Wednesday 28 November 2007

Verve Re-Release Best Of

The Verve are planning to re-release their best of album with a bonus DVD.

This Is Music: The Singles 92-98 was originally released in 2004, but will now feature an extra disc of promotional videos.

The album features unreleased tracks 'This Could Be My Moment' and 'Monte Carlo', along with hits 'Lucky Man', 'The Drugs Don't Work' and 'Bitter Sweet Symphony'.

The band, who have just finished a small venue reunion tour, are currently preparing for a series UK arena gigs this December.

The re-issued best of is released on December 3.

Saturday 3 November 2007

Verve Return With Barnstorming Show

The Verve played their first show as an original four-piece in almost a decade tonight (November 2) with a much anticipated reunion gig in Glasgow.

During a 90 minute performance, the band, who reunited in June, stormed through a 17 song set that included favourites such as 'Bittersweet Sympathy' and 'The Drugs Don't Work'. However there were some boos at the end of the Carling Academy show when, after a three song encore, fan favourite 'History' wasn't dusted down.

There were no support acts tonight. Instead DJs played ahead of the hugely in-demand show - tickets were trading on eBay for £250 a pair.

The band took to the stage to the strains of 60's maverick David Axelrod's 'Holy Are You' (a track that frontman Richard Ashcroft re-recorded with the composer) alongside a screen flashing images that included Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and comedy character Reginald Perrin.

The show started with a classic Verve moment.

As the band strode on the shamanic Ashcroft moved to the mic and announced "this is music" to cacophonous yelps - introducing their classic track of the same name.

It was a night that saw little said from the stage. At one point Ashcroft announced simply that it was great to be back in Glasgow after nine years, though physically The Verve looked to have changed little. Any thoughts that animosity lingered between Ashcroft and his foil Nick McCabe were extinguished early on when, in a simple gesture, the frontman acknowledged his guitarist during a solo on the first track.

The band also unveiled one new song. Seven tracks into the gig Ashcroft announced "we're going to try something new here" and, apologising for reading from a sheet of paper.

He and the band worked through an untitled track that was distinguished mostly by a rumbling bass. The song owed more to Gorillaz and The Stone Roses second album than The Verve's back catalogue. Lyrics included: "I should have warned her/I'd fall to pieces".

The Verve finished their set with a massive 'Bittersweet Symphony' before returning for a three track encore. They play the same venue tomorrow (November 3).

The set-list in full was:

This Is Music
All In The Mind
Weeping Willow
Life's An Ocean
Space And Time
Sit And Wonder
Velvet Morning
Already There
Let The Damage Begin
Northern Soul
Drugs Don't Work
Rolling People
Man Called Sun
Lucky Man
Come On

Friday 2 November 2007

The Verve On Tour With Comeback

The Verve return to the stage tonight for the first time in a decade.

Wigan's greatest ever band surprised even their most staunch fan by reforming at the end of June.
And at around 9pm this evening, singer Richard Ashcroft, bassist Simon Jones, drummer Pete Salisbury and guitarist Nick McCabe will grace the stage at Glasgow's Academy, and excited fans say they just can't wait to see their heroes together at last.
Bass player Simon said the band was preparing a set full of new stuff, as well as old, old favourites.

He said: "We started rehearsing with Life's An Ocean and I've got to say, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. We've got a shortlist of 20 tunes to pick from for these first gigs."
And the list is sure to set the mouths of the staunchest Verve-lovers watering. Simon said the tunes included songs from first album A Storm in Heaven, such as Gravity Grave, She's A Superstar and All In The Mind.

He also revealed some of The Verve's new song titles; Sit And Wonder, Appalachian Springs, Judas, Mona Lisa and Rather Be, and hinted the band may well be playing them live. A new album is expected in January.
The Verve formed in 1989 at Winstanley College. The

first album – 1991's A Storm in Heaven – was a huge underground hit. Songs such as Blue and Slide Away reached the top of the indie charts. The follow up, A Northern Soul in 1995, is now regarded as The Verve's finest work, with such tunes as On Your Own, History and the title track remaining firm favourites among fans.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Thaw Explained

Nick McCabe has posted a new blog on his MySpace page and had this to say:

"Here's a little note on the 'Thaw Session'. What you hear is the first thing that went to tape, yes, tape, we were already playing as the machine went into record, literally twenty mins after si turned up. When we decided to make this available we started to edit and polish, get the intro a little more slick, move instruments around, etc, and then Si and myself had a think and decided to do that would be out of step with the spirit of the offering. It's not a "taster", it's not a "clue" it's not a "used up b-side", it's not a "weaker track" or "out of step with the album" or any of that shit. Keep guessing Sherlock. This is what you would have heard had you been in the room with us, and you my friends, get to hear it. Gratis. Make of that what you will. Anyway, three days off albeit with tonsilitis and a particularly onerous 'comedy pickpocketing', back to the grind. Later."

