future could be in doubt...

THE CHARLATANS’ future is in doubt following revelations that frontman TIM BURGESS has started work on a solo album in LA.

There had been rumours circulating recently that one of the biggest bands of the last ten years were finally going to call it a day. After seven studio albums – their last was 2001’s ‘Wonderland’ – NME.COM understands that

Burgess has been wanting to take an extended break from the band.

A source told NME.COM: “After ‘Wonderland’ Tim decided he wanted to do his own thing, something a bit different to The Charlatans.”

As a result, Burgess has now started work on a solo album with a country-rock feel. He has hooked up with little known American singer-songwriter Linus Of Hollywood and psychedelic alt-country outfit Beechwood Sparks.

Burgess has long wanted to go in a country direction, often speaking of his admiration for [a][/a]. He also regularly sports a classic T-shirt of the Flying Burrito Brothers, the band formed by country legend and former member of The Byrds, Gram Parsons.

For more, see this week’s NME, which is out now in London, and tomorrow nationwide (October 23).