The National announce new album and 2013 UK and Ireland tour

Sixth studio-album Trouble Will Fine Me heralds start of live activity, tickets on sale now

Entering their 14th year as a band and gearing up for album number six is Matt Berninger's dark and deeply evocative The National who, by sheer coincidence, have chosen to announce their intentions for the year during the same week as the Grand National itself. Perfect timing.

Horses won't be on the agenda for the U.S. alt-rock ensemble though - it'll be all about the music with a brand new clutch of songs to share via the medium of disc or download, plus their first headline gigs in the UK since 2010, save for a few festival slots high up the pecking order.

The follow-up to 2010's impressive "High Violet" is likely to yield intense scrutiny from fans, critics and onlookers alike - "Trouble Will Find Me" will be released 21st May via 4AD and includes thirteen songs penned during the past couple of years.

So far The National have resisted the temptation to appear on every blimmin' festival going and announced their own world tour instead.

Four of the shows involve coming to the UK and Ireland, one of which has already been announced - a headline show in Cork on 28th June, part of the city's Live at the Marquee series. Tickets are still available from €35.

As for the new shows, they begin in the autumn. Belfast will be first on 9th November, followed by Dublin on the 10th, Manchester on the 11th and London's Alexandra Palace on the 13th.

Belfast and Dublin - tickets on sale now, priced at £30 or €39. Manchester and London - tickets on sale now, priced around £27.50.

Demand for all shows will be huge.

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