Vocalist Tim Booth To Exit James

Tim Booth has announced that James' forthcoming U.K. tour this December will be his last with the band. With 11 albums and 20 top-40 U.K. singles under its belt with Booth at the helm, the Manchester-

Tim Booth has announced that James' forthcoming U.K. tour this December will be his last with the band. With 11 albums and 20 top-40 U.K. singles under its belt with Booth at the helm, the Manchester-based group's remaining members plan to continue making music together following the singer's departure.

"After much deliberation I have decided to leave James," Booth said in a statement. "I want to stop while we are on top. I feel proud of just about everything we have done. And I am leaving because it feels like the right time. This is an intuitive decision enabling me to let go of a huge commitment and make space for something new to come in. I am sure the press will try and find all kinds of smaller reasons and many of them may be factually true. But this is the greater truth."

"The gigs at Christmas will be my last with James and will enable us to have a massive farewell celebration," Booth added. "I'd like to thank my co-conspirators in James for the great adventure."

Booth reports he is mid-way through a screenplay and is hoping to act and teach creativity workshops while focusing on creating new music. Looking back on his history with the group, Booth reflected, "When we started the band, we always said we'd give it a year and see how it went. If you had told me we'd last nearly 20 years, I'd have asked you what drugs you were on."

The group's past two studio albums -- 1999's "Millionaires" and the recent "Pleased To Meet You" -- were not issued in the U.S., although the "Best Of" set was released here in 1998 by Mercury. James' biggest-selling album to date is 1993's "Laid," which has moved 539,000 units, according to SoundScan. The title track hit No. 3 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart in January 1994.

Here are James' upcoming U.K. tour dates:

Dec. 2: Brighton (Brighton Centre)
Dec. 3: Leeds (Leeds University)
Dec. 4: Newcastle (Arena)
Dec. 6: Birmingham (NEC)
Dec. 7: Manchester (Evening News Arena)
Dec. 9: Glasgow (SECC)
Dec. 10: London (Wembley Arena)
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