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[Live Review]A rare sighting of Richard Ashcroft in America  

2011-04-10 22:47:01|  分类: Interviews&repor |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, Boston, March 24, 2011
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

[Live Review]A rare sighting of Richard Ashcroft in America - the verve - verve中文网
 


One could be forgiven if you'd think that Richard Ashcroft was on the mysterious, perhaps distant side. He always seems to be wearing shades whether in photographs or on CD jackets. Maybe the air of mystery makes him more attractive and appealing?

Well, in concert, you can't see the eyes of the singer, best known for his work as lead singer of The Verve, so much either. That's not because he wears shades. He doesn't. In fact, the guy is old school wearing gold metal-rimmed glasses, but the reason that you can't see him is that the eyes are shut tight.

It's not clear why because Ashcroft did not have anything to fear before a supportive crowd of maybe 200. The fact was that it was to their good fortune that they had a chance to see Ashcroft at all. This was one of only two dates in the entire U.S. (New York was the other) to hear Ashcroft, who just released "Richard Ashcroft & the United Nations of Sound" (Razor & Tie) a few days earlier.

When he came on stage - solo - Ashcroft told the crowd, "I got a random set list here. So, we'll see what happens." No problem as Ashcroft dished out songs from varying parts of his career both solo and particularly many songs from The Verve.

Ashcroft certainly could not have been accused of pushing his new music. In fact, he could have played more of it, offering only 4 of the 13 songs. He turned in a good acoustic version of the lead-off song from the new CD,Are You Ready? "Haven't been tried too many times acoustic," Ashcroft informed the crowd. On the CD, there's some very biting guitar lines and a good amount of background choruses. The recorded version has a lot or drive and churns, and in concert, the sonics were way different obviously, but Ashcroft maintained its catchiness.

Ashcroft thanked for recording a version of The Verve's The Drugs Don't Work. He joked, "I'd like to hear Dolly Parton cover this song. I really would." Ashcroft's take was just fine, slower with an emphasis on his vocals before picking up the pace.

Ashcroft saved by far his best known song, The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, for last. Ashcroft gave a bit of backdrop prior to launching into it, saying the song was sold for commercial use. He also made it quite clear he was not happy with having to cede songwriting credits with Jagger and Richards following court suits. But that was a rare moment of negativity for Ashcroft, who appreciated the crowd, who often sang along, when he finally opened his eyes and took note of the pretty concert venue.

Backdrop aside, Ashcroft turned in a very strong reading of the vocally with the crowd singing along.

Near the close of the 105-minute show, Ashcroft said he was expecting to come back in the fall with a full band. For the sake of America, let's hope he does more than two shows because he aptly proved his music deserves a tad bigger audience than two cities. There's no mystery there.

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