UFO frontman and sole original member Phil Mogg announced his retirement from the veteran British band after their 50th anniversary tour next year, bringing with it the expectation that they’ll split as a result. He revealed he’d been considering the move for some time and described it as a “bittersweet” decision.

“I’ve considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous two tours,” Mogg said in a Facebook statement. “I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but next year’s gigs will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band.”

He added, “2019 marks UFO’s 50th anniversary, so the timing feels right. There will be a final tour of the U.K. and we will also play some shows in selected other cities that the band has a strong connection with. But outside of the U.K. this won’t be a long tour. Being out on the road isn’t always tremendously luxurious and although the playing is as great as it ever was, the stuff that surrounds it becomes very tiresome. I always told myself that when I reached that stage I would step down, and that’s what I’m going to do. This is the right time for me to quit.”

Mogg, 70, added that he’d have “no problem with UFO continuing with a replacement” although the statement also said that it “seems almost certain” the band will split. He was sure there would be no new music from his lineup, noting, “I’ve told the guys that this is how it is. They know it’s my time to go and they know that they can do whatever they want to do without me but I don’t want to play live or make records anymore, though having said that I might go on and do an album of my own. I’ll have to see how I feel about that.”

He concluded, “Maybe the best word to use is ‘bittersweet.’ But my time has arrived and all that remains is to make sure that we have a good tour.”

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