Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BMG signs Richard Ashcroft for new solo album, out in October

Richard Ashcroft will release his next solo album through BMG.

Ashcroft is an iconic figure in British music, both across his work as frontman of (The) Verve and as a solo artist.

Natural Rebel will be released on October 19 on Ashcroft’s own label, RPA, via BMG.

BMG says that pre-orders of the album, which launched today (August 15) through Ashcroft’s own website – tied to a ticket pre-sale opportunity for live shows – have already exceeded the lifetime D2C (Direct to Consumer) sales of his last LP.

Ashcroft’s previous solo album, These People, reached No.3 on the UK’s Official Albums Chart in 2016 and was released via Cooking Vinyl.

Richard Ashcroft said: “For me this is my strongest set of songs to date. All my favourite sounds distilled into something that will hopefully give my fans lasting pleasure. It is for them. Music is power.”

Alistair Norbury, President Repertoire & Marketing at BMG UK said: “Richard Ashcroft is the archetype of the kind of iconic artist BMG likes to work with. Natural Rebel marks a new peak in Richard’s solo work and it is incredible to see how fans are already responding – the pre-orders this morning have been extraordinary.”

Other Ashcroft solo records include Alone With Everybody (which reached No.1 in the UK in 2000), Human Conditions (#3, 2002), Keys to the World (#2, 2006) and These People (#3, 2016).

Featuring ten new songs, all of which were written by Ashcroft, Natural Rebel was produced by the singer-songwriter alongside Jon Kelly (Paul McCartney, Kate Bush) and Emre Ramazanoglu (Bobby Gillespie, Jarvis Cocker).

‘All My Dreams’
‘Birds Fly’
‘Surprised By The Joy’
‘That’s How Strong’
‘Born To Be Strangers’
‘That’s When I Feel It’
‘We All Bleed’
‘A Man in Motion’
‘Streets of Amsterdam’
‘Money Money’

Ashcroft is set to play as special guest to Liam Gallagher at Lancashire County Cricket Club this coming Saturday, August 18, as well as the Hampshire leg of Carfest in benefit of BBC Children in Need on August 25.

To support the release of the new album, he will play a series of intimate shows at Glasgow Barrowlands (Oct 26), Middlesborough Town Hall (Oct 28), Nottingham Rock City (Oct 29), Manchester Albert Hall (Oct 31) and London Kentish Town Forum (Nov 2).

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fan shares previously uncirculated 1992 Verve radio session

Twenty six years ago, Martin aka mrdisposablerazor recorded Verve performing live in the studio for the weekly Radio 5 show 'Hit The North,' presented by Mark Radcliffe. 'Hit The North' aired on Wednesday nights from 10:10pm to 12:00am.

Recorded on cassette, the unmarked tape was left in a drawer awaiting discovery many years later. Martin recalls having "no memory of recording it, and it's before I remember seeing them for the first time (supporting Ride at Liverpool Royal Court), but as soon as I heard it again while sorting out old tapes, I sensed it was a bit special."

Last month, English rock band The Charlatans put on a ten day exhibition (May 10-20th) at Barons Quay in Northwich, England which showcased instruments, memorabilia, and merchandise from the band's near-30 year history. Martin caught up with Peter Salisbury of The Verve at the exhibition's opening night. Peter has played for The Charlatans both on tour and in the studio. "I was able to tell Pete about the tape, and he recalled being in a different studio to the usual one at Oxford Road, and as the exhibition was opened by Mark Radcliffe, he later said they'd had a chat about it," says Martin.

