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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 14:57 UK
The Verve explain festival return
Richard Ashcroft from The Verve

The Verve's frontman Richard Ashcroft has admitted his band decided to reform because they had unfinished business.

The singer told Radio 1's Zane Lowe show they signed up for so many summer festivals so fans could hear songs from their back catalogue.

He said: "Half the reason for getting the band together was so we could play some of the old songs."

The band only appeared for one major festival performance at V in 1998 before they split the following April.

Ashcroft said he felt it was important to come back and headline the festivals they had missed at the height of their career when their third album Urban Hymns topped the album charts in September 1997.

'Bungee jump

He added: "We did Slane Castle in Ireland and the V Festival before we split in '99 but that was pretty much it.

"So it felt good to do Glastonbury. It felt right, it felt like if anything has come out of all this then The Verve headlined Glastonbury.

"We did it well and there was probably more people there on a Sunday night than there had been for a long, long time."

Despite initially publicly criticising organiser Michael Eavis for doubting the band's headline status, the singer described the festival as "the biggest bungee jump I've done for a long time."

He added: "It was one of the concerts that gave me a longer buzz than others definitely. It's almost like doing extreme sports or something.

"I've never done a bungee jump because I don't need to and that's what that performance was about, it was about jumping out of the aeroplane. And that's the biggest jump I've done in a long time, so the afterglow was pretty long after Glastonbury."

Festival moments

Following their Glastonbury performance the band have since headlined T In The Park and Oxegen. They are also due to headline this year's V Festival in Chelmsford and Staffordshire on 16 and 17 August.

Richard Ashcroft
The Verve perform an intimate session at Maida Vale studios
"Reforming The Verve is the closest thing white lads have got to a band since Led Zeppelin, to being that large," Ashcroft said. "It's as fat as (funk musician) George Clinton.

"That was one of the motivations for me, to get to those points again like when you have those brief moments onstage when you think, 'Wow this is great'."

The singer also revealed that the band have no long term commitments and that he will continue recording solo material.

"We're just taking it as it comes. We set ourselves a goal of being able to fulfil our summer dates. We're taking it to the album and we'll see how we do. We haven't got any major plans," he explained.

"I don't understand why The Verve aren't seen like the Wu Tang Clan, keeping it alive as a satellite, no matter what is going on around you, personally between each other.

I certainly would never have started this and signed on a dotted line if somebody had said you're off now like Chris Martin for the next two years
Richard Ashcroft

"I certainly would never have started this and signed on a dotted line if somebody had said you're off now like Chris Martin for the next two years.

"It's just not where I'm at. I'm definitely up for coming together to make some music and do some great concerts.

"But I don't see why this thing should have to be dormant because I will continue doing my solo stuff.

"I do buzz off doing stuff on my own, I have gained confidence with that, I've beaten a lot of cynics down. I'm in a very comfortable, good place in my mind about that."

Ashcroft was speaking ahead of an intimate Radio 1 session The Verve played at Maida Vale which saw the band perform a series of new tracks including single Love Is Noise from their forthcoming album Forth, which is due out on 25 August.



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