Friday, February 17, 2017

New 2017 tour dates announced

In addition to the UK shows in Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and London announced last month, Richard Ashcroft has also added several summer dates following his US and UK tours.

Tickets on sale from http://richardashcroft.com/live-dates.


United States & Canada
March 27 – Terminal 5, New York, NY
March 29 – House Of Blues, Boston, MA
March 30 – House Of Blues, Chicago, IL
April 01 – Spreckles Theatre, San Diego, CA
April 03 – The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA
April 05 – The Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA
April 07 – Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON, Canada

United Kingdom & Europe
April 17 – O2 Academy, Newcastle, UK
April 18 – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, UK
April 20 – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, UK
April 22 – First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK
June 10 – Aarhus, Northside Festival, Denmark
June 14 – Bergen, Bergenfest, Norway
June 16 – Secret Solstice Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 30 – Castlefield Bowl, Manchester, UK
July 01 – 02 Academy, Brixton, London, UK
July 07 – Bruge, Cactus Festival, Belgium
July 22 – Tampere, Tammerfest, Finland

Friday, February 10, 2017

Richard Ashcroft releases new single "Black Lines"

"Black Lines" is the latest single from Richard Ashcroft's fourth solo album, These People, which also includes the singles "This Is How It Feels," "Hold On," "They Don’t Own Me," "Out Of My Body," and "These People."



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Richard Ashcroft announces more UK shows


Richard Ashcroft has announced several UK shows. Tickets on sale from http://richardashcroft.com/live-dates.

April 17 – Newcastle, O2 Academy, United Kingdom
April 18 – Glasgow, The SSE Hydro, United Kingdom
April 20 – Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena, United Kingdom
April 22 – Leeds, First Direct Arena, United Kingdom
June 30 – Manchester, Castlefield Bowl, United Kingdom
July 01 – Brixton, London, 02 Academy, United Kingdom

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Liam Gallagher To Play Solo Gig With Richard Ashcroft

Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns/Getty 
The Verve legend has revealed he's playing with the former Oasis frontman "later in the year". 

Liam Gallagher is set to play live with Richard Ashcroft.

The former Oasis frontman is set to launch his solo career this year, and his close friend and fellow rocker has let slip that they will be performing on the stage together at some point in 2017.

Asked whose offer he would accept if both Liam and his brother Noel Gallagher, Ashcroft replied to Q magazine: "I would have to politely tell them both that I had something else on and stay at home.

"I played a show with Noel a few months ago and I'm playing with Liam later in the year."

Richard - who became pals with Liam when he was fronting The Verve, with the two acts regularly touring together in the 90s - won't be giving him any advice on going it alone, but thinks his return to music will be welcomed as there are few people as outspoken as the Songbird singer.

The Lucky Man singer told Q: "I wouldn't be daft enough to give Liam any advice on going solo. He can just be himself and do what he loves and people will connect to it."

He added:"We miss those characters, these people with an opinion. Most people just don't [give an opinion] unless they believe they're getting some sort of PC credit. Then they're out there, appeal after appeal, holding babies and making everyone feel really guilty and miserable around Christmas."

To date, 44-year-old Liam's only reported date appears to be at Bergenfest in Norway in June, but he is still yet to announce his appearance on the line-up on his own Twitter account.

Ashcroft inspired Oasis' track Cast No Shadow from their seminal 1995 album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? but he admits he has no idea what Noel, 49, meant by the lyrics.

He said: "I think it's one of the best tunes Noel's ever written as well.

"It's a great honour to be a part of that and then when the album exploded like that it was just great. I was buzzing. I think it was almost an afterthought [for Noel] but there were so many gags at the time because I was so thin, 'Is it because he's so thin that he casts no shadow, is that what it's about?'

"I did say to him, 'Am I a vampire? What are you trying to say, man?'"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Richard Ashcroft live at Absolute Radio

  • Richard Ashcroft performs for a small audience of competition winners at Absolute Radio

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Richard Ashcroft Lines Up Tour

Richard Ashcroft is promoting his latest solo album with a six-date run across North America in 2017.

The gigs start March 27 at Terminal 5 in New York and mostly stick to the coasts, with one stop in Chicago on March 30. The trek wraps up April 7 in Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall.

Outside of the North American tour, the only other performance Ashcroft currently has scheduled is a festival appearance at Sounds Of The City in Manchester, England, on June 30.

Ashcroft will be playing material from his latest LP, These People. NME sang the praises of the album, calling it “a slice of classic Verve song craft with modernist electric touches.”

Tour schedule:
March 27 – New York, N.Y., Terminal 5
March 29 – Boston, Mass., House Of Blues Boston
March 30 – Chicago, Ill., House Of Blues
April 3 – Los Angeles, Calif., The Wiltern
April 5 – Oakland, Calif., Fox Theater
April 7 – Toronto, Ontario, The Danforth Music Hall
 
For more on Richard Ashcroft, please visit his website: RichardAshcroft.com.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: Richard Ashcroft at O2 Arena

A decade since his last solo effort Keys To The World, one of Britain's finest songwriters returns to showcase new material form his brilliant These People LP. In typical fashion, besides his side project with United Nations of Sound, Ashcroft appears to have been in hibernation for some time. The wait makes the return even more joyous.

