Ash asked the question, “Do you know the time I Knew a girl from Mars”? This crowd did.
There are albums that from time to time almost define a generation, Ash’s debut LP 1977, named in honour of the year Star Wars hit cinema screens and “opened” by the scream of a TIE Fighter.
Which was the same backing track the band took to the stage this evening. 20 years have passed since three young lads got themselves together in Norther Ireland, the band was made up of Vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler along with Bassist Mark Hamilton and Drummer Rick McMurray.
Immediately the band set about getting through the album, track by track as it was delivered all those years ago, “Lose control”, opens Wheeler shows that vocally he still has the edge as he lets rip to a full Ritz audience. “Goldfinger”, is next before any introductions, Then with funky yellow and green lighting “Girl from Mars”, is unleashed by the band McMurray belts out the drums, whilst Hamilton is bouncing around the stage, as Wheelers voice is getting stronger.
Continuing the band deliver “I’d give you anything” as the band aim to get the crowd fully involved and that’s what they do “Gone the Dream” is the first slow down track of the evening before pressing on with the hit single “Kung Fu”.
What you get with Ash is a diverse range of sounds, one that has a cinematic feel, quite simply their brand of Post Punk come Indie-grunge doesn’t conform, to the norm.
“oh Yeah”, and “Let it flow”, keep the tempo flowing, “Innocent smile” has the audience raising their game as we then flow into “Angel Interceptor “and finally from the album “Darkside Lightside”, complete a brilliant set from a stand out album, in a few polls it has been voted as one of the best 500 albums of all time, not a bad accolade.
The early single “Petrol”, is the first non-1977 track and is followed by a rendition of “Cantina band”, taken from the Star Wars movie, well they went down well with me.
A stripped back version of the Abba hit “Does your mother know”, was possibly not the strongest offering of the evening. Whit in the melting pop of subcultures the band are best when they play loud, loud and proud, “Shining Light” and “Burn baby burn”, finish off a nostalgic evening, one that sees the band leaving on a rich and fruitful evening, as I am sure many of the more than happy crowd flowed out of the Ritz, the bands message would be “MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU”.