Welcome to the first tumblelog dedicated to The Verve. Here you will find anything and everything relating to The Verve, and also Richard Ashcroft, RPA & The United Nations of Sound, Black Submarine (formerly The Black Ships) and other projects that former members of the band have worked on or are currently working on.
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And just for consistency’s sake, here is Come On from The Verve’s homecoming gig - complete with the Wigan-appropriated Sly Stone lyrics, and more babin’ basslines from Si. And, of course, torrents upon torrents of blissful noise by mess master McCabe.
This video (deservedly) does the rounds on Twitter quite regularly, but Tumblr, I don’t see it on here nearly as often. This is an incredible performance, which peaks long after the song’s verses have been sung: when the wall of noise begins to obscure and fade from 7:35 and the bass sounds in a strategic groove, echoed by gentle percussion which builds as Richard goes into his Sly Stone sampling set-ending speech of thanks: “Thank you for lettin’ me be myself, again / Thank you for lettin’ me be myself, Wigan… “. Richard singing about “taking on the world”, and Nick McCabe spiralling around his words with effortless power.
Imagine the feeling when this was over. Imagine leaving this gig. Almost glad I wasn’t there. (Almost.)
Wanna go back in time and go roadtripping, mountain climbing and cave exploring with The Verve. Long hair, old cars, explosive chemistry. Silent and bundled in coats and jackets against cold winds, but coming to life in the warmth of vehicles and roadside cafes. Richard singing softly to himself, putting Led Zeppelin on the stereo, Pete the subtly smiling neutral, Simon reading the maps wrong, and Nick being a virtual mute in the back seat, faraway eyes and the persistent sad look on his face.
Speaking of vibing The Verve… How the fuuuuuck was this six years ago?! As if it were yesterday, I vividly remember thinking in 2009, “Last year marked 11 years since Urban Hymns, and they split after that, but they still got back together and lasted a couple years, but now they’ve broken up again. They’ll never get together again. In 11 years they mightn’t even want to be in music anymore.”
But now, 6 years later… realising both Richard and Black Submarine are set to stay in music for the foreseeable future, I’m naively more hopeful than ever because no ex-member of The Verve seems to have thrown the towel in on music (Peter wouldn’t be a problem getting on board if it came down to him, I’m sure). I’m so desperate I’m relying on a meaningless “11 year gap between Urban Hymns and Forth" formula. I know that means nothing and is jaded by radically changed context, but in my head I’m cheering: "IT’S SOMEHOW BEEN SIX YEARS THIS YEAR. We only have to wait five more years for a new Verve album!!! AND THEY WILL TOUR. IF ONLY IN EUROPE. AND I WILL BE THERE."
You’ve got to believe in something. Even if the evidence is thin on the ground. The Verve is my religion, I guess.
Anyway, check out the bass in this performance. As Louise once said: Get it, Si Jones. Also, Richard tags his “Thank you…”/Sly & the Family Stone sample to the end of this - echoing his improvisation during Come On, the last song of the set The Verve played during their homecoming gig in Wigan 10 years earlier in 1998. That was their first show in their hometown since 1992 and was one of the first shows they played after they reformed in 1997 after breaking up for the first time in 1995. That time he sang a slightly altered version,
"Thank you for letting me be myself Wigan"
Both of these shows are monumental as they occurred pretty soon after The Verve had reformed from a break up, at times when they were grateful to be together and performing again.
Those performances are just so amazing because of it. They’re filled with fresh, raw emotion, power and determination. They were out to prove something… Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it.