The Verve dominated the radiowaves and personified Britpop of the 90s.

August 15th, 1990: a young Richard Ashcroft introduces the assorted friends on stage as the Verve for the very first time, blinking in the lights of the Honeysuckle Inn, Wigan. It’ll be two years before their debut album is released and the seeds of Britpop are sown. Ashcroft’s playful mixing of beat driven funk and swelling orchestral melodies lend sombre grandiosity to cigarette-huffing hooliganism. It’s everything the fans need; with the 1997 release of Urban Hymns, Bittersweet Symphony and Lucky Man are sung in stadiums all over the country.

It speaks to the veracity of the band that even with a short career, peppered as it was with health issues, legal troubles, and three different breakups, The Verve’s hold on British pop was legendary. During interviews at the height of their fame, Oasis were asked if they were the greatest rock band alive right now. Liam Gallagher shakes his head and looks conspiratorially at the interviewer: “listen to a band called The Verve”.

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