The Thaw Session: Music Industry Reacts

The music industry has been reacting to the fact that The Verve have made new music.

Adam Benzine of music industry bible Music Week said: "As one of the most important bands of the Britpop era, it's great to see The Verve joining the likes of The Charlatans, Radiohead, Prince and Travis exploring new business models, revenue streams and new ways of getting their music out to fans.

"As an early supporter of the group, the NME are a natural fit for a band like The Verve, and this copy protection-free download of a jam session is a great way of building excitement around their return. They'll no doubt benefit from increased exposure much as The White Stripes and Babyshambles have done with their covermounts.

"That said, I can't imagine the Wigan lads will be following in Radiohead's footsteps with an honesty box offering if they record a new album."

Monday 22 October 2007

Verve Release New Music

The Verve have added an extra date to their reunion tour. The band will now play Nottingham Arena on December 11, in addition to the rest of their comeback shows.

Meanwhile, you can download the first 14 minutes of music The Verve made after deciding to reunite for free on NME.COM now.

Rather than kicking off their reformation with a band meeting, the Wigan legends met in a studio in Richmond and jammed out some musical ideas together.

The first fruits from that session can now be heard in the form of the 'The Thaw Session' - the title a reference to 'Deep Freeze', an experimental bonus track on the band's last album 'Urban Hymns' - a 14-minute track you can get for free.

To download a free version of the band's first new music in over ten years, simply head to NME.COM/verve, until October 28.

Friday 19 October 2007

Special Verve News On The Way has some very special news about The Verve, which will be announced on Monday (October 22) at noon (BST).

Without giving too much away, they have said that they will be bringing information that all fans will want to know about, so make sure you're here at the start of next week to find out what's going on.

Saturday 13 October 2007

New Song Titles Revealed

Si Jones has posted a new blog on his MySpace about what he and The Verve have been up-to in the past few months. He has also revealed song titles for the new songs The Verve have wrote:

Sit And Wonder
Appalachian Springs
Mona Lisa
Rather Be

Thursday 11 October 2007

Ashcroft On The Verve

Richard Ashcroft has been talking to 6 Music about The Verve reunion and progress on their new album.

He says that writing new material was the most natural thing in the world:

"We just turned up and without going into too much psychology and ripping ourselves to peices, I think we met and within 20 minutes we were playing music.

"So I think we're just going to let the music do the talking and I'm very happy with the results we've got so far."

And he says relationships within the band are amicable:

"We've had a few fights but thats just the way it is - Nah - we're fine, we're cool, it's good. Y'know it's all about the healing process, it's about forgiveness and it's about moving on, it's all about love it's all about peace. No more fights."

He may have had success as a solo artist, since The Verve broke up, but Richard says there's nothing quite like being in a band when it's all going well.

"Certain bands have got certain combinations that a bit of magic happens and I'm very lucky to have been part of that before and looking forward to the future and doing it again so it's all very exciting."

The Verve kick off a winter tour at the Glasgow Academy on 02 November, and Richard says it will be hard to chose the setlist:

"Sometimes lyrically you feel uncomfortable with stuff you've done in the past, so lyrically it's got to be right for me now, and musically for the rest of the guys.

"But luckily we wrote some songs that had a timeless quality so we're not too fearful about it. Should be good concerts."

Monday 8 October 2007

Urban Classic

The Verve's last album, Urban Hymns has won the Q Classic Album at this years Q Awards, Richard Ashcroft was there in person to collect the award and had this to say about the new album they are currently working on:

"It should be out by Summer, it sounds great all Verve fans will be happy with the mix, from people who loved Northern Soul, Urban Hymns, it's all there, we 're buzzing."

Friday 5 October 2007

Verve Extend Their Stay In Manchester

The Verve have added an extra Manchester date to their forthcoming UK tour, after the original date sold out in just two minutes.

The new date will now take place at Manchester Central on December 21.

