Richard Ashcroft’s Bitter Symphony

FasterLouder has the setlist for a set that never happened, after Richard Ashcroft stormed off stage mid-song last night at Splendour in the Grass leaving his band and fans bewildered.

Apparently the Verve frontman unhappy about being placed in the same time slot as festival headliners Empire of the Sun and Pixies, which resulted in a lacklustre turnout for his set.

Ashcroft’s headlining set at the festival’s GW McLennan tent opened (and unfortunately ended) with Are You Ready, the lead single from his new United Nations Of Sound album

Midway through the song, Ashcroft threw his maracas and tambourine down and jumped off stage he as though he was going to have a go at one of the photographers, but then just turned around, stormed off and never returning to complete his set.

As his confused bandmates left the stage the crowd began chanting “wanker, wanker” and throwing bottles at stage. The setlist for the show reveals that he was planning to close the festival with the Verve classic Bittersweet Symphony.

According to a statement released by Splendour: “Richard Ashcroft’s voice gave out and his performance was cut short as a result.”

Earlier in the day Ashcroft had cancelled all press, including an interview with jjj and a photo shoot with FasterLouder, after arriving late to the Splendour site claiming he was sick.

Fans at his Melbourne sideshow were treated far better, with FasterLouder’s reviewer reporting that “As promised the night spans the entirety of Ashcroft’s musical incarnations delivering brilliant ballads like Song for the Lovers and the slow groove Music is Power with equal aplomb. It was always going to be The Verve songs, however, that received the best reception and Ashcroft didn’t disappoint, delivering a soul tearing rendition of Lucky Man before closing the first set with the much loved Bittersweet Symphony.”

Richard Ashcroft and the United Nations of Sound had already cancelled their gig in Perth scheduled for Wednesday 4th August.

According to a press release issued last week “extra commitments have arisen in Japan that require Richard’s early departure from Australia… Richard Ashcroft deeply regrets any disappointment for his Perth fans but these circumstances that have arisen could not be controlled.”

Check out the photos from Ashcroft’s Sydney sideshow

Check out the (shaky) footage of the incident:

Set list photo courtesy of Allison Jones and Dorothy Markek; live photo by TheEnglishGentleman