Review and Photography by Mark Loraine

As most people know, Wigan is best known for three things, Northern Soul, Pies and The Verve. Tonight we are at the Dome in Doncaster to witness the lead singer of the latter of the three doing his thang! The first would have been OK, but Pies, – heck no thanks! (Well not tonight anyway).

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The crowd in the Dome tonight are a real motley crew of individuals, ranging from those that should have been in bed hours ago (either end of the age spectrum) to a significant number looking like wannabe Manc football hooligans, but most are music fans out for a damn good time. Richard Ashcroft does not disappoint any of them, the place is jumping, really jumping.

Hitting the stage in the obligatory era-defining bucket hat, he immediately launches into ‘Out Of My Body’ a western style ballad-cum-electro-cum-disco track from his last but one release, and from there on the music just starts to flow. Next up is an old favourite from Richard’s Verve days and a track that took me way back to the heady days of 97 and The Verve’s career defining album, ‘Urban Hymns’. The song, ‘Sonnet’ seems to be a song that everyone knows and it really hits home how many of this man’s songs have had a personal influence or have defined memories. Indeed tonight he keeps on stirring such memories with a real mix of old and new, a real mix of Ashcroft and Verve if indeed the two can be separated.

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As the night goes on, the guise changes slightly per song, in that he either has the hat on or has it thrown to one side, either has a guitar slung across him or is indeed being the amazing frontman we all know him to be, sans guitar. What does not change in the slightest is the perfect music and the storming delivery across all tracks. By the time we get to the end of the set closer ‘Lucky Man’ the crowd are convinced this performance is incredibly special and I personally cannot exclude myself from that opinion.

As we know though, all good things must come to an end and in this case the end is something quite magnificent as we are treated to perhaps two of the best known tracks from the Urban Hymns album, a rousing ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ with a magnificent sing-along included, culminating in ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ as a show closer.

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It’s worth noting at the end of such an amazing gig that the Urban Hymns album sold over 10 million copies worldwide and indeed I would be surprised and disgusted if any self-respecting music fan didn’t have a copy. It does not however detract from the other work Richard Ashcroft has released and tonight shows that. Old or new the man is a master of his craft and tonight it shows and it shows oh so well.

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Set List
Out of My Body
Sonnet
Break the Night With Colour
Space and Time
Weeping Willow
Surprised by the Joy
A Song for the Lovers
Velvet Morning
Music Is Power
That’s How Strong
Hold On
Lucky Man
Encore
C’mon People (We’re Making It Now)
The Drugs Don’t Work
Bitter Sweet Symphony

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One Response to “Richard Ashcroft at The Dome, Doncaster, UK – 2nd May 2019”

  1. Bobbie Fenili Says:

    Absolutely fabulous pics!

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