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."

Black Submarine Announce Debut Album And Gigs

Black Submarine have announced their debut album New Shores, which will be released on Monday February 3 via Kobalt Music, with a free track ‘Black Submarine’ available to download now from the band’s website.

Black Submarine are Nick McCabe (ex-The Verve guitarist), Simon Jones (ex-The Verve bassist), Davide Rossi (multi-instrumentalist/string arranger for Goldfrapp/Coldplay), Michele ‘Mig’ Schillace (ex-drummer for Portishead/Santa Cruz) and Bristol-based vocalist Amelia Tucker.

The band will be bringing New Shores to a live audience in February with two exclusive UK headline shows.

2014 Live Shows:

Wed February 5: Manchester, Deaf Institute

Thurs February  6: London, Wilton’s Music Hall

Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday ( priced at £17.50 in Manchester and £20 in London)

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Jazz Summers (Verve Manager) On Bittersweet Symphony

A new interview with Jazz Summers (ex Verve manager) appeared online recently giving insight to the whole Bittersweet Symphony debate between The Verve and The Rolling Stones regarding songwriting credits:

"I remember hearing The Verve put the finishing touches to Urban Hymns in 1997 and thinking, this album’s a masterpiece. That was the day I discovered there was a Rolling Stones sample on Bittersweet Symphony. It felt like winning the lottery but losing the ticket.

The sample, the producer told me, was from an orchestral version of the Stones’ 1965 hit The Last Time. A shadow crept across my soul. I knew who owned the copyright for that era of the Rolling Stones. It was a man called Allen Klein: former manager of the Rolling Stones, former manager of The Beatles.

Klein ran a company called ABKCO and he was notorious as a breaker of both deals and b***s.
For Bittersweet Symphony to exist, we’d have to come to an agreement with Klein about our respective shares of the songwriting royalties. I called his assistant Iris Keitel in America and attempted to charm her.

‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Yes, I know about this. Some idiot from EMI phoned me about this yesterday. I told him to f*** off, Jazz. You needn’t have called. We’re not going to let you use it.’

I phoned Nancy Berry, who ran Virgin Records in America, and asked if there was any chance she could play Bittersweet Symphony to Mick and Keith. Those two were bound to put music before business.

The following week, Nancy called back with news that Klein would allow the song to come out and had agreed a 50-50 split. I was delighted. I called up the band and they were ecstatic, too. It was what they deserved, at the very least – a 50 per cent royalty on the song they’d written.

The next week, the contracts arrived. The deal wasn’t 50-50. It was 100 per cent Jagger/Richards. I phoned Nancy, and she confirmed what they’d done.

‘The contract is right, Jazz, and it is 50-50, like they said: 50 per cent Mick, 50 per cent Keith.’

When Bittersweet Symphony was nominated for a Grammy, the song was attributed to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

It baffles me, how Mick and Keith could bear that. 

Maybe they’re so used to having money and greatness bestowed on them, they just nodded, banked the cash and went with it.

We were asked to put the song on a Vauxhall advert. We declined, so ABKCO re-made it without the vocal and gave Vauxhall permission. 

It’s the same when the football comes on TV in England: Richard Ashcroft’s sons tell him his music’s on, but it isn’t, not really, and that hurts him.

I loved The Verve, but there were tensions, and I couldn’t stop them from splitting. Likewise, if my artists don’t support me I can’t do my job. I need their backing."

To read the rest of the interview click here

Thursday 19 September 2013

The Verve Live @ Lollapalooza 1994

This video surfaced on YouTube recently. Shot from the front row/beyond the barrier. Audio isn't the best, but some great close ups of Nick and the telecaster he used in those early days.

Just thought I'd share, for those that haven't already seen it:

Sunday 28 July 2013

Pre-Verve Era Track, "Documentary" Surfaces Online

A former teacher at Winstanley College, Tom Sherrington, recently digitized a 1988-1990 school project (originally on cassette) featuring a track by Rain Garden, a pre-Verve band which included Richard Ashcroft and Nick McCabe (listen below).

Sherrington attended Richard Ashcroft's performance at the Latitude Festival last Saturday (July 20) and recently wrote an article on his website titled Talent. Conviction. Verve., where he made the reveal. 

To see the original and/or comment on it, please click here.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Richard Ashcroft: 'Nostalgia Is Suffocating Festivals'

Richard Ashcroft has said that he is not interested in reforming The Verve and headlining festivals with the band while new groups are being denied the same slots. 

Ashcroft spoke to BBC 6Music's Lauren Laverne earlier this month and was quizzed on the possibility of fans seeing The Verve play again and if they were playing together at all. 

Flatly denying the rumours, Ashcroft said: "It's not happening. You have to be real in life and I'm proud that we went in and recorded new material. The whole nostalgia thing is getting suffocating and it's difficult for younger acts, especially at festivals."

