Q Magazine

Richard Ashcroft Revealed as the Latest Addition to the 2024 Kew the Music Event

Ashcroft will be on the concert circuit in the U.K. in the summer of 2024.

Source: Andy Sturmey / Avalon/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Richard Ashcroft onstage at Brighton Centre, October 15, 2022.

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Two-time Ivor Novello winner Richard Ashcroft has been added to the week-long Kew the Music on its final day, Sunday, July 14 at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kew Gardens, London.

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Source: Andy Sturmey / Avalon/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Richard Ashcroft performing onstage in Brighton Centre, October 15, 2022.

Ashcroft has already booked several gigs across the UK in July and August, including two dates at Robin Park in his hometown of Wigan. Long considered one of the architects of the Britpop scene as a member of the Verve, Ashcroft and the band's Urban Hymns, released in 1997, is one of the best-selling albums in UK history and cemented Ashcroft's reputation as one of the best singer/songwriters to emerge from the greater Manchester music scene.

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Source: © Q Magazine

Richard Ashcroft - "Rock 'N' Roll is Dangerous Again!" Q Magazine, November 1997.

The Verve had disbanded and reformed a number of times since their single "Bittersweet Symphony" garnered critical and commercial success in 1997. Unfortunately, the legal challenges associated with the song started right out of the gate with its release, courtesy of of one of the most notorious managers in rock history, Allen Klein.

The Rolling Stones won the publishing rights to The Verve's hit song in 1997 when the Rolling Stones' former manager Allen Klein — who controlled all Stones material from 1963 to 1971 — sued the Britrock band over their sample of an orchestral recording by Andrew Loog Oldham. That snippet came from an orchestral version of the Stones' 1965 song "The Last Time", which Oldham recorded for the album The Rolling Stones Songbook.

Though the Verve had gotten permission to sample four seconds of Oldham's recording from rights holder Decca Records, Klein contended that they had not obtained publishing clearance for the original composition by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The suit was settled out of court, with all of the publishing rights and royalties from "Bitter Sweet Symphony" going to Klein’s company, ABKCO. Jagger and Richards also received songwriting credits.

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Billboard revealed that Ashcroft has only ever received $1,000 in publishing money from "Bitter Sweet Symphony," which was paid as part of the settlement deal. Billboard estimated the song's total publishing revenue over the years at almost $5 million.

At the beginning of 2019, John Kennedy — one of two managers Ashcroft hired in 2018 — and Ashcroft's other manager, Steve Kutner, approached current ABKCO head Jody Klein, son of Allen Klein who died in 2009, on the matter of "Bitter Sweet Symphony." At the younger Klein's suggestion, they met with Joyce Smyth, the Rolling Stones' manager, who agreed to personally speak to Jagger and Richards. In April 2019, Kennedy and Kutner received a call from Smyth relaying Jagger and Richards' agreement to return the rights and their share of the royalties to Ashcroft, and to have their names struck from the song's writing credits.

Ashcroft made the news public at the Ivor Novello Awards in May, where he was recognized for outstanding contributions to British music. "This remarkable and life-affirming turn of events was made possible by a kind and magnanimous gesture from Mick and Keith, who have also agreed that they are happy for the writing credit to exclude their names and all their royalties derived from the song they will now pass to me," he said in a statement.

Ashcroft has released six solo albums, the latest Acoustic Hymns, Vol. 1 in 2021. In February of that year he covered John Lennon's 1973 protest song "Bring On the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)." Acoustic Hymns, Vol. 1 released in October, went to Number 2 on the UK Official Charts.

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Source: ℗ © Richard Ashcroft / Lenono Music / YouTube

Richard Ashcroft - Bring On The Lucie (FREDA PEEPLE) (Official Video)

Ashcroft has not publicly indicated that he has any new material on the horizon. However, he did unveil a lyric video for "C'Mon People (We're Making It Now)," featuring Liam Gallagher in January 2022.

Source: ℗ © BMG Rights Management US, LLC / YouTube

Richard Ashcroft - C'mon People (We're Making It Now) (feat. Liam Gallagher) (Lyric Video)


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