The Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi has defended his band's last critically-panned UK tour, insisting the New York-based group was on the verge of burning out. However, the rocker maintains that after a break from performing the band has regained its enthusiasm and compensated for its lacklustre 2003 gigs by blowing British fans away with January and February (06) dates showcasing latest album FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH. He says, "You get to a point sometimes where you're on tour and you've done so much and you've committed yourself to doing so much more, and you've got yourself in over your head. "We'd turn up and do the shows, and the shows would be OK, but no-one really wanted to be there. We had to tone it down a bit. "'It's not that with the last tour we didn't give a f**k, it's just that we were exhausted. We were at the end of our line. "Norway would phone us up and say, 'Hey do you guys want to come play over here? and we'd agree to that, then get the same call from Australia and have to fit that show in as well. "If we'd kept it up at that rate, the third album wouldn't have been made."