Richard Ashcroft on why he refuses to play certain Verve songs live

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The former Verve frontman stays true to the original songwriters

Richard Ashcroft has opened up about why he refuses to play certain Verve songs during his live shows.

The former Verve frontman appeared on Vernon Kay’s Radio X show where he discussed his extensive music career and the reasons why he chooses not to play songs such as ‘Come On’ from the band’s 1997 album ‘Urban Hymns’.

“I think I’ve just avoided over the years the tunes I think we wrote as a collective in a way,” he told Kay, before adding, “these are the songs I wrote and arranged etcetera. The other ones are the ones the band wrote collectively. Yeah I wrote the lyrics and whatever, but you know Nick (McCabe) would come up with the riff or etcetera.”

Richard AshcroftGetty

Asked whether he compares his Verve gigs to the shows he plays now, he said: “I don’t really dwell on it. There’s something about the songs that i’ve written… performing them now. There seems to be this other depth and quality. Not only to my feelings but to the songs, whether it be a ‘Lucky Man’ or ‘Drugs Don’t Work’.”

Back in August, Richard Ashcroft released the video for solo single ‘They Don’t Own Me’, taken from his album ‘These People’. The video saw Ashcroft riding a motorbike through a forest, before starting a fire and picking up his acoustic guitar.

‘These People’ – released in May – is Ashcroft’s first since 2010’s ‘United Nations Of Sound’ and was recorded largely in the musician’s basement home studio and features orchestration from Wil Malone, who worked with Richard on The Verve’s ‘Northern Soul’ and the ten million-selling ‘Urban Hymns’ as well as his 2000 debut solo album ‘Alone With Everybody’.