Ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft unveils new tour

Former frontman with The Verve Richard Ashcroft
Former frontman with The Verve Richard Ashcroft

One of Wigan’s best-known musical exports is heading out on the road again next year for a major tour accompanying his new album

Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft has announced a string of UK dates for the spring showcasing the tracks off his new album Natural Rebel which hits the shelves later this month.

The jaunt through the UK and Ireland in April and May finishes up in London with a date at the historic London Olympia.

Unfortunately the 10 dates do not include a venue in the North West, with Richard’s home fanbase from the borough facing a trip to Hull, Doncaster or even further afield to see him.

However, the tour is not the first chance fans will get to hear Natural Rebel as the frontman is playing five sold-out launch gigs in October and November, including at Manchester Albert Hall on October 31.

The album is his fifth solo release and is being distributed through the singer’s own label RPA via BMG.

The 10 new songs were all written by Ashcroft and produced by the singer-songwriter alongside Jon Kelly, who has worked with the likes of Paul McCartney and Kate Bush, and Emre Ramazanoglu who has been behind the mixing desk for Jarvis Cocker.

Ashcroft has also released a stand alone acoustic track, Hey Columbo, which comes with a typical message.

Announcing the song, he said: “Warning: This song contains explicit language. Do not play on the school run, but turn it up on the way home.”

Fans of the singer can also get to the front of the queue for next year’s tour as anyone pre-ordering Natural Rebel will get exclusive access to the UK tour dates on Wednesday October 10.

Everyone else will have to wait another 48 hours until general ticket sales start on Friday October 12.

The album was mostly recorded at State of the Ark Studios in Richmond, with further sessions taking place at The Bunker, Tileyard Studios and Hoxa HQ.

Since the turn of the millennium Ashcroft, an Ivor Novello winning songwriter, has forged a place at the top of the music scene as a solo artist following his years in the Wigan band best known for hits such as The Drugs Don’t Work and Bittersweet Symphony.

He started out in 2000 with Alone With Everybody, following it up with Human Conditions, Keys to the World and 2016 effort These People.

Ashcroft’s response to the darkening world situation drew considerable praise from music critics and the reaction to Natural Rebel has so far been extremely positive too.

Magazines have called it one of his strongest sets of tunes in years.

Tickets for Richard Ashcroft’s 2019 tour will go on sale at http://gigst.rs/RA

To pre-order Natural Rebel, visit https://ra.lnk.to/NaturalRebelWE