Über The Verve
Arriving in 1991 amidst a smattering of English bands with monosyllabic names and breathy-voiced, indie/dance crossover potential, Verve's "All in the Mind" was starry-eyed rock 'n' roll for the rave and shoegazing generation. Amidst a haze of heavenly metaphors, headphone-splitting singles and a debut record smothered in half-lidded narcosis, Verve's strong points were immediately apparent: hours spent practicing in smoky warehouses had outfitted the band with a rhythm section that rumbled along like a medicated steam engine, making for live performances that were nothing short of blistering. Although born-to-be-a-frontman Richard Ashcroft was prone to taking the stage in full shamanic poses, there was no doubting the sincerity of this band. If a barefoot Ashcroft cried out, "I wanna know and I wanna feel" with arms outstretched while fronting a sea of slow, muted thunderclaps topped by Nick McCabe's lilting guitar cries, you wanted to know and feel as well. Never achieving much success until the release of Urban Hymns (1997), newly christened the Verve consistently toured the U.S to a small yet furiously loyal cult audience, performing shows that were huge, rock-from-outer-space events packed into tiny clubs. Tensions grew along with their success, culminating in the official split of the band early in 1999. Ashcroft launched a solo career and other members worked in various projects including guitarist Simon Tong's contributions with the Good, the Bad & the Queen. In June 2007, however, the band announced a reunion tour, which would lead to their first album in over a decade, 2008's Forth.