Accompanied with his band and a full orchestra, the stage is set. As Ashcroft swaggers stage bound from his dressing room, we catch our first glimpse as the screens project his image. Seemingly never without shades nowadays, he opens the set with "Out Of My Body," the opening track and a real focal point from his latest record. A track which perfectly illustrates the diversity and development of his song writing prowess. It's almost New Order-esque with a memorable beat throughout. A superb opener.

Jacket off and acoustic on, five minutes in and the crowd are in his palm as he strums the opening chords to "Sonnet." 'Yes there's love if you want it'. Sounding as fresh as ever, there's an abundance of love within the O2 this evening.

His soft and melodic sounding semi acoustic Gibson which is evidently his guitar of choice, is the ideal way for us all to absorb his flawless vocals. Not needing to shout over any unnecessary distorted guitars in order to be heard, the arrangement with the orchestra is creative and unique.

Still early in the set and two more timeless classics are performed; "Space And Time" and crowd favourite "A Song For The Lovers." Both of which receive ample applause.

Something which is transparent and credible throughout the set is Ashcroft's appreciation and willingness to engage with his fans. Often taking short breaks dedicating songs to loved ones whilst disclosing certain song meanings, there's a visible connection and intimacy with the crowd. He's in no rush. Presumably he's missed the stage as much as it's missed him.

Midway through and another of his best solo efforts is performed, "Check The Meaning." Taken from 2003's Human Conditions LP, it's a great addition to the set. All eight minutes of it. Soon to follow is the superbly crafted keyboard based "Break The Night With Colour."

Ashcroft was labelled 'Mad Richard' by the press back in the 90's, partly due to his volatile relationship with other members of The Verve and the rise and premature fall of the band. A band that could have and more significantly should have achieved much greater things. Unfair in more ways than one seeing as Ashcroft has continuously battled depression throughout his life. Music perhaps being the perfect antidote. They say there's a fine line between genius and madness. I'm inclined to believe the former is much more appropriate in this instance.

After ninety enthralling minutes of music Ashcroft leaves us with "Lucky Man." He explains how he still loves performing the song and it's somewhat refreshing to hear. With four chords a masterpiece was created and a masterpiece it remains.

Darkness falls inside the O2 as he makes his exit. Still applauding upon his return, the sold out crowd sing back the powerful lyrics 'The drugs don't work, they just make you worse'. An unforgettable line from a poignant song.

A perfect blend of old and new, the nineteen song set is bang on. "Hold On," the upbeat new single is the penultimate tune of the evening which in turn, paves the way for an inevitable conclusion.

With the orchestra in full swing and his glittered jacket back on, the instantly recognizable riff of "Bittersweet Symphony" sounds. An absolute anthem.

Remember that infamous video? Thousands leave the O2 as if they are walking that very same pavement.

A legend returns.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Man behind the gas mask

Richard Ashcroft always claimed The Verve would be great. So who would doubt his insistence that his solo performance, backed by a huge 35-piece orchestra, will be “sensational”? 

“I will tell you now, I’m as insecure as anybody else,” says Richard Ashcroft, undermining his well-earned reputation as one of rock’s most brazen, outspoken and arrogant frontmen. “I have no answers, so don’t follow me. It’s not about following me. It’s about watching and listening and feeling and then getting on with your own thing.”

For over 25 years, Richard Paul Ashcroft has been defiantly trekking down the road marked “doing my own thing”, most famously as the shaggy-haired singer of The Verve – the much-loved band that he formed in 1990 with friends from Winstanley College in Wigan, inspired by seeing the Stone Roses in Warrington – and since 2000 as a solo performer. It’s a journey that has taken him from the depths of drug and fatigue-induced psychosis to the heights of selling 10 million copies of The Verve’s third album Urban Hymns and performing in front of 33,000 people at the band’s triumphant 1998 homecoming gig at Haigh Hall.

More recently, the still youthful looking 45 year old re-emerged from a self-imposed six-year exile with his fourth solo album, These People – a towering return to form that marries the anthemic fist-punching bombast of The Verve with rousing reflections on love, death, insecurity, depression, civil unrest and the increasingly worrying state of the world. The cover artwork features Ashcroft, his hair shaved into a military-style crew cut, dressed in a blue suit with guitar and gas mask in hand and rock star issue sunglasses perched above his razor-sharp cheekbones, looking like a man heading into battle.

“The gas mask is there because it really does feel like that,” proclaims Ashcroft, fresh from doing the school run with his youngest son. “The album is very much of the times. It’s what’s happening right now. There’s not many people making tunes, concepts or thinking at this level. We don’t have anything really in the mainstream that touches on topics or subjects that are more in our faces. With each month that passes it feels like more and more of the album’s ideas, fears and anxieties are coming true.”