Former LIBERTINES star Carl Barat's plans to launch a solo project have hit an early obstacle - he urgently needs an operation to remove a tumour.

The CAN'T STAND ME NOW singer faces surgery to extract a lump behind his ear - and doctors have ordered him to avoid listening to loud music throughout his recovery, hindering his plans to embark on a new rock venture.

Barat - who featured in The Libertines' final gig last month (DEC04) - is now scheduled to enter hospital later this month (JAN05).

A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Fortunately it's not too serious health-wise - but Carl's definitely not had the best luck.

"The operation will remove the benign lump and Carl must rest up for a couple of months. Sadly, this means he won't be able to start a new project any time soon."

06/01/2005 09:41