US indie stars pull festival slot

And it means changes to the bill

The Shins have pulled out of the Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds festivals as they continue work on their new album.

The band were due to play the Radio1/NME stage at Reading (26) and Leeds (27).

As a result of The Shins‘ decision, The Automatic have moved into their slot, while Metric join the bill for Friday (25) at Leeds and Sunday at Reading.

The Shins said in a message on their official website: “A BIG TIME apology going out to everyone that bought tickets to see us. No excuse could make up for this disappointment on both of our ends. We were so psyched to play this show at this legendary festival, but it came down to a rushed performance agreement conflicting with a major, and unmoveable recording time period.

“We had to opt for the move that would get this record out on time. To our UK fans, we’ll make up for this a soon as possible.”

However, the New Mexico outfit describe the new material, which will feature on the belated follow-up to 2004’s ‘Chutes Too Narrow’, as their best ever.

They wrote: “It gives us great pleasure to say that it is just weeks from being done! We can’t leak any details, but we have never been more happy with anything that we’ve ever recorded before.

“And we can definitely say that it is due to the fact that we’ve been given so much time to perfect it. The record is the best we’ve ever done. We hope that you will agree.”

The album is due to come out in early 2007.