Monday 16 August 2010

The Verve Back In The Day

Sunday 15 August 2010

Richard Ashcroft's Jailed Collaborators

Richard Ashcroft claims many of the people he wanted to work with on new project United Nations of Sound were either ''in jail'' or too expensive.

Richard Ashcroft couldn't collaborate with the people he wanted to because many of them were in prison.

The former Verve frontman is currently working on a new venture, United Nations of Sound - in which he goes by his initials, RPA - and admits he ran into difficulties arranging guest vocalists because so many of them were unavailable.

He said: "Half the people I wanted on the record were either in prison or going there. I tried to get Lil Wayne on the end of 'America' because of his gravel, but he was about to start his sentence for gun possession so he was busy recording 15 videos and three albums.

"So they were either in prison or wanted £70,000."

Although the 'Lucky Man' star's latest project showcases a radically different sound, the singer - who has previously released three solo albums - insists it could have happened any time.

He added: "When I look at it, I could have attempted this in the Nineties. I could have been working with these guys then, it just took a long time to get there.

"The idea, if there was any idea, was carrying on the dream of still believing the roots of music can be drawn on as inspirations."

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Richard Ashcroft Told To Shut It

Richard Ashcroft has been told to keep his mouth shut - by a doctor - after storming off stage just halfway through the first song of his Splendour In The Grass set.

The former Verve frontman appears to have strained his vocal cords after performing three gigs in two days before heading to the Woodford festival site on Sunday. A doctor recommended he stay silent for 72 hours with Ashcroft's manager Jazz Summers also hooking the singer up with a throat specialist in Brisbane late yesterday afternoon.

"I am concerned about him continuing on to play Summersonic in Japan this weekend," Summers told music editor Kathy McCabe.

Ashcroft sang at the Million Dollar Lunch in Melbourne on Friday before performing for almost two hours later that night at his first Australian concert. He played Sydney's Enmore Theatre on Saturday night for more than 120 minutes and conducted a slate of promotional interviews on both days.

After complaining of a sore throat on Saturday night, Summers cancelled all his scheduled interviews at the Splendour gig on Sunday. But when he got in front of the mic on the G.W. McLennan stage as one of the festival's closing acts, his voice was almost gone. Midway through the first song Are You Ready, Ashcroft threw his mic stand and stormed off stage, frustrated he couldn't sing.

Summers denied that Ashcroft was angry at the size of the crowd in the tent or that the majority of fans had gone to see The Pixies.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Ashcroft Will "Never Say Never" To Verve Reunion

In an exclusive interview with Hot Press, Richard Ashcroft tells them about his new solo project, talks about 9/11 falling on his birthday and doesn't rule out a Verve reunion...

In there exclusive interview, Ashcroft discusses his new album (released under the moniker RPA And the United Nations of Sound) and talks about its American influences. He ponders 9/11 happening on his birthday: "When 9/11 happened, I was in France and I came back, and my mother-in-law had sent me a birthday card prior to going. It was a fold-out card with a black and white photo of the New York skyline pre-Twin Towers.... It’s the most world-shifting event."

And despite multiple break-ups, he doesn't rule out a reunion of his old band.. "A Verve reunion? "I'd never say never anymore, because it’s a stupid thing to do. People change, opinions change and lives change, so you can never really truly write anything out."

For now though, he has his hands full with the excellent Motown inspired United Nations of Sound. After Q magazine slammed the album as "preposterous." Ashcroft responded: "Take it from Hot Press, it isn’t.”

Read the full interview with Richard Ashcroft in today’s double issue of Hot Press (with Gary Lightbody and Jedward on the covers.)

Monday 2 August 2010

Ashcroft Flees Australian Concert After Just One Song

Richard Ashcroft abandoned an Australian concert over the weekend claiming that his voice had failed him and he was unable to perform.

Ashcroft and his band, United Nations of Sound, were playing at the Splendour In The Grass festival, at the same time as Pixies and Empire Of The Sun.

According to spectators Ashcroft came out on stage and said "Welcome to our little patch", an apparent jibe at the small audience the band had attracted for the set.

Ashcroft then allegedly did not even make it through the first track before throwing down his equipment and 'storming off' through the crowd and into the festival site.

Festival organisers were quick to clear up the incident however, claiming: "Richard had an unfortunate incident and had to cancel the show."

Ashcroft's management have also moved to claim that the cancellation had nothing to do with the size of the crowd. 

Jazz Summers, Ashcroft's manager, said, "After three gigs in two days, including a two-hour show in Sydney on Saturday night, we knew Richard would have to look after his voice for the Splendour in the Grass, set so we cancelled all promotional activity for Sunday. It wasn't until he got on stage on Sunday night at Splendour that he realized his voice wouldn't make it through the set.