Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Richard Ashcroft to play Bilbao Festival 2015

Richard Ashcroft has been added to the lineup at Bilbao's festival, BIME Live 2015, to be held in Bilbao, Spain on October 30 and 31st.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Richard Ashcroft to make live return with two festival dates later this year

Richard Ashcroft has announced plans to make a return to performing live with two festival dates confirmed for later this year.

Ashcroft has not played a full solo gig since he appeared at Latitude Festival in 2013, though he did perform briefly last year at a gig in Dubai.

The former Verve frontman's live return will take place on October 22 with a solo, acoustic slot at Zermatt Unplugged in Zurich, Switzerland. He will then follow this up with a set at Corona Capital in Mexico City, Mexico on November 22. Both dates are confirmed by International Talent Booking, Ashcroft's booking agency.
  • Kudos: David Renshaw, NME, Thethirdreunion, James 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Nick McCabe pays tribute to Jazz Summers

Verve guitarist Nick McCabe, 2008
A great man passed last night after battling lung cancer for a miraculous 4 years. Jazz Summers was the man who helmed Big Life management during The Verve's breakthrough year of 1997 and a legend in the UK's music industry circles.

Personally I have a chequered history with Jazz. We hadn't always seen eye to eye but we reached an accord some time ago. He helped me through a particularly dark time and for that I will always be grateful.

In the last few years I've come to understand his motivations and machinations as being fundamentally good hearted if sometimes taking issue with the deployment.

Jazz was capable of great kindness as well as being known as an abrasive personality. Those lucky enough to have seen this side of him know that his heart was most definitely in the right place. I can count myself amongst those and claim honestly that once all the skirmishes of business were wrapped up, he cared about every member of our band and through his care he effectively changed my personal life for the better. I know several people for whom this is also true.

Thinking of all those who knew him.

Much love and respect.
Nick McCabe.

Simon Jones pays tribute to Jazz Summers

Verve bassist Simon Jones, 2008
Where to start? Today I heard the unfortunate news that Jazz Summers, ‘Music Industry Legend’ former ‘Urban Hymns’ and ‘Forth’ era manager of my band ‘The Verve’ finally lost his long battle with lung cancer and sadly passed away this morning. The man needs no introduction from myself. The very mention of his name would either, (if he was on your side,) make you want to clench your fist and thrust it into the air, or (if he was against you,) curse, swear, call him every name under the sun. Believe me the mention of his name, always received a STRONG reaction, but whatever, the man deserved respect. He was one of a kind. He didn’t sit on fences. His achievements and his loyalty speak for itself.

I can’t say I always saw eye to eye with him, but that goes for many who knew the man, in fact that goes for many of my closest friends too. Disagreements? – plenty! But his mantra was all about being humble. He was always softly spoken and positive. ‘Solutions not problems.’ A contradiction to the fearsome reputation that preceded him. Sometimes when I saw his number appear on my phone, say at 12.30 a.m. (the man never stopped working) my stomach might turn – “oh no, what does he want, what is the problem now,” well I was in ‘The Verve’ – nothing was ever easy, you know…..It took a lot of coaching and conversations that I think was as therapeutic for himself as it was for myself. If it was really, really important, back in the day, he’d say, “Can you just pop round for a minute” midnight or not!

By some strange twist of fate, we lived on parallel roads in N.W. London at the time. I lived at number 44 Brondesbury Villas, he lived at 44 Brondesbury Rd, it was like living too close to your parents. If something important needed sorting out – you couldn’t really say “no Jazz I’m busy” he was so passionate about his work that, that was not an option!

Recently, I was lucky enough to go to Big Life HQ in the co-incidentally named Sommerstown near Euston, to see him surrounded by his beautiful family and his lovely new kittens, he was so comfortable in this world, it felt awkward at first being in such an intimate place, but he was the same old, same old! I took him some lost recordings from ‘The Verve’ on one occasion as I’d just been to Universal Records to have a meeting about some re-issues and had in my possession a treasure trove of unreleased music he’d never heard. “Well come on let me hear them” I played him a track called “All Ways Are Maybes” that for the life of me I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t included on the album. An amazing tune. “Farkin ‘ell – Why’ve I never heard this!” He stands up all animated, “This could of been a single!” “What else can you play me?”

The next couple of hours was spent, listening to music, drinking tea, eating biscuits, reminiscing about old times, his favourite gig (The Verve headlining Glastonbury – read his book) and how could we persuade Richard to do more gigs, ha, ha – not a topic of conversation high on my agenda, but the music brought him back to life and it was, “let me speak to Richard, let me speak to such and such a promoter, see if we can do a one off for the 20th Anniversary etc, etc” Well, this is how it went, despite him knowing it was probably a fckn impossible thing to put together, but that was Jazz all over – ruled by a passion for Music, his artists and his friends! Brilliant last memories that I will savour and hold close to my heart, much more than the trauma’s!

Big Life
Big Love
Big Man
Peace and love Si Jones x

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jazz Summers, manager of The Verve, dies at 71

Picture by Jonathan Evans /eyevine
Jazz Summers, manager of bands such as Wham!, Snow Patrol and The Verve, has died, his spokesman says.

The 71-year-old, who also worked with the Scissor Sisters, Badly Drawn Boy and Klaxons, had fought lung cancer for the last two years.

Big Life Management, which Summers co-founded 29 years ago, said the music industry has "lost one of its most brilliant characters". Summers's artists sold more than 60 million albums and 72 million singles. A spokesman for Big Life Management said Summers was one of the industry's "most vibrant, most notorious" personalities.

"A champion of new music, a non-conformist and a visionary, Jazz Summers will be greatly missed," he added.

A number of musicians paid tribute to Summers including Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, who wrote on Twitter: "So sad that Jazz Summers has passed away. He believed in Snow Patrol when few did and was a huge reason for our success. Thank you Jazz."

Culture Club singer Boy George said: "Heartbroken to hear that my friend and ex-manager Jazz Summers has passed away. He was a formidable force of nature! A fighter till the end."

Former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe added: "We've lost a good friend. Thank you Jazz Summers for your guidance and friendship. The support Jazz gave his artists was unflinching. If he believed in you, his faith was unshakable. Always there to inspire and support."

Born in March 1944, Summers enrolled in military school aged 12 before joining the army at the age of 15. He served as a radiographer and spent time in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Along with manager Simon Napier-Bell, Jazz helped Wham! break America in 1985 and become the first western pop group to tour China.

Summers formed his own management company, Big Life, with Tim Parry in 1986 and they also ran Big Life Records, which featured hundreds of music releases. It included artists such as The Orb, Yazz - Summers' former wife - Coldcut, De La Soul and The Soup Dragons. Summers also worked with Lisa Stansfield, Soul II Soul, La Roux and London Grammar.

He published his autobiography Big Life in September 2013. He is survived by his wife Dianna and daughters Katie, Rio and Georgia.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Matthew Fearon's "Soon To Be Called Rainbow" feat. Nick McCabe

Nick McCabe recently played on a track titled "Soon To Be Called Rainbow" from Matthew Fearon's upcoming album We're All Part Of The Show. The track plays automatically on Fearon's website and is the first song on the playlist: matthewfearon.com. More details on Fearon's album can be found on his Facebook page facebook.com/matthewfearonuk. A digital release of the album is planned.