Fans have their say about the former Verve singer's debut solo single - plus an exclusive glimpse of the single cover...

Richard Ashcroft‘s debut solo single ‘SONG FOR THE LOVERS’ was played in public for the first time today.

The highly-anticipated comeback single was broadcast on radio stations and internet sites across the world. The single’s cover features an image of Ashcroft kissing his wife, ex-Spiritualized keyboard player Kate Radley.

The song’s something of a departure from Ashcroft‘s Verve days and it’s easily one of the most up-tempo tunes he’s recorded. The song’s previously been available on demos The Verve recorded before releasing ‘Urban Hymns’, but that version was much slower and more downbeat.

Verve fans across the internet have posted their opinions on the single using Verve fan websites, with posts ranging from: “What a piece of shit!! What was up with the drum beat, not to mention the gross overproduction of the song” to “I loved it. Catchy, epic, great. He’s back!” and “what an excellent Ennio Morricone spaghetti western intro followed by 80s porn trumpet and Mike Hammer – I couldn’t have imagined anything like this.”

‘Song For The Lovers’ is released on April 3 through Hut, with b-sides of new songs ‘Precious Stone’ and ‘(Could Be) A Country Thing, City Thing, Blues Thing’.

Richard’s as-yet-untitled debut solo album, produced by Chris Potter and Ashcroft himself, is due for release in the summer.