Britpop Band The Verve Reforms; Talk Show Legend Parkinson Retires

Britpop band The Verve have announced that they have officially reunited, are recording new material, and will tour the UK this fall. Crazy, no? As Gigwise reports, “It seems that Nick McCabe and Richard Ashcroft have finally buried the hatchet, after hitting the studio with other band members Pete Salisbury and Simon Jones last week.” No mention of Simon Tong here, however, but he wasn’t in the original lineup anyway. The group was best known in America for their ubiquitous 1999 hit, “Bittersweet Symphony.” Lead singer Richard Ashcroft, of course, has had some solo success, but nothing captured the zeitgeist quite like his work with The Verve.

A trip down Memory Lane with The Verve: videos for “This Is Music”, “On Your Own”, “Drugs Don’t Work”, “Lucky Man”, and somebody’s homemade video of “Slide Away”. Also, Richard Ashcroft’s fantastic solo song, “Break the Night With Colour,” which was Anglophenia’s No. 2 track of 2006.

Also in the news: talk show host Michael Parkinson is retiring after this fall. He released a statement:

“After three enjoyable and productive years at ITV, and after 25 years of doing my talk show I have decided that this forthcoming series will be my last. I’m going to take next year off to write my autobiography and consider other television projects. My thanks go out to all those who have worked on the shows down the years and the viewers for their loyal support and occasional kind words.”

His interviews have often been news-worthy occasions unto themselves: his chat with Meg Ryan surrounding her controversial film In the Cut was a notorious trainwreck; he almost appears to be scolding her for her sexually explicit role. (Someone needed to – the movie was awful. But watch the strained interview on YouTube – and cringe). He’s also sat down with everyone from Diana Rigg, Peter Sellers, George Michael, David Bowie, and Madonna, whose interview with Parky you saw on BBC AMERICA last year.

In other news:

  • Stereogum has Amy Winehouse‘s new video for “Tears Dry On Their Own.” It’s getting mixed reviews from the readers.
  • Hard-Fi‘s Glastonbury performance this year was bittersweet: they had to pull out in 2005 due to a tragedy in Richard Archer‘s family. (The Sun)
  • Kate Moss plays Cleopatra and Pete Doherty plays Brando in a joint photo shoot for designer Roberto Cavalli.(Daily Mail)
  • Even Pete Doherty’s mama doesn’t think he’ll quit drugs.(Mirror)
  • Are Alex Turner, Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen, and Klaxons keyboardist James Righton forming a supergroup, or was Turner just Monkeying around with the Mirror?
  • What does Jennifer Aniston see in model Paul Sculfor, other than his physical resemblance to her movie-star ex-husband? Sculfor’s ex has an idea.(Mirror)
  • Has Ralph Fiennes found a new conquest in actress Ellen Barkin?Page Six‘s spies saw the couple getting hot-and-heavy at a New York hotel.
  • Alan Cumming‘s new film Suffering Man’s Charity may not be for the faint of heart, if the audience reaction at the premiere was any indication. According to Page Six, “During a gruesome torture scene involving a scantily clad David Boreanaz and a whip, several people left and a woman fainted.”
    (Page Six)
  • Rapper Ludacris has joined the cast of Guy Ritchie‘s latest movie.
  • Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith resents critical comparisons to the oh-so-uncool Kaiser Chiefs. “I think some people have a preconceived idea about your band before they review your album and sure enough they subscribe to that. I mean we often get lumped with the Kaiser Chiefs and we’re nothing like that!”(Gigwise)
  • Calvin Harris‘s debut album has a U.S. distributor and a release date: September 4.(Pitchfork)
  • Would the late John Peel have been a fan of The Hours?(Gigwise)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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