David Randall chatted with Andy Powell in October 2012 for “The Guitarists” series on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. This hour special discusses the development of the band and includes live tracks from 1977, 1988 and 1995. Andy Powell/Wishbone Ash is a Featured Artist at Get Ready to ROCK! Radio.
At the start of the year, when reviewing Martin Turner at Giants Of Rock, we wondered whether the “Vintage Years” box set celebration of Wishbone Ash might encourage a “reformation”. In truth this will remain a pipe dream, and the band’s “division” always regretful. Others might argue you now have two Wishbone Ash’s and the variety that comes with that. You pay your money and take your choice…
But tonight it’s Andy Powell’s opportunity to continue the heritage, now with “new boy” Mark Abrahams. Whilst any flavour of Ash will ever be wedded to the classic album ‘Argus’ – at least in terms of setlist – there is the usual conundrum of what material will be featured and what will be left out.
While Martin Turner continues to play whole albums and highlights, Powell’s approach is to provide a broad sweep of songs that both underline their early, folkier – and proggy – style and the later more straight ahead rock often reflecting the time of original creation. But of course whole swathes of newer stuff went unheard with the exception of 2014′s Blue Horizon which yielded two songs.
Instead we had a series of highlights including ‘Come In From The Rain’, ‘Front Page News’ and a particularly convincing version of ‘The King Will Come’.
As Andy Nathan confirms elsewhere Mark Abrahams has slotted in seamlessly to the overall sound, taking his fair share of solos. Andy Powell is no slouch on guitar either and the whole – with Bob Skeat (bass) and Joe Crabtree (drums) – is one tight and well-oiled unit.
The long instrumental FUBB was a particularly good showcase but we also heard a jaunty ‘Standing In The Rain’ and – harking back to the band’s folksy roots – a rare outing for ‘Errors Of My Way’. The expected finale of ‘Jailbait’ and ‘Phoenix’ reaffirmed the bands credentials and influence on guitar bands through the seventies and beyond.
As Andy Powell observed, the crowd here tonight was small in number but strong in spirit. But, again, it was a wonderful opportunity to see a legendary band in a more intimate setting.
Earlier, Felix Rabin played a competent set mixing blues with funkier flavours. Perhaps best described as a French Laurence Jones it can only be a matter of time before he gets booted and suited.
Review and photos by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
With thanks to Roki and The Tivoli
Setlist: 1.Blind Eye 2. Come In From the Rain 3. Deep Blues 4. Way Down South 5. Lifeline 6. The King Will Come 7. Warrior 8. Throw Down The Sword 9. Errors Of My Way 10. F.U.B.B. 11. Standing In The Rain 12. Jail Bait 13. Phoenix
Gig review (Islington Academy, 18 October)
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BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
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09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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