By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 17 August 2018
Though they may no longer enjoy the popularity gained by debut album '1977' or career-resurrecting 'Free All Angels', Ash's recent 'Islands' album had more than enough to keep them from heritage act territory. Tonight's appearance in the Calder valley is part of a small run of shows breaking up their more commonly experienced festival sets.
Fevered being the operative word because it is soon clear the fans are relishing the chance to see Ash in such a setting. The energy is reciprocated on stage; Tim Wheeler's shirt soon looking like it has been through a monsoon and drummer Rick McMurray using song gaps to fan himself. The rhythm section, completed by the never-static Mark Hamilton, twice takes leave from stage for unconfirmed reports of vomiting, much to the amusement of Wheeler. The frontman is most at ease in the sweltering sweatbox, photo-bombing audience members and casually talking to the crowd. He laughs off an ear-splitting intro-chord to 'Sometimes' as they continue to rattle out the likes of 'Shining Light', 'Jesus Says' and 'Orpheus', the latter of which gives McMurray the chance to smash his drum set to within a beat of destruction. Their signature tunes, of course, remain as 'Girl From Mars' and 'Burn Baby Burn', which enthral as much now as they did upon release many years ago. Tonight, they top off a perfect storm between band, audience and venue, resulting in a show which will live long in the memories of those in attendance.
By Andrew Lockwood in Music Reviews on 21 May 2018
After twenty-six years and six previous albums, Ash return with a new, fresh, twelve-track album that fizzes with a vibrancy more readily associated with youthful exuberance. For Tim Wheeler and Mark Hamilton, at least, forty-one would appear to be the new twenty-one. The latest album from Ash, following on from 2015's 'Kablammo!' (..and the 2007 announcement, now clearly redundant, that the band would no longer release albums) takes its title from its various recording locations on different islands around the world.
The original Ash trio of Wheeler, Hamilton and McMurray are also joined by fellow Northern Irish legends Damien O'Neill and Mickey Bradley of The Undertones. Adding vocals, electricity and energy to early release 'Buzzkill', they also seemingly add a touch of unreserved enjoyment and excitement. Lyrically, the song may be pointing in a despondent and disillusioned direction but musically it's all upbeat, thrashing guitars, simple melodies and anthemic hooks.
Continue reading: Ash - Islands Album Review
Over 90 names including Liam Gallagher and PVRIS have been announced for Reading and Leeds this week.
More than 90 names have been added to the already stellar line-up for Reading & Leeds Festival 2017, with Britpop legend Liam Gallagher heading up the new arrivals in a UK Festival Exclusive. He'll be joining the already announced headliners Kasabian, Eminem and Muse on the main stage.
Also added on the main stage line-up are Massachusetts rockers PVRIS who are on their way with their second record, Def Jam talent Vince Staples, drum and bass legend Goldie, garage band VANT, Scottish duo Honeyblood and 'Lies' hitmakers Deap Vally.
We preview some of the top acts on the bill this year.
Summer festival season kicks into high gear this weekend with the first big event of the calendar taking place on the south coast. Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for a bill, which is top heavy on heritage acts that bring with them a sense of nostalgia. While recent years have welcomed the likes of Jay-Z, Calvin Harris and Kings Of Leon to headline, this time round it seems big names with an even bigger back catalogue are being used as the main attraction.
However, many of the headline acts seem to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts. For example, Blur, whose new album 'The Magic Whip', their first since 2003, has won critical acclaim. The former Britpop poster boys will take to the Main Stage on Saturday night in the knowledge that this is one of the first times that UK crowds will get to see this new material given the live treatment. You can expect a set heavy on those new songs, but peppered with all the classic singles, certainly a formula for a memorable festival appearance. It's a similar story for The Prodigy who'll headline the Main Stage on Friday after The Black Keys. Both acts have played the festival in recent years and here they're repeating the joint top billing that was given to Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris last year. As with Blur, The Prodigy's new album, 'The Day Is My Enemy', has revived interest in the band following an extended period out of the spotlight. Elsewhere, Fleetwood Mac will bring proceedings to a close on Sunday, bolstered by the return of Christine McVie to the band, a set covering Rumours era gems like 'Don't Stop' and 'Songbird' is a strong possibility.
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Posted on 22 February 2013
Continue reading: Ash, Interview
By Ben Walton in Music Reviews on 12 April 2010
For those of you who are a little out of the loop, following their last album Twilight of the Innocents, Teen Britrock Heroes Ash announced that they would no longer release traditional albums, and would focus on releasing singles. This seems like a logical step, seeing as Ash have always been a much better singles band. The first fruit of this project is A-Z Vol.1, a collection of the first 13 singles (of a planned 26).
It has to be said that over their (almost) 20 year career, Ash have never really consistently delivered quality songs from the start to end of an album. Perhaps this is a negative side effect of growing up and evolving musically in the public eye. However, with A-Z Vol.1, Ash have really grown into the Rock band everybody knows they could be. This collection houses some of their best material, like the epic and piano led Arcadia and Neon. These songs showcase a huge and epic quality only ever really hinted at in some of Ash's earlier work. Another brilliant song on A-Z Vol. 1 is Dionysian Urge, which stands out as one of the best songs Ash have ever delivered.
In conclusion then, if you haven't been following the A-Z series, Vol.1 is as good a place as any to start. Roll on Vol.2.
Joy Kicks Darkness video from Ash
Continue: Ash - Joy Kicks Darkness