Verve's debut 'Hit The North' radio session aired on February 5, 1992 and included performances of "Slide Away," "She's a Superstar," and "One Way To Go," plus an interview with Mark Radcliffe. The following week on February 13, 1992, the band would record the canonical John Peel Session which made the A Storm In Heaven box-set released in 2016. Many thanks to Martin for sharing this with The Verve online community.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Forthcoming Sunstack Jones album mastered by Nick McCabe

The Liverpool band’s third album, out June 29 via Deltasonic Records, has been mastered by The Verve guitarist Nick McCabe.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Richard Ashcroft to support Liam Gallagher in Manchester

The former Oasis frontman will be heading to Manchester on August 18, playing to 50,000 fans at the legendary Lancashire County Cricket Club. He'll be joined by Richard Ashcroft. Tickets available here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Review: The Rolling Stones at Murrayfield Stadium with support from Richard Ashcroft

Richard Ashcroft supporting the Rolling Stones (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Murrayfield Stadium
Edinburgh, Scotland

A multitude of hits, blues and thrilling rock power from the old masters

The Rolling Stones have been around so long their music has soaked into popular consciousness via osmosis. Even if you don't own a single album most people could probably name 10 Rolling Stones tracks off the top of their head. It's no exaggeration to state they were integral in shaping and defining what we now think of as rock'n'roll.

Support act Richard Ashcroft's style is obviously indebted to prime era Stones. There's obviously no animosity remaining regarding the rights (and profits) from 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' (though Mick and Keef ended up quids in so no complaints at their end). He sensibly packs his set with Verve classics. 'Sonnet', 'Lucky Man', 'The Drugs Don't Work' and the aforementioned 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' are big slices of widescreen indie that go down a storm.

It's become a cliché to mention how old the Stones are (current combined age 296). And over the last 20 years every time they've announced a tour people have predicted it will be their last. But even if this isn't their final road trip it's probably the last worth seeing unless they head for dignified sit-down acoustic theatre shows in the future.

Appropriately the main event kicks off with a growling 'Start Me Up.' 'It's Only Rock'n'Roll (But I Like It)'. 'Tumbling Dice', 'Under My Thumb' (sarcastically introduced as a 'feminist anthem') and a shimmering 'She's a Rainbow' (tonight's fan voted choice) keep things ticking over but it's 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' that really brings everything and everyone together. 60,000 fans transformed into an informal gospel choir singing back every word en masse.

The Stones practically invented these big stadium shows, and corporate sponsorship is emblazoned around Murrayfield. It would be so easy for them to just go through the motions and cash the paycheque but they genuinely look thrilled to be playing live. It's their obvious love of the music that really sells the entire show.

For such a huge production it feels surprisingly raw, and the band changes up their set each night. An early cover of Jimmy Reed's 'Ride 'Em on Down' is a gritty slab of real blues; 'Honky Tonk Women' and 'Midnight Rambler' are transformed into stomping extended jams; an understated 'Paint it Black' emphasises the middle eastern rhythms at its core; 'Sympathy for the Devil' simply explodes with energy.

Again, we don't want to dwell on their advancing age, but at 74 Mick Jagger is astonishing. Everyone knows the caricature that exists, but live, every hand clap, bum wiggle and shimmy feels fresh and spontaneous. He also demonstrates a damn fine sense of dry humour quipping about trams, salt'n'sauce and giving it 'laldy'. Keef still strides the stage like a guitar colossus; Ronnie Woods is on hand to pick up any slack while drummer Charlie Watts is a meticulous metronome keeping the entire performance tight.

Unsurprisingly their horn section is world class; Chuck Leavell on keys and bassist Darryl Jones in particular deserve recognition for their stellar contributions. As does backing vocalist Sasha Allen who stepped up for a powerhouse duet on 'Gimmie Shelter'.

The Stones bring it home with 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', 'Brown Sugar', 'Gimme Shelter' and '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'. After tracks of this calibre performed with passion and power it's hard to agree with Jagger: satisfaction guaranteed.

Richard's setlist:
  1. Hold On
  2. Sonnet
  3. This Is How It Feels (Purple Rain excerpt)
  4. Break the Night With Colour
  5. Space and Time
  6. Lucky Man
  7. The Drugs Don't Work
  8. Bitter Sweet Symphony

    Friday, May 25, 2018

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Liam Gallagher-Richard Ashcroft show cancelled in Toronto over technical problems

    Fans of Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft were left disappointed Sunday night after a planned concert featuring the pair was cancelled at the last minute due to technical problems.

    Concert organizer Live Nation broke the news on Twitter at around 6:50 p.m., just a little more than an hour before the pair was set to take the stage.

