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Ex Verve-man's solo career gets off to poor start...

Richard Ashcroft has had a worrying start to his solo career after losing the master tapes of all the material he has recorded so far.

Ashcroft has been laying down tracks since December in various studios around London and mislaid the tapes earlier this month at the Olympic Studios in Barnes.

According to a source at the studio, he had last seen the recordings on top of an amplifier in his workspace, a bad choice anyway because magnets in the equipment can corrupt tape and remove any sounds recorded. The source said: “There was a mad panic and everyone was being rung up asking if they’d seen them. It certainly wasn’t a good start for Richard.”

Ashcroft‘s press office however dismissed the story as “absolute rubbish” and refused to comment further.

However, the source maintained that the tapes had gone missing but have since been found.

He added: “Everything’s just so secretive at the moment, no-one wants anyone to say anything.”

The band themselves have remained tight-lipped since April 28 when the announcement was made that The Verve had officially split up after months of speculation.

It was revealed that drummer Peter Salisbury was working with Ashcroft on his new songs, but that the rest of the band were unlikely to work together again.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that guitarist Nick McCabe has been collaborating with photographer John Horsley, who has previously worked with The Verve, on an art project called ‘The Way The Light Bends’.

It is thought that McCabe has provided the soundtrack to Horsley‘s images and the multimedia piece will be released as a vinyl album with a book and in DVD or CD-ROM format. It is hoped to be released next year.