01 September 1995

A Sudden Farewell from The Verve

The Verve have split after singer Richard Ashcroft quit the band. In a shock move last week, Ashcroft told manager John Best that he no longer wanted to continue with the band.

The Verve's latest album A Northern Soul was very well received critically and the band were felt to be on the brink of major commercial success, both in this country and in the US. As NME went to press, Ashcroft had made himself unavailable for comment and was camping somewhere in the West Country.

"I don't think there is any one reason why he left," Best told NME.

"Richard is very tempestuous and I think that has a lot to do with his sense of conviction. He can't fake it if he doesn't feel it."

The other members are extremely unhappy about the band's demise.

"In retrospect, I suppose you could see it coming," said Best. "The band split up in the sense that they all live in different towns. They all started out together in Wigan but gradually drifted apart."

The band were originally a tightly-knit unit but had experienced problems during the recording of A Northern Soul. At one point, Ashcroft disappeared for five days without telling anyone where he was going. The band's American tour compounded the problems.

"There won't be a band called The Verve any more and they won't be working together again," Best told NME. "But although he [Ashcroft] wasn't happy and had obviously been thinking about this, he's happy now. I wish it hadn't happened this way but he's only 23 and he'll do something amazing again."

The Verve's new single, "History," will be released as planned on September 18. The cover features a picture of the band in New York in front of a Cinema with the legend "All farewells should be sudden" outside.