The Verve bring V Festival to colossal finale

The band close the Chelmsford event in style

The Verve bring V Festival to colossal finale

Photographer: Paul Kerr18 August 2008

Opening with a revved up version of ‘This Is Music’ it was clear that Richard Ashcroft and co meant business, following rumours they might not play due to tensions in the band.

The heavens opened over the V Stage for the first time all weekend as the ‘Sonnet’ sounded out over Chelmsford, before a landscaping run through of ‘Space And Time’.

Then followed several new songs and a tepid version of ‘History’, which prompted a lull in the crowd. Even the Sugarhill Gang-sounding ending to ‘Life’s An Ocean’ failed to spark much interest.

Ashcroft spoke little but took time to dedicate 'Rolling People' to singer Isaac Hayes who died last week. 

He also bizarrely told the crowd their new album will be out in cassette format, however you sensed he realises ‘Urban Hymns’ is their solitary statement to date.

He said: “It sounded like a grandiose album at the time, but here we are more than 10 years later.”

The colossal stature of the 1997 album was then confirmed as The Verve rolled out three of its hits consecutively.
‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ preceded ‘Lucky Man’ before, finally, the song everyone had been waiting for, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ had Ashcroft pushing the microphone to his heart and encouraging a love in as the crowd sung along.

There was still time for new single ‘Love Is Noise’ as the band looked forward but, in contrast, most the V Festival crowd seemed to be looking back.

The Verve played:

'This Is Music'
'Sonnet'
'Space And Time'
'Sit And Wonder'
'History'
'Life's An Ocean'
'Rather Be'
'The Rolling People'
'The Drugs Don't Work'
'Lucky Man'
'Bitter Sweet Symphony'
'Love Is Noise'

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