Line Up: The Futures
Ash played at The Academy on Tuesday night as part of their short winter tour. They are joined by former guitarist, Charlotte Hatherley for the gigs which are celebrating the release of the new Ash Best Of disc as well as the tenth anniversary of the Free All Angels album.
First up were support act, The Futures. Having heard good reports I made sure to drag my backside down to the Academy in time to see them. Glad I did, as on tonight’s showing they seem to be a solid, confident group. Unfortunately the sound was a little off for their set but impressive none the less. Last song, The Boy Who Cried Wolf was especially good. Hopefully we will see the four piece over here again soon as they are definitely one to watch out for.
Ash came onstage around 9.25pm and played Free All Angels in its entirety. Amazingly ten years old this year it more than stands up alongside others released then and now. I've talked before about bands playing albums in full and am still not sure about it. It strikes me as being a little gimmicky yet when it is one like this, full of catchy rock songs, it is hard to resist. The opening four tracks, Walking Barefoot, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and Candy, would be worth the ticket price alone for most. Ash though seemed to get a bigger kick out of the crowd reaction to songs they hadn't played live very often, or in some cases even at all (some debate between Rick and Tim on whether Someday had ever been played live). Add in others like Sometimes and There's A Star and it shows what a really strong album it is. That many good songs on one long player with absolutely no filler…doesn't happen often.
As last track, World Domination, finished the ladstook a five minute break and came back on to play a 'Best Of' set. Tracks from debut album, 1977, were of course greeted like old friends and the already electric atmosphere in the Academy went up another level. Playing b-side and fan favourite,Warmer Than Fire, was a nice touch as was playing personal favourite,Starcrossed. Encoring with Lose Control, helped by a two time Irish Air Guitar champion (no I’m not making it up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6f7gALGNaw) and Jackie Chan sent the fans home happy.
Tim has recently talked about howFree All Angels saved the band as previous album, Nu-Clear Sounds, hadn’t done as well as was hoped. Becoming their second UK number 1, it cemented their place as one of the premier Irish guitar bands. Played live last night it became a celebration of a brilliant album, even more so as Charlotte was back….even if it is only temporary.
Tonight reminded me that Ash are not your typical group. They have done things a little differently during their nineteen year existence. They may not get quite as much success as they once did (sales wise...although does any decent guitar band nowadays?) but they continue to make great music and play great gigs.
2012 will be their twenty anniversary yet they will only be in their mid-thirties...there are not many bands you can say that about…long may they continue.
Ticket: October 18th 2011
Ticket Price: €20.00