    “Regrettably, due to electrical issues within the venue, tonight's show with Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft @SonyCentreTO, will be cancelled,” Live Nation said in its post. “Tour and venue staff have been working to resolve these issues tirelessly to no avail. Refunds will be issued at point of purchase.”

    In his own post, Gallagher said he was “gutted” that he couldn’t perform and indicated that there was a safety issue at the venue.

    “Gutted about tonight's gig brothers n sisters. Safety comes first for all of us LG x,” Gallagher tweeted.

    Ashcroft also tweeted a message to fans following the cancellation.

    “Devastated I can’t play tonight to all the fans that are here in Toronto. Sony Centre have technical problems & wont allow us to play!”

    In a follow-up video on Instagram, he said the problem was dangerous levels of “static.”

    “Someone has obviously been running around with a polyester shell suit and some socks on,” he quipped.

    A spokesperson for the venue said they didn’t have any further comment to add for the time being.

    Disappointed fans took to social media themselves after the cancellation, with some questioning the reason for the cancellation and others wondering if they’d be reimbursed for having taken flights from other cities and countries to see the show.

    Gallagher and Ashcroft were scheduled to perform in Toronto Sunday night as part of their current North American tour together.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2018

    ShadowParty (feat. Nick McCabe) announce debut album and share “Celebrate”

    ShadowParty Due Out July 27 via Mute 

    ShadowParty is a new band that features members of New Order and Devo, among other bands. They have announced their self-titled debut album and shared its first single, "Celebrate." ShadowParty is due out July 27 via Mute.

    ShadowParty features former Rentals member and current Devo guitarist/keyboardist Josh Hager, Tom Chapman (former Bad Lieutenant bassist and a member of New Order since 2011), Phil Cunningham (co-founder of 1990s Britpop band Marion and New Order's guitarist since 2002), and Jeff Friedl (who drummed with Devo from 2008 to 2014).

    The album features various special guests, including The Verve's founding guitarist Nick McCabe, vocalist Denise Johnson (who was with Primal Scream from 1990 to 1995), LA-based DJ Whitney Fierce, and Manchester-based arranger Joe Duddell (who has worked with Elbow and New Order).

    ShadowParty Tour Dates:
    • May 18 - Northwich, England - North By Northwich Festival 
    • May 19 - Brighton, England - The Great Escape Festival 
    • May 25 - Manchester, England - Dot To Dot Festival 
    • May 26 - Bristol, England - Dot To Dot Festival 
    • May 27 - Nottingham, England - Dot To Dot Festival


    Friday, April 27, 2018

    Devo, New Order and Verve supergroup announce their first gig

    ShadowParty will play as part of The Charlatans' North by Northwich Festival

    ShadowParty – a supergroup consisting of Devo, New Order and Verve members – have announced their first ever gig.

    The band is made up of Josh Hager, currently playing guitar and keyboards in Devo, New Order bassist Tom Chapman and guitarist Phil Cunningham and Devo drummer Jeff Friedl.

    Speaking of the band’s origins, Chapman says it was due to him feeling a bit “restless” after moving to Boston due to family commitments.

    “I started thinking I should be meeting with some musicians and doing something with the time on my hands,” he said in a press release. “I put the word out there and Josh Hagar’s name came up. It was just a matte of getting in touch with him, being brave and knocking on his door.”

    Latest News The four piece have recorded an album, with guests including Denise Johnson (Primal Scream) and The Verve’s guitarist Nick McCabe. It’s said to have a synth-pop vibe, with strings and guitars.

    They’ll be making their live debut on May 18th at 1930s cinema, The Plaza, as part of The Charlatans North By Northwich. The gig is free and the show will start around 8pm. You can see the poster below.

    Last year, Devo were given their own set of emojis. Devo formed in 1973 and released debut album ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!’ in 1978. Their last full-length LP ‘Something for Everybody’ was released in 2010. Many of the new emojis reference memorable moments from videos for Devo hits like ‘Whip It’ and ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ as well as other imagery unique to the band.