Nearly eight years after their acrimonious split, British rockers the Verve have announced that they are reuniting for a winter U.K. tour and their first new album in a decade.
Lead singer Richard Ashcroft announced the reunion on his official Web site, writing, “The Verve, Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones and Pete Salisbury, were back recording together in a London studio last week. After a summer break, they will return to the studio to complete their next album.”
The only reunion dates scheduled thus far will take place in the U.K. early in November, with two dates each scheduled for Glasgow, Blackpool and London.
The group — which formed in Wigan, England, in 1990 — split in April of 1999, less than a year after guitarist McCabe bailed on the band’s U.S. and European summer tour dates (see “The Verve Calls It Quits” ). Ashcroft and McCabe have had a famously contentious relationship that includes an earlier split in 1995 following the release of their second album, A Northern Soul. Ashcroft broke up the band, then reformed it with Simon Tong on guitar. Tong — who has since worked extensively with Damon Albarn in Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad & the Queen — is apparently not involved in the reunion.
With an intense live show that mixed hazy psychedelia, shoegazer rock and blue-eyed soul, the band broke through with the 1997 LP Urban Hymns, which contained the hit “Bittersweet Symphony.” McCabe returned in time to work on the album and tour behind it, but quit in July of 1998, citing the wear and tear of life on the road (see “Verve Guitarist Drops Out Of Tour” ).
Ashcroft went on to release three low-key, moderately selling solo albums that had an expansive sound similar to the Verve, but which often focused on more domestic issues and his spiritual side. Tong and Jones formed a short-lived psychedelic rock band called the Shining.
Salisbury has toured with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and opened a drum shop in England in 2004, while McCabe has kept a fairly low profile since leaving the group, working on a remix by the Music and contributing to tracks from an album by veteran British singer John Martyn.