Saturday 19 December 2009

Ashcroft Returns

Richard Ashcroft has returned with a new song for the film "The Journey." He explains:

"Dear All. I have been fortunate enough to work on a very special project for a cause that when you learn the disgusting truth you will be sickened by and want to help, you can! By watching the film “The Journey” and also downloading the song which I composed, money will be donated to the Helen Bamber foundation. I must warn all parents, being one myself, that the content of the film and song have graphic detail and should never be seen or heard by children."
Love and peace forever,
Richard Ashcroft.

No I.D. To Produce New Ashcroft Album

Acclaimed producer No I.D., who has crafted tracks for Jay-Z, Common, Fabolous and Jim Jones, is set to release a new album in 2010 which sees him join forces with Richard Ashcroft of UK group The Verve. Talking exclusively to HipHopDX, the Chicago-born musical mastermind explained that the yet to be titled album which will be released on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean came about after Ashcroft, famed for tracks such as "Bittersweet Symphony" and "Lucky Man," heard his Grammy-nominated production on Jay-Z's "D.O.A."

"He also heard an interview where I talked about how producers destroy albums just for the sales and he said he liked how I thought," No I.D explained. "So we went in and recorded between 20-30 songs." The album, which is slated for an April release, was recorded in New York, Los Angeles and London and will be released through Virgin and Virgin/Capitol based on the continent. No I.D was recently nominated for four Grammy Awards for his work on The Blueprint 3 securing two nods for both "Run This Town" and "D.O.A."

Wednesday 9 December 2009

The Black Ships That Twitter

You can now follow the latest updates and news on Simon Jones and Nick McCabes new band The Black Ships Twitter account, the two other members of the band - Mig Schillace and Davide Rossi also have accounts -

Friday 11 September 2009

Friday 14 August 2009

Putting Some Verve Into It

The Verve drummer Peter Salisbury helped children get into the beat at a play scheme in Buxton last week.

Peter – an original member of the band whose hits have included the anthemic single Bitter Sweet Symphony – led a rhythm and rhyme workshop for children at the Fairfield Centre, alongside local musician Pete Proudlove.

Derbyshire county councillor Tracy Critchlow said: "It was great that an internationally-renowned musician was willing to give up his time to share his expertise with young children and their families.

"The rhythm and rhyme session was brilliant fun for the children and their parents and carers."

Sunday 9 August 2009

The Verve Call It A Day! According To The Mirror

They’ve had more break-ups than Britney Spears has had breakdowns, but I can exclusively reveal that The Verve have now well and truly split.

The legendary indie band have been blighted by rows since forming in 1990. It turns out this time band members Nick McCabe and Simon Jones have not spoken to lead singer Richard Ashcroft since their gig at V Festival last August, despite trying on numerous occasions to hold out an olive branch.

“As far as Nick and Simon are concerned The Verve no longer exists,” a source close to the lads tells me. “They think Richard was just using the reunion as a vehicle to get his solo career on track.”

The Britpop boys announced a reunion in June 2007 and went on a sold-out tour, releasing number one album Forth last summer.

But the old tensions soon came back, centred on guitarist Nick’s wild partying.

“Their management called Simon and Nick in for a crisis meeting in September. They were told that Richard refused to tour or work with them again as long as Nick continued to drink. He quickly cleaned up his act.”

But it’s not as if Simon and Nick are sitting on their bums waiting for the next reunion – they’ve already started up their own band, apparently called The Black Ships.

Nick writes on his MySpace page: “The Verve seems to be on holiday and shows no sign of not being on holiday. I’ve been hesitant to breach Official Secrets-style policy with any missives from the, well, from any front, basically. Don’t ask me anything about the big V. Just let me enjoy my non-alcoholic Piña Colada.”

Simon told fans: “The Black Ships are coming!”

My mole says: “There have been too many problems to put behind them. If Richard came back with cap in hand they’d tell him to f*** off.”

Surely if those feuding Gallaghers can play nice, why not The Verve?

Sunday 26 July 2009

Introducing The Black Ships

The Black Ships is the new band by Verve's guitarist Nick McCabe and bass player Simon Jones, together with electric violinist and arranger Davide Rossi and drummer Mig Schillace.

Nick and Simon met Davide during the making of The Verve's last record Forth, where he helped with the string arrangements and some electric violin playing. They eventually joined on stage for some of their headlines at Glastonbury, V Festivals and Summercase, plus other appearances on TV and radio in the UK.

