Simon Jones (The Verve)

English Bass player Simon Robin David Jones was born 29 July 1972. He played bass and provided occasional backing vocals for the English band The Verve. Jones attended Rudston Road primary school in Childwall, Liverpool and moved to Wigan when he was 13 years old.

English rock band The Verve were formed in Wigan in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong later became a member. Beginning with a psychedelic sound with their debut LP A Storm in Heaven, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and three albums. It also endured name and line-up changes, break-ups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band’s commercial breakthrough was the 1997 album Urban Hymns, one of the best-selling albums in UK Chart history. The album features the hit singles “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, “The Drugs Don’t Work” and “Lucky Man”. In 1998, the band won two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in March, and in February 1999, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

Soon after their commercial peak, the Verve broke up in April 1999, citing internal conflicts. According to Billboard magazine, “the group’s rise was the culmination of a long, arduous journey that began at the dawn of the decade and went on to encompass a major breakup, multiple lawsuits, and an extensive diet of narcotics” During an eight-year split, Ashcroft dismissed talk of a reunion, saying: “You’re more likely to get all four Beatles on stage. The band’s original line-up reunited in June 2007, embarking on a tour later that year and releasing the album Forth in August 2008, which spawned the hit single “Love Is Noise”. Amid revived tensions, the band broke up for the third time in 2009.

Away from the musical side of The Verve, Jones is the only other band member other than the band’s main mouthpiece, lead singer Richard Ashcroft, who tends to speak publicly and in interviews. Most notably, he, along with Ashcroft, made a speech at the 2007 Q Awards as they won a classic album award for their 1997 album Urban Hymns. He thanked the band member’s wives and children and also thanked former Verve guitarist Simon Tong, who was not included in the newly reformed Verve line up. He also did an interview on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show after the band’s 2007 reformation, and he also appeared alone and alongside Ashcroft in a handful of Verve documentaries and other miscellaneous interviews throughout the 1990s. When The Verve split in 1999 due to in-band tensions, many believed they were down to tensions between singer Richard Ashcroft and lead guitarist Nick McCabe. While this is true, there were in fact problems, described as ‘serious’ by Ashcroft in later interviews, between Ashcroft and Jones also. In June 2007, he rejoined The Verve in their reunion but by 2009 they had disbanded again.

Following the breakup of The Verve in 1999, Jones played bass and wrote songs for the short lived band The Shining, alongside former Verve band mate Simon Tong they released one album in 2002 called True Skies. In 2003, Jones was the recording bassist for Howie Day on Day’s second album, Stop All The World Now, on Epic Records. Since 2004, Jones has been an official member of the backing band for Cathy Davey. In November 2005, he performed with the Gorillaz live band playing guitar at the Manchester Opera House, as part of the Manchester International Festival, again alongside fellow Verve member Simon Tong.

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