Richard Ashcroft

Portsmouth Guildhall - May 2006
Image & Words: © 2006 Stuart Leech

Richard Ashcroft still manages to pull a crowd a sellout the Guildhall, mainly to a 25-year-old+ crowd obviously old enough to remember his heyday. There is no doubting Ashcroft's voice; great range and tone. There is also no doubting his songwriting ability, but consistency is not one of his strong points. His new 60s soul influenced album contains some well crafted songs, as do his other albums, but listening to these interspersed with Verve tracks just makes you want more from his newer material. He manages to fit Sonnet, The Drugs Don’t Work and Lucky Man into his set and finishes with an epic version of Bitter Sweet Symphony. Hearing the entire crowd singing "I'll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down” makes you understand what a big impact Ashcroft and the Verve have had on a generation.