According to a post on the group’s newly launched Web site (http://www.theverve.tv/), Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones and Pete Salisbury were in a London studio last week laying down tracks for the album, which will be completed in the fall.
The Verve will then return to the stage for six U.K. shows in November: November 2-3 at Glasgow’s Academy, November 5-6 at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom and November 8-9 at London’s Roundhouse. It appears guitarist/keyboardist Simon Tong, who was last heard from in the Good, the Bad and the Queen, is sitting out the reunion.
The Verve rose to fame internationally in the early ’90s with a sound psychedelic enough for adventurous listeners but palatable to commercial radio as well. Internal tensions finally splintered the band in the wake of 1997’s U.S. breakthrough “Urban Hymns,” which has sold 1.34 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and spawned the megahit “Bittersweet Symphony.” . . .
Ashcroft has since released three solo albums but has frequently played Verve songs in his live sets.
(2000–2006) Post-breakup activities
After the band’s final collapse, Simon Tong and Simon Jones formed a new group called The Shining, which initially included former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire, however Squire left the band before recording and touring had began. The band released one album, “True Skies”, before disbanding at some point in 2003. Tong has also appeared as a live replacement for ex-guitarist Graham Coxon in Blur and as additional guitarist for Gorillaz. Simon Tong is also a member of a new supergroup formed by Damon Albarn called The Good, the Bad and the Queen, who released their first album The Good, the Bad and the Queen in January 2007.
Nick McCabe has mostly remained quiet after the breakup, although he has recently worked with a few artists, notably John Martyn and Leeds-based band, The Music. The last project in which he was involved was as producer of a Bristol band called The Nova Saints who he also joined on stage at Ashton Court Festival in July 2006.
Besides working with Ashcroft, Pete Salisbury also filled in as the drummer for a UK tour in 2004 for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, when their original drummer briefly left due to alcohol and drug abuse. Salisbury also owns a drum shop in Stockport, England.
By the time the band finally split, Richard Ashcroft, who quit taking drugs in the early 2000s, had already been working on solo material accompanied by, among others, Salisbury and Cole. In April 2000, his first solo single, “A Song For The Lovers”, was released and hit Number 3. He debuted with Alone With Everybody (June 2000) and followed it with Human Conditions (October 2002). Recently, backed by Coldplay, Ashcroft performed “Bitter Sweet Symphony” at the Live 8 concerts on July 2, 2005 at Hyde Park, London. Many felt this would help to revive his solo career and, though receiving mixed reviews, his third solo album, Keys to the World (January 2006), peaked at #2 in the UK charts. (It was kept off the top spot only by Arctic Monkeys’ record-breaking debut). The first single, “Break the Night with Colour”, reached #3.
Regarding the possibility of a Verve reunion, Ashcroft ruled it out a couple of times when asked the question by Jam Showbiz, Ashcroft responded by saying: “You’re more likely to get all four Beatles on stage.”
On June 26, 2007 the band’s reunion was announced by Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 1. They are to release an album at the end of the summer 2007 which will coincide with a tour in November 2007. The tour starts in Glasgow on the 2nd November, and will include performances at The Carling Academy Glasgow, The Empress Ballroom and the London Roundhouse. In a statement the band stated they were “Getting back together for the joy of the music”. Missing from the band line-up is Simon Tong, who is tight with his work with Damon Albarn.