Explaining what he had said, Ashcroft continued: "If you look at some of the line-ups, I'm not ageist by any means, but it's dominated by nostalgia. We need the youth to create their own version of what may potentially become nostalgic but if they haven't got a place to do that because they're dominated by these big monster dinosaur acts, mopping up all the money."

Revealing that he is working on a new United Nations of Sound album, Ashcroft confirmed that fans will hear new music from him in 2013. "I've just been working for the past six, seven months in my cellar. I'm really excited, we should get the first potential tune in September. I'm just putting everything into it at the moment." The first, self-titled, United Nations of Sound album was released in 2010.

Taking a potshot at Blur frontman Damon Albarn, the singer added: "The great thing about the United Nations of Sound album is that because it wasn't something written by Damon Albarn it wasn't front page news or anything. None of my followers are sheep, nobody has been told to follow Richard Ashcroft since 'Urban Hymns' came out. Richard Ashcroft has never been in fashion. A lot of other artists feed off being the right people at the right time but to be able to play a gig 15 or 20 years later and have people sing your songs goes beyond fashion."

Richard Ashcroft was one of the performers at this weekend's Latitude Festival. The Suffolk event was headlined by Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals.

The Verve - 20 Mad Facts You Didn't Know

In the other week's NME, The Verve guitarist Nick McCabe told Mark Beaumont how wild the band's speed-fuelled early days were. To accompany the feature, NME has a feature on nme.com featuring 20 things you didn't know about the band, 20 years after their debut.

Click here to see!

Thursday 4 July 2013

'My Life With Mad Richard' Interview With Nick McCabe

A new interview with Nick McCabe entitled 'My Life With Mad Richard' appears in this weeks NME to mark the 20th anniversary release of A Storm In Heaven.

In the interview Nick recalls the recording of the album, the tours that followed and the drugs that were being taken, download below to read:


Coldplay Thrilled Ex-Verve Stars Are Focused On Black Submarine

Coldplay are thrilled that ex-Verve stars Nick McCabe and Simon Jones are focusing on their Black Submarine band.

The 41-year-olds presented Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland, 35, with their Best British Act gong.

Chris, 36, gushed: “We’re so thrilled to receive this from you. Why aren’t you still in The Verve?

“We’re so psyched to be on stage with two legends.”

Thursday 13 June 2013

Bittersweet Symphony Comes 5th In Massive Australian Poll

'Bittersweet Symphony' by The Verve has been voted the 5th biggest song of the past 20 years in a massive Australian poll.

Over 940,000 votes were cast in the poll by Australian radio network Triple J. 'Wonderwall' by Oasis came first and was trailed by The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army' in second and Jeff Buckley's 'Last Goodbye' in third. 

The entire top 100 can be viewed here. Daft Punk, The Killers and Silverchair make three appearances each. 

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Black Submarine Debut Album Now Complete

According to a recent Facebook update, Black Submarine (formally The Black Ships), featuring former Verve members Simon Jones and Nick McCabe, have completed their debut album.

The band also includes Davide Rossi (Goldfrapp/Coldplay) on vocals and strings, drummer Mig Schillace (Portishead/Goldfrapp), and Amelia Tucker on vocals.

In the coming weeks, the band will be teasing new material and releasing a free download from one of the album's tracks.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Beyoncé Makes Nod to The Verve at London's O2 Arena

Beyonce brought her Mrs Carter tour to London’s O2 Arena in spectacular fashion last night (April 29), making a surprising reference to The Verve during her set. 

The nod came during her ballad 'If I Were A Boy', which featured the string motif from The Verve’s 1997 single 'Bitter Sweet Symphony', itself taken from an orchestral version of The Rolling Stones' 'The Last Time'.

Beyonce also covered her former band Destiny's Child's 'Survivor' and sang part of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You' before closing with ‘Halo' and a brief medley of 'Green Light' and 'Suga Mama'.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Richard Ashcroft To Perform In Dubai

Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft will perform in Dubai at the one-off gig on March 15, the first in a series of ‘Live at Atlantis’ events, as will Zane Lowe.

Noel Gallagher will also be performing with his current band the High Flying Birds, whose eponymous debut album was released to critical acclaim in 2011.

Ashcroft, who is a friend of Gallagher, will perform solo acoustic at the gig, relieving the memorable set he performed at Sandance in October 2011 which featured Verve hits including ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and ‘Lucky Man’. A regular on Sandance Beach, Radio One DJ Zane Lowe will play out the night after Gallagher’s set.

While the gig has been put together by the team behind the popular Sandance festival, organisers have made clear this is part of new series of ‘Live at Atlantis’ gigs which promise to bring more massive stars to Dubai throughout 2013. Meanwhile the first Sandance of 2013 has been set for Friday May 10.