(A Storm in) Heaven in '07

(A Storm in) Heaven in '07

Both The Verve and Spiritualized Plan New Albums for 2007

They've been on the shelf too long - eight years to be precise - and now The Verve's official website is announcing that the band's original line-up is back together again, behaving humanely toward one another, and recording new material in a studio in London. Just what exactly Ashcroft, McCabe, Jones, and Salisbury are concocting was not made entirely clear, although speculation has it that the sound of 21st century Verve will lie somewhere between the recent lite rock stylings of Richard Ashcroft and the ambient guitar loops that Nick McCabe has sprawled all over his MySpace page. Until further information is available, it's safe to call this one a space rock masterpiece.

Wigan acolytes will note the not-so-curious absence of Simon Tong, who, as you will remember, is the guy who stepped into the band after one of Dick and Nick's famous spats and lent his handiwork to The Verve's final album (or Capt. Rock's first solo album, depending on your count), 1997's Urban Hymns. Mr. Tong is currently in some band I, as an American, know very little about: The Good, The Bad, and The Queen.

The recording on the new album, as yet untitled, is expected to be completed by the end of this summer. The Verve has also announced that they will be performing six live shows in the United Kingdom.

This is music (live):

And these are live music dates:

Nov. 2 - Glasgow Academy

Nov. 3 - Glasgow Academy

Nov. 5 - Blackpool Empress Ballroom

Nov. 6 - Blackpool Empress Ballroom

Nov. 8 - London Roundhouse

Nov. 9 - London Roundhouse

Tickets go on sale July 6, 2007. More details are available here.

Man-genius Jason Pierce

In loosely related news, minimalist psychedelic rock mastermind Jason Pierce, the man-genius behind Spiritualized, is reportedly finishing up the band's sixth album, scheduled to be available at your local pharmacist this winter. In many respects to The Verve, Spiritualized has not released a memorable studio album of original material since 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, despite the valiant efforts of 2001's Let It Come Down and 2004's Amazing Grace (ooh - zing!). Needless to say, expectations are high.

Despite a mysterious illness that left J. Spaceman weighing in at "maybe 8 stone" and near death, he has been keeping properly busy: composing music for the psychoacoustic performance piece Silent Sound, remixing the Editors and the 22-20s, performing improvised jazz with the likes of Spring Heel Jack and Han Bennink, playing with Daniel Johnston, guest-appearing on Yoko Ono's Yes, I'm a Witch, and putting together the limited-release solo album Guitar Loops (hey, maybe he and Nick McCabe should get together some time and talk loops).

His summer will continue to stay busy as he wraps up his Acoustic Mainline tour, performing old Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized classics with the accompaniment of a gospel choir, a string quartet, and current bandmember Doggen on keys. Here's a dodgy clip of the acoustic mainliners performing "Amen" at All Tomorrow's Parties this year:

And here are the remaining tour dates:

July 7 - Rosklide, Denmark

July 15 - Glasgow, Scotland - Indian Summmer Festival

July 21 - Slottsfjell, Oslo

July 27 - Emmaboda, Sweden

Aug. 3 - Haldern, Germany

Aug. 12 - Leicester, England - Summer Sundae

Sept. 1 - Dublin, Ireland - Electric Picnic

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