Why Richard Ashcroft didn't celebrate Urban Hymns' 20th Anniversary...

27 December 2018, 14:03

The former Verve frontman told Radio X's John Kennedy why he didn't do anything to mark the milestone.

Richard Ashcroft did nothing to celebrate the anniversary of The Verve's Urban Hymns.

2017 marked 20 years since the band's seminal album was released on 29 September 1997, but their former frontman has revealed he didn't recognise the milestone.

Watch him explain why in our video above.

Asked by Radio X's John Kennedy if he celebrated two decades since the release of The Verve's third studio album, Ashcroft replied: "No. No. It's not necessary to celebrate, you know what I mean? It's just a year."

He continued: "I think that's something that we've had forced on us - lists. 20 years of that. So what? What about 21 years, aint that better? What about 22? It's two years on. It's even bigger.

"Who cares, you know what I mean?"

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Richard Ashcroft reveals why he didn't celebrate Urban Hymn's 20th Anniversary
Richard Ashcroft reveals why he didn't celebrate Urban Hymn's 20th Anniversary. Picture: Jon Mo Photography

The Surprised By The Joy singer mused: "I'm just honoured to be part of this country. You know, Urban Hymns was worldwide, but you've got to mean something in your own country I think. I really do."

Ashcroft added: "I know from meeting people some of those songs have have played a big role in some of the serious times in their lives, whether they be joyous or they be sorrow and that sort of thing as a songwriter [...] it's an honour and also a blessing..."

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Ashcroft also revealed why he has "remained silent" on The Verve's split.

Asked about what he thought contributed to The Verve's demise and why they seemed so fragile, he replied: "If you wanted me to give clarity on why or what was the main factor, what I'd be doing was changing... I made a decision quite a number of years ago that I'd see how it pans out.

"I'll see if any other member tries to re-write history, you know. I'll see how many bizarre takes on events stack up and then maybe one day I'll go: 'You know what? I'll write the book'".

He added: "If I'm attempting to make myself the saint in this that would be wrong, but I think what has happened is, because I've kind of remained a bit silent on the subject, because I don't want to burn people out publicly, I don't want to just say 'here we go this is what I was dealing with'.

"I'm not that kind of guy."

Watch him explain in our video below:

The Bitter Sweet Symphony singer said of his former bandmates, who split for the final time in 2009: "I don't want to be responsible for messing up someone. I don't want to be responsible for that because the things that happened in The Verve, it was heavy stuff. It was real.

"It wasn't just frivolous nonsense, you know what I mean?"

"There was real people's lives. It was real emotions," he added. "And I've never really thought about completely clarifying it because I know the damage that clarifying it will do."

So I am prepared to take any bizarre misshapen fucked-up version of that reality said by anyone. Any ex member of the band can say what the fuck they like, because I know the truth and I'm cool with it."

The Birds Fly singer concluded: "And I know what I've done since the band, and I know what I'll continue to do. Judge me by my works..."

Watch his stirring nine-minute performance of Bitter Sweet Symphony here:

Watch the full conversation on the night below:

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