THE VERVE have confirmed the support acts for their Wigan Haigh Hall show...

THE VERVE have confirmed the support acts for their Wigan Haigh Hall show on May 24.

Richard Ashcroft and colleagues (pictured) have selected Beck, DJ Shadow and ’70s folkie singer-songwriter JOHN MARTYN to complete the show.

Beck was able to join the bill following the cancellation of the Universe dance festival, at which he had top billing. Universe was to have been his only UK appearance this year.

John Martyn is a veteran Scottish singer-songwriter whose craftsman-like blend of blues, folk and jazz has long found favour with critics although he has never achieved widespread commercial popularity.

Richard Ashcroft lends vocals to a track on the forthcoming UNKLE project which features DJ Shadow. The Verve have spent the last month in a London studio working on new songs where they have recorded five songs with Chris Potter, co-producer of ‘Urban Hymns’ with Youth. The band are working on new ideas for their next album which Ashcroft has said in interviews he’d like to get released this year.

Meanwhile, The Verve have denied they are set to quit record label Virgin, despite widespread rumours in London to the contrary last week. Reports claimed that the band, who are signed to the label via subsidiary Hut, were threatening to sign with a rival label if Virgin did not give them a greater share of profits. But the band’s spokesman says talks currently being held between label bosses and the band’s management are simply “everyday business”.

He says: “Any band, when they have an upturn in their fortunes, have a look at their contract and renegotiate with their label. The Verve are no different to anybody else. Any idea that there’s problems between them and the label is pure speculation.”