The band will now play five shows in December - starting at London's 02 Arena on December 13.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Possible Support Acts For Verve Comeback Gigs

Nick McCabe as posted info on his MySpace page on who he and Si Jones would like as support acts on the Verve's comeback gigs:

"As of 8th October we're in the thick of it. Will have the moby but probably no net access for the foreseeable future. Apols for the backlog. Must. Try. Harder. xxxx

Here's an idea... Hot water possibly... fuck it... Some highly inappropriate supports have been suggested for the December gigs. We've had a good think and Si and myself fancy: Modest Mouse, Guillemots, Jose Gonzales, Midlake, Arcade Fire, obviously some of these might consider it beneath them, you never know though. Of course I'd love Nova Saints and Exit Calm in there- what do you reckon? I'd personally love to see Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers every night, don't know if Greg loves us as much though, ha... Your gigs innit ;-) make sure you don't have to endure this weeks indie flavour on yr big ticket, lets all have a good night. Direct your angst at, and not at myself thanks (sorry Trish), and we can take notes. We love to help out new bands but we have certain criteria with this arena shit so the answer is 'no' before you flood me with requests. Cheers, see you in November.... "

Verve Break Silence About Inter-Band Fighting

The Verve have revealed how they settled the differences that split up the band after the release of their classic album, 'Urban Hymns'.

Richard Ashcroft and his band members explain how they resolved their issues in the new issue of NME, on sale now.

"We had quite a lot of time being angry," guitarist Nick McCabe explained, talking about the fighting that split the band. "Then, once you've sort of resolved a lot of things in your own mind, you kind of realise that it wasn't such a big deal in the first place.

"Then you think, 'God, what went on there?' All the stuff that happened since is a bit of a nonsense, really."

"It's all bollocks really," frontman Richard Ashcroft went on to say. "We're not here to get on the fucking couch. We've got our lives, we've got kids, we've got our wives. There's a lot of sacrifice goes on making a record and we're prepared to do that."

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Verve Announce New Tour Dates

The Verve have announced a series of new dates after their comeback shows sold out.

The band will now tour in December, with tickets going on sale on October 5 at 10am (BST).

The dates are:

London O2 Arena (December 13)
Glasgow SECC (15)
Belfast Odyssey Arena (17)
Manchester Central (20)

Plus, see this week's issue of NME for a exclusive comeback interview with the band - the first time they have spoken anywhere since reuniting.

Thursday 6 September 2007

Bitter Sweet Victory Part 2

The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony has been voted the greatest soundtrack by songwriters in new poll.

'Bitter Sweet Symphony' by 'The Verve' headed the list, while Bob Dylan 'Blowin' In the Wind' and Bruce Springsteen's 'Born To Run' grabbed the second and third place respectively. 'God Only Knows' by 'The Beach Boys' came in fourth while Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah stood fifth in the survey conducted by Q magazine.

Fifty songwriters were asked to pick their top three tracks, from which the list of top ten tracks was made by the magazine.

Coldplay's writer Chris Martin chose The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, the Beatles' Strawberry Fields and Jeff Buckley's classic Hallelujah as his favourite tracks.

"Bitter Sweet Symphony is as perfect a song as there is. And I say that as somebody who believes perfection is the enemy of imperfection," BBC quoted Martin, as saying.

Heres the top 10:

Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
Blowin' In the Wind - Bob Dylan
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Life on Mars - David Bowie
Perfect Day - Lou Reed
Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday
Strawberry Fields Forever - Beatles
Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones

Friday 31 August 2007

Urban Hymns 10 Years On

Xfm is planning to celebrate 10 years of broadcasting in the capital by producing a series of documentaries highlighting 10 of the most influential and significant albums released from each of the last 10 years. The hour long shows will air each Sunday at 5pm starting this week, the documentary on The Verve's Urban Hymns will be aired on the 4th November.

The full list of programmes are:

02nd September 2006 – Arctic Monkeys ‘Whatever People Say, That’s What I’m Not’
09th September 2005 – Kaiser Chiefs ‘Employment’
16th September 2004 – Franz Ferdinand ‘Franz Ferdinand’
23rd September 2003 – The White Stripes ‘Elephant’
30th September 2002 - The Streets ‘Original Pirate Material’
07th October 2001 - Muse ‘Origin of Symmetry’
14th October 2000 – Queens of the Stone Age ‘Rated R’
21st October 1999 – Travis ‘The Man Who’
28th October 1998 – Fatboy Slim ‘You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby’
04th November 1997 – The Verve ‘ Urban Hymn

Saturday 21 July 2007

Simon Jones's Black Affair

Simon Jones will be on stage later tonight at 8.00pm playing with Steve Mason (ex Beta Band, King Biscuit Time) and the Black Affair at the Wickerman Festival in Scotland. Click Here to check out Black Affair's MySpace.

