A NORTHERN SOLO

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Verve man rehearses without band...

THE VERVE‘s Richard Ashcroft has been in a south London studio for the past few weeks recording new material, sparking speculation that he is about to launch a solo career.

It is believed Ashcroft has already laid down a number of tracks, without the help of bandmates NICK MCCABE, SIMON TONG, SIMON JONES or PETE SALISBURY.

The band’s press officer said: “Richard Ashcroft has been in the studio putting down some ideas. It’s all very non-specific, just ideas. He hasn’t got a studio at home, so if he wants to do something he just goes in (to the private studio, believed to be in Balham) and does it there.”

Another band spokesman added: “We’ll know more about what’s happening with the band later in the New Year.”

The future of the band was first put into doubt last July, when guitarist Nick McCabe announced he was not going to play live with the band for the rest of the year.

He was replaced on their US tour later that month and on all subsequent live dates by pedal-steel guitarist BJ COLE.

Since then, the band’s management have not confirmed whether McCabe has a future with The Verve or if they will ever play live or record together again.

McCabe‘s actions followed after the band cancelled a German tour in June, after bassist Simon Jones suffered a viral infection.

They also cancelled six European festival appearances shortly afterwards. At the time, the band’s manager JAZ SUMMERS said that THE VERVE‘s gig at Slane Castle in August would be their last and that he didn’t know if the band would record together after that.

The end of the Verve and the birth of Ashcroft’s long-awaited solo career? Will it be any good? Have your say. Post a message on Angst!

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