They're ready to release a new album...but the duo had a few dark nights of the soul before then...

Underworld almost retired from playing live because they weren’t sure they had “anything else to offer”, founder member KARL HYDE has told NME.COM.

Although the band have just announced details of their first shows in the UK since the release of their live album and DVD ‘Everything Everything’ in 2000, Hyde said he thought the shows captured on that film and album were a perfect “document” of Underworld, and as a result he almost walked away from the group.

“The DVD was such a good document of the group as it was,” he said. “We’d been playing live for so long, I reached a point where I felt I’d be perfectly happy to just make records with Rick [Smith]. I also wondered if I had anything else to offer on stage. But after a bit of time off, I realised I’d just got pissed off with playing the same tunes!”

During the recording sessions for album ‘A Hundred Days Off’, due September 16, Hyde said Underworld recorded enough new material for “two CDs”. It is likely that the new, unreleased songs will be put out as B-sides. The record is also the band’s first without Darren Emerson, who quit to concentrate on a solo career.

Hyde said that he was aware of perceptions that Emerson was Underworld’s premier driving force, and the only way he and Smith could prove themselves was through the quality of their new music.

“I’m not putting Darren down by saying that,” he continued, “but for all the records Rick has produced them all, written pretty much all the grooves, I’ve done the lyrics and sung them, so it wasn’t a glitch. Darren’s presence as a friend, that’s what you miss. Coming in and putting across his way of seeing the world, that’s what you miss.”

Hyde is in the middle of a whistle-stop promotional tour that has seen him visit New York, Tokyo and Europe in the space of a few weeks. As a result, he said Underworld had “very little rehearsal” time for their UK tour which calls at:

Cardiff University (October 31)

London Brixton Academy (November 1)

Bristol Academy (11)

Sheffield Octagon (12)

Glasgow Barrowlands (14)

Manchester Apollo (15)

For tickets, call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663, or [url=]click here.