The Verve

1990-1999, 2007-2009
Richard AshcroftLead vocals, various instruments
Nick McCabeGuitar, keyboards
Simon JonesBass
Pete "Sobbo" SalisburyDrums
Simon TongGuitar1996-1999
  • In 1995, Ashcroft married Kate Radley, keyboard player for the band Spiritualized, but they kept it quiet until 1997 (tabloids reported on their "affair" long after their wedding). When they spilled the beans, it had a profound effect on Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce, who was Radley's ex-boyfriend.
  • Ashcroft's mother, Margaret, worked as a hairdresser and often gave him eye-catching hairstyles, helping Ashcroft develop a striking personal style in his teenage years.
  • When they set out on their first headlining tour in 1993, Oasis was their support act. The bands formed a bond, and in 1995 Oasis released a song on their (What's the Story) Morning Glory? album called "Cast No Shadow," which Noel Gallagher wrote about Ashcroft. In 1997, the bands played more shows together, this time with The Verve the opening act. When the Gallagher brothers were no longer on speaking terms, Ashcroft teamed with Liam and feuded with Noel. This came to a head in 2018 when Noel accused Ashcroft of using a "team of songwriters" on his songs. Liam and Ashcroft began touring together that year.
  • Ashcroft, Jones and Salisbury were classmates, first at Up Holland High School, then at Winstanley Sixth Form College, where they met McCabe, who was a year older.
  • They played a few dates on the 1993 Lollapalooza tour without incident, but when they joined the tour in 1994 as a second-stage act (the only British act on the tour), it did not go well. At the Kansas City stop on July 11, Ashcroft got sloppy drunk with main stage acts The Bad Seeds and The Breeders, and ended up in the back of an ambulance after passing out and convulsing. That night, Salisbury was arrested for trashing his hotel room.

    This was an indicator of the lifestyle choices that led to their breakup a year later.
  • From the jump, they wrote original songs. In 1991, on the strength of a demo, they signed a deal with Hut Records, a subsidiary of Virgin. They had only played a few shows at this point.
  • Their band name was "Verve" until 1994, when the American jazz label Verve threatened legal action, forcing them to become "The Verve."
  • The Stone Roses were a big influence on The Verve. In a Songfacts interview with Richard Ashcroft, he said: "The Stone Roses' first album was a pivotal moment for me, because it made me believe that you can swim in the stew of your influence, but you can still come up with something fresh. It was like a rock and roll version of a hip-hop epiphany, really, that you can still freshen up something that you've been bathing in."


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