The Verve Reform

Verve leader Richard Ashcroft ready for round two. Photo by Jay Blakesberg.

We told you when the Verve self-destructed, and now we

have word that Richard Ashcroft, the man whom Noel Gallagher wrote "Cast No

Shadow" for has reformed the band, but without guitarist Nick McCabe. The new

line-up features another Wigan native, Simon Tong on guitar. The Verve are

currently in a studio recording new material, which insiders claim is in the

vein of the band's last album, the very excellent, A Northern Soul.

According to Melody Maker the reason Mad Richard and McCabe split ways

was that McCabe was more interested in taking the band into more experimental

waters, while Ashcroft wanted to stay within the Britpop genre--but that's just

a fancy way of saying that the two of them no longer got along. Our sources at

Virgin Records say it wouldn't be too premature to expect an album by the

summer, with a tour to follow.