Friday 6 July 2007

Verve Comeback Tickets Sell-Out

The Verve's comeback tour sold out within 20 minutes yesterday - after announcing last week that the Wigan band were in the studio and ready to go out on tour in November.

All tickets for the six shows they announced – at the Glasgow Academy, Blackpool Empress Ballroom and the London Roundhouse – had sold out by 9.20am yesterday.

Out of the blue, and eight years after they split acrimoniously, the band – Richard Ashcroft, Pete Salisbury, Mick McCabe and Simon Jones – shocked the music world by announcing they were working on a new album. In announcing six dates, they put the feelers out to see what kind of a reaction they would receive from their fans. And it has been overwhelming.

A Myspace site set up by the band's management just two weeks ago has already had 30,000 visitors and demand for tickets for the new gigs went through the roof.

Wednesday 4 July 2007

Verve Reunion - How It Happened

In todays NME, The Verve manager Jazz Summers has revealed why The Verve have got back together.

"We did keep it quite quiet." explained the band's manager Jazz Summers. A couple of moths ago, Richard Ashcroft had a conversation with me and said, "You know we made fantastic music. I think it would be fantastic if we got back together."

Despite their turbulent history - Ashcroft rang his former bandmates and suggested they reconvene.

"We didn't make any decision until they'd been in the studio and made some music, that's the reason for doing it." said Summers.

There have been suggestions that The Verve's return is all about generating large amounts of cash.

"I think The Sun said they'd been offered £20 million to get back together," laughed Summers. "if they want to pay us £20m to do a gig then maybe, but no, it was all about the music. They're all really excited about what happened in the studio."

Ashcroft and McCabe, along with original bassist Simon Jones and drummer Pete Salisbury will start work on an album in september.

Thursday 28 June 2007

Verve On Myspace

The official Verve myspace has just gone up as well as Nick McCabe's, and Simon Jones myspace aswell, where you can listen to stuff they recorded after the Verve split.

Nick McCabe -
Simon Jones -
The Verve -

Wednesday 27 June 2007

Verve Reform

The original band of Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe,Simon Jones and Pete Sailsbury have got together for the first time in almost a decade.

In a statement, the band have announced they were: "Getting back together for the joy of the music." It is believed they will take a summer break and then return to the studio to complete their next album.

The band broke up in 1999, with the tumultuous relationship between Ashcroft and McCabe being well documented with the two exiting the band repeatedly since they began in 1993.

The band are set to play:

Glasgow Academy (November 2,3)
Blackpool Empress Ballroom (5,6)
London Roundhouse (8,9)

Tickets are set to go on sale on July 6.

Saturday 5 May 2007

Bitter Sweet Victory

Bitter Sweet Symphony has been voted the 18th greatest indie athem ever by the readers of NME and the listeners of XFM.The full list, plus exclusive interviews with the acts who've made it, features in this week's issue of NME, which hits UK newsstands today (May 2)

Heres the top 10:

01. Oasis - Live Forever
02. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
03. Pulp - Common People
04. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
05. The Libertines - Don't Look Back Into The Sun
06. The Libertines - Time For Heroes
07. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
08. The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection
09. The Strokes - Last Nite
10. Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

Friday 19 January 2007

Nick McCabe Back On Stage

Founding Verve member Nick McCabe made his first live appearance in eight years at the weekend (July 22). The guitarist joined Bristol band The Nova Saints (formerly Spencer, see below post for more info) The Nova Saints onstage during their performance at Ashton Court Festival in Bristol. It was the first time McCabe has played live since quitting The Verve following their homecoming show at Haigh Hall, Wigan in 1998.

McCabe - who has been working closely with the unsigned five-piece on recordings for the past year - was welcomed onstage for the band's final song, the appropriately titled 'The Last Song', to play guitar on the track which is heavily indebted to Verve guitarist's early work.

Since quitting The Verve eight years ago, McCabe has worked with both John Martyn and The Music, but has kept a relatively low public profile. Some of the guitarist's work with The Nova Saints can be heard on their site