Monday, 22 February 2016

Liam Gallagher Praises New Ashcroft Track

Liam Gallagher has spoken positively of Richard Ashcroft 's new solo track following the announcement of The Verve frontman's forthcoming new album.

Ashcroft will release his fourth solo album 'These People' on May 20, today revealing his new track 'This Is How It Feels'.

Oasis singer Gallagher has since taken to Twitter to say that it's "good to hear" Ashcroft again after a six year absence. 

"New tune sounding good," Gallagher added

Richard Ashcroft Announces New Album 'These People'

The Verve frontman will release his fourth solo album 'These People' on May 20, which he describes in a cryptic statement as concerning "some personal and world events [taking] a dark turn leading to a sense of urgency and a clearing of the mind".

The album, his first since 2010's 'United Nations Of Sound', was recorded largely in Ashcroft’s basement home studio and features orchestration from Wil Malone, who worked with Richard on The Verve’s 'Northern Soul' and the ten million-selling 'Urban Hymns' as well as his 2000 debut solo album 'Alone With Everybody'.

The album tackles topics such as the war in Syria, the Arab Spring uprisings and the death of a close friend because, as Ashcroft’s statement reads, "to do nothing would be a crime in this sick nihilistic age of war". The singer also claimed he had been "experimenting with old and new equipment trying to find new textures and sounds to accompany an ancient art" and credited last year’s spate of acoustic shows in Mexico, Zurich and Bilbao for helping him realise "my lane in the chaos becomes clearer – to be a modern day troubadour". 

Ashcroft told NME: "Over the period I wrote this we’ve lived through incredible times. Highly contentious wars were going into the pot. There were grassroots movements that were then turning into semi-revolutions, there was Tahrir Square. There was everything kicking off all over the globe, people being divided. Pepper spray everywhere, tear gas… We’re in a very nihilistic age, we’re in death-ridden, world war times and I like to reflect the society we’re in but I also wanna possibly project something that gives us a sense of hope

The album's tracklisting will be:

'Out Of My Body'
'This Is How It Feels'
'They Don’t Own Me'
'Hold On'
'These People'
'Everybody Needs Somebody To Hurt'
'Pictures Of You'
'Black Lines'
'Ain’t The Future So Bright'
'Songs Of Experience'

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Youth On Urban Hymns

The producer and Killing Joke bassist has produced everyone from Alien Sex Fiend to Bananarama. He recently gave an interview and talked about his time when he worked on Urban Hymns:

"There’s something very wonderful about being part of a band’s adventure as they break through. I don’t know what happened to Richard Ashcroft just before Urban Hymns: the band had been this very jamming, psychedelic act on the gigging circuit for two albums – then the songs seemed to just come to him from above, absolutely perfectly formed, with the knowledge of how to sing them. Recording his vocal was probably the easiest I’ve ever done, but the challenge then was to make the music and production reach the same level, and that took over six months. As ever with a band, there’s a lot of conflict resolution for the producer, a lot of: “Well let’s try recording both versions and see which one sounds best.” A lot of stunning material was recorded that never came out and I’m hoping that on the 20th anniversary, maybe some of it can be heard on a special edition. It was worth all of that effort though, and it ended up one of the best-sounding records I’ve ever done - due mainly to Chris Potter who engineered and mixed it. He aced that one."

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Nick McCabe Selling Equipment To Fans Via Facebook

Former Verve guitarist Nick McCabe is selling off various guitars, amps and pieces of musical equipment via his Facebook page. 

McCabe announced the sale on May 18 and has been regularly updating the items on sale. Among the sought-after pieces are a 1972 Telecaster Deluxe seen on the 'Love Is Noise' video, and pedals used on 2008 Verve album 'Forth'. 

In a May 18 post, McCabe concedes that "The past two years have been hard on my bank balance" but later writes that he's finding the clear-out rewarding. "I'm actually extracting a lot of joy from selling all this stuff off, who'd have thought," he wrote. He's also been posting pictures of himself packing and signing items bought by fans.

McCabe has let sentimentality get the better of him when it came to one item, his red Fender Stratocaster, named Spike, which was removed from sale. 

"I've had all kinds of reactions to selling that guitar, but generally people closest to me say, 'You can't'," he writes. "I've managed to autoerase most of my history several times, maybe it's time to [stop] doing that. Everything else is still up for grabs."

