Richard Ashcroft would ''rather listen'' to Rihanna's music than ''critically acclaimed s**t alternative rock''.

The 45-year-old singer/songwriter is dismayed by the current indie scene in the UK compared to what it was like in the 90s when his former band The Verve and their contemporaries such as Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and the Manic Street Preachers topped the charts.

Ashcroft believes the problem is the lack of great songs being released by bands and he enjoys listening to Rihanna's R&B and pop smashes more than what most guitar groups have to offer.

In an interview with Radio X, he said: ''Just because something's kinda indie and whatever and only a few people know it, it doesn't give it more authenticity over Rihanna's 'Work'. I'd rather listen to the intro of her tune than 90 per cent of the s**t that is supposedly critically acclaimed or alternative rock.''

Ashcroft - whose 2016 solo album 'These People' was lauded by critics - insists the success of The Verve's 1997 single 'Bittersweet Symphony' showed him that the public can accept and enjoy something different and make it mainstream.

The 'Lucky Man' singer - who is to tour the UK later this year - explained: ''It proves to me you can do something unique and the public can still accept it and it can still be huge and popular.''