After the Verve finished touring in August 2008, it was decided that something new should emerge from such a meeting. That took shape in November 2008 in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the band met for the first time to play and record new material straight away.

It was then that Nick brought with him long time friend and collaborator Mig Schillace, to complete the rhythmic section and with it the core line-up of the band.

Since then the boys have been and are still working on it! It's a slow process, which needs the care and time that it needs, but music fans out there should expect some teasers real soon!

Saturday 25 July 2009

Simon Jones Is Still Alive

Simon Jones has updated his myspace blog today and had this to say:

"Ok, Ok......Its Been a whole freakin year since I logged on to this bugger! What can i say, but sorry to all unanswered questions/requests etc.. but life gets in the way sometimes!!!!!

Anyway, keeping this short - Verve on 'Holiday' so check out The Black Ships (in my friends list) something special is brewing in the ocean - its all i'm saying as its in an embryonic state but i can hear "the ships" creaking................

Off on REAL holiday for two weeks, expect some new music on player soon - yes I know its been along time comin'!"

Friday 10 July 2009

Oasis Dedicate 'Live Forever' To Richard Ashcroft

Oasis suffered a short sound problem during their Wembley Stadium show in London last night (July 9) – but Noel Gallagher was quick to quash any refunds.

However the problem proved to be just a blip in the set, which saw frontman Liam Gallagher dedicate 'Live Forever' to The Verve's Richard Ashcroft, who was at the gig.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Richard Ashcroft on The Stone Roses

In this week's NME,
'Why I Love The Stone Roses' by Richard Ashcroft, The Verve (as it reads in the article).

"The Stone Roses blew me away, right from the very beginning. People used to hand around bootleg tapes of Roses gigs in Manchester even before the first record came out - so when it did, everyone already knew the words. Not many bands these days have that sort of enigma to them.

Lyrically, they were striving for something so much bigger than guitar music was at the time. It was strange; there were a few girls at the front and the rest were lads, very hard, aggressive lads. This whole contradiction gave me insipration. I tapped into that aswell. When I go to a football game and a guy with one tooth and tattoos all over his arms stops me and says my songs changed his life, you realise the potency of this music. The Roses did that to people too

In another section, Kevin Cummins (photographer of the iconic image featured on the NME cover of the Nov 18th, 1989 issue where the Roses are covered in paint), mentions that "Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft have said it was the greatest NME cover of all time. Richard Ashcroft said it defined his generation."

Sunday 12 April 2009

McCabe On Future Projects

Though perhaps not a permanent move, Nick McCabe has announced he is working on a new project. After months of silence, we finally have confirmation that Verve are currently inactive and "on holiday." Meanwhile, Richard Ashcroft is contractually obligated to one more studio album, so we can assume that he'll be busy with that until further notice. Here is McCabe's message:

"Back from the dead. What a strange couple of years.


The Verve seems to be on holiday, and shows no sign of not being on holiday- so, I've been hesitant to breach Official Secrets style policy with any missives from the, well, from any front, basically. Don't ask me anything about the big V, just let me enjoy my non-alcoholic Piña Colada and tell you about what's going on elsewhere.

Thumb twiddling was never our forté so Si Jones and I have been busy with a new project. Currently this includes the brilliant violinist, Davide Rossi, who you may have had the pleasure of seeing with the Verve at various festivals last year. Also with us, an old friend, multi instrumentalist Michelle Schillace on drums and whatever he fancies playing that particular day.

The project is shaping up nicely. Expect krautrock style excursions into the unknown and maybe, just maybe, the killer pop record we're toying with making. Two sessions took place so far, Best Kept Secret studios in Copenhagen last year, and this year, my place in Walworth. There is a huge amount of material being generated and we have several interesting vocalists in mind. Clips to follow.

Also up and running as hinted above is my humble tracking studio in South London. Current clients are willing Guinea Pigs while I am learning the craft. The Albini model is a good one, the days of the super studio are gone thank god but bands still need a place to track and I've put a place together which is already serving this function.

Recently we have had Jamie and Alex from Bath's X is Loaded, along with Charley Bickers, another Bath veteran (ha ha, sorry mate) and myself (just veteran, heh) playing together for the first time, again at my place in Walworth. An incredibly productive two days, very promising and Charley is in fine voice currently.

Also played with Damo Suzuki, Jeff Wooton and Mark Heaney at Night and Day Cafe, Manchester. Will be working more with both Jeff and Mark in the near future.

Pictures and sound to follow.

Will try and wade through some of the missed emails in the absence but Verve radio silence has infected my very being (ha ha ha). Do my best though."