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Nick McCabe Sailing Into Calmer Waters With New Band

Heres an interview with Nick McCabe done recently with the Manchester Evening News:

After a bruising time with The Verve, guitarist Nick McCabe tells Sarah Walters why he's now ready to unveil his new band

Nick – best known as peerless guitarist in Wigan band The Verve – is putting together the 'technicals' for a short tour with his new band Black Submarine, who stop off at the Deaf Institute on Wednesday.

Despite years of working with musical luminaries such as John Martyn, and as a producer, he has never formed a band outside The Verve. “The last Verve album had a couple of lessons for me really,” says Nick.

“I had previously come out of that band quite damaged, as the scapegoat for various machinations in the band that had been pinned on me. Post each period of The Verve, I had a period of convalescing and licking my wounds.

“The reason I continued at all is because I'm passionate about music, and that's been a blessing and a curse – while that's given me the conviction to carry on making music, I have rejected the notion of getting involved in anything with a profile that would ruin the satisfaction of it.”

Recording sessions for the final Verve record, Forth, were what allowed Nick to 'make peace' with those anxieties. He rekindled a fruitful writing relationship with The Verve's bassist Simon Jones, and it soon became clear that they could put together a project they'd been considering working on since they were teenagers.

“It was a bit of a triumph over adversity,” Nick recalls, “we realised all the bull**** didn't have to affect us. I don't think The Verve ever played as well as we did on that tour, but it's not to be underestimated the politics in that band; even the people who worked with us got sucked into the dysfunction.

“Pete Salisbury (The Verve's drummer) was going to come on board with us, but his loyalty to Richard (Ashcroft) and the politics... Rather than getting embroiled in that, he just bowed out gracefully.

“A lot of other things conspired in our favour: I had a working relationship with Mig (Schillace – former drummer for Portishead) and I'd been sparring verbally with Dav (Davide Rossi – strings visionary for Goldfrapp, Coldplay and the Forth LP). Instead of belligerently sticking two fingers up at the music business, I thought, 'Well, I've invested most of my life in this business, this is what I want to hear and if that satisfies my idea of quality then someone else is going to get it too'.

“At this point in life, I can look at things and realise how lucky I am.”

Finally, then, in 2010 Nick, Simon, Davide and Mig unveiled The Black Ships, and an EP started doing the online rounds – Kurofune, a 25-minute psychedelic masterpiece and classic McCabe territory. A legal challenge from an American band forced a name change from on to under the ocean, the Massive Attack-style revolving roster of singers was abandoned in favour of permanent vocalist Amelia Tucker and, 18 months on, there's an album ready to go.

New Shores is 'the cream of a big crop' from sessions that were more jammed than contrived. It's pretty wow: majestic and utterly without musical boundaries. It's no accidental wander away from the genres and Zeitgeists McCabe rejects, and it acknowledges how liberated musicians in a post-major label age can be.

“Genre fascism has gone the other way, even prog's being rehabilitated! And that means we're in a position where everybody has very disparate tastes and everything you hid away in your record collection as your dirty little secret is fair game,” Nick smiles.

“Music doesn't have to be this highly conceptual hybridisation, it can be as simple as letting your subconscious vomit. That's where I'm more excited really – when things spill forth and you go, 'Where did that come from?'. If you've got five people in a room and they all let their subconscious vomit you're going to get something really interesting.”

Laughter erupts. “Honestly, though, I'm going back to being five years old listening to The Planets suite by Holst, you don't have a visual stimulus for what you listen to so you've got more room for imagination. I like to think with this record we've let the universe in – that it's a drug experience without the drugs.”

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Pete Salisbury Performs At Jon Brookes Tribute Concert

The Charlatans headlined A Night For Jon Brookes, a tribute concert for their late drummer, at London's Royal Albert Hall (October 18).

The evening started with Birmingham band Dumb, followed by Tim & Friends, a line-up featuring New Order's Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Mumford and Sons' Winston Marshall, The Vaccines' Freddie Cowan and Arni Arnason, and The Pretenders' James Walbourn, with Tim Burgess on vocals.

Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield was up next followed by Liam Gallagher & Friends, essentially Beady Eye without injured guitarist Gem Archer.

Finally, The Charlatans came to the stage, with former The Verve drummer Pete Salisbury filling in for Brookes. Speaking to NME before the concert, Charlatans bassist Martin Blunt said: "There was a tour when Jon was ill and wasn't going to be able to play. We asked who he wanted to replace him, and his first choice was Pete Salisbury."