Last night I was lucky enough to get on the guest list for a live radio session by The Verve at the BBC's famous Maida Vale studios in London. It was the latest in a series of sets by important artists who get to perform a 45 minute set live on BBC Radio 1, often on Zane Lowe's show. We were filming it and taking photos, which you can see here. With only about 20 people allowed in to stand on the mezzanine above the performance space, it was a real privilege to witness the band at such close range. My camera phone photos are here.
There's something incredibly powerful about The Verve, and from the first song you could tell they weren't messing about - this was a full on performance not a half-hearted studio session. I have to admit to one of those BBC moments, where I felt genuinely proud to work for an organisation that can pull in bands like The Verve into a studio to play live on the radio.
Because it was invite only - mainly friends, family and record label people - its not like a normal gig. You bump into the band afterwards on the way out with their family or talking to mates. Well, most of the band. Richard Ashcroft didn't hang around afterwards. In fact, he didn't hand around at all, putting his jacket on and walking puroposefully out of the studio the second he had finished his vocals on the last song, whilst the rest of the band played on. Bizarre. There was certainly a lack of eye contact between Richard and most of the band, and the rumours were flying about how they don't talk to each other. How can a band who don't talk to each other write such good material? Maybe that's what gives them the creative spark. Or maybe they just need some money. Who knows. All I do know is that it was an amazing session, and if the new album "Forth" is as good then it could be a decent follow-up to what many including me think was one of the albums of the mid-90's, Urban Hymnes.
And yes, they played Bitter Sweet Symphony. Stunning.
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