“With experience comes knowledge and for me this is my strongest set of songs to date. All my favourite sounds distilled into something that will hopefully give my fans lasting pleasure. It is for them. Music is power.” - Richard Ashcroft
As you might expect, tickets for Richard Ashcroft's tour to promote his fifth solo album, 'Natural Rebel', sold out within minutes of going on sale. The album, his sixth since The Verve's original break up, including 2009's RPA & The United Nations of Sound LP promises to be one of his best, consisting ten new songs. 'Natural Rebel' will be released on Richard Ashcroft's own RPA label.
The first song to emerge is 'Surprised By The Joy' which is accompanied by a self-directed video. The song, as the title might suggest, is a surprisingly cheery, optimistic and joyous catchy tune, that may take those fans expecting an introspective urban hymn unawares with its feel-good vibe reminiscent of a reimagined Neil Diamond classic.
As well as the sold-out winter UK tour, Ashcroft has also played some notable dates this summer with his longstanding friend Liam Gallagher.
Out on 19th October, ‘Natural Rebel’ is available to pre-order on 180-gram vinyl, CD and cassette. A limited edition clear orange vinyl in a gatefold sleeve is available to pre-order at selected independent record shops.
Read our piece revisiting Richard Ashcroft's lyrics on the Verve's 'Urban Hymns' here.
Check out our interview and playlist with The Verve's trusted photographer Chris Floyd, including images of the band on tour in the '90s with Oasis, here.