Archive for Free All Angels

Review: ASH – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (Oct. 18th 2011)

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2011 by Tickets There

Just four months after they tore Whelan’s apart, ASH are back and this time they’ve got an old friend with them. Back in August, fans around the world rejoiced at the news that legendary fourth member; Charlotte Hatherley was joining the band for a one off U.K. & IRE tour to mark the tenth anniversary of their career defining album, Free All Angels. Charlotte amicably parted ways with the group in early 2006 to pursue a successful solo career and the group have carried on as trio ever since, but have on occasion called on the services of Bloc Party’s Russel Lissack for live performances. While Charlotte’s return may only be temporary, fans of the band will agree the group were at their live best with her in the line-up. She adds a quiet coolness, delicate character and shredding guitar to their sound and don’t even mention the harmonies – too good. With drummer Rick McMurray also present and correct after a short absence, the scene is set for the most memorable ASH gig of the last decade.

The night kicks off early with support acts Tieranniesaur and The Future but, no offence to them, there’s only one band people want to see tonight. As the lights go dark, dramatic music and NASA launch commands boom over the PA, ASH take the stage and the crowd explode with excitement. Seeing the four members back together is a dream come to life for those in attendance (and yours truly of course). Obviously delighted with the response, the band immediately delves into Free All Angels and kick off proceedings with Walking Barefoot, followed by Shinning Light and a jaw dropping performance of Burn Baby Burn. Right off the bat it’s clear that the time apart hasn’t hampered the group’s ability to perfectly fuse together and deliver these songs as they should sound. Charlotte’s overwhelming charm hasn’t diminished in any way shape or form since her departure and she still rocks like a motherf**ker on stage. Tim spends the first half of the set competing with the crowd to be heard as every word of every song is sung back to him. Mark and Rick just perfectly round off one of the hardest rockin’ bands this country has ever produced.

Tim pauses for a moment to thank everyone in attendance, ‘re-introduce’ Charlotte and highlight that now the band are about to play songs they haven’t performed in nearly ten years before kicking into Candy, Cherry Bomb, the Rick Mc Murray composed Submission and Someday with the songs sounding as fresh as they did in 2001. As the album continues, Sometimes and There’s A Star shine through with the incredible World Domination rounding off the set. Despite this being the first ever full performance of the record, the band don’t miss a beat and in itself delivered a quality show. But wait, there’s more!. Tim thanks the crowd who are still screaming with delight and announces the band will return in a few minutes to play another full set which sees the audience leap with astonishment and delight.

The band return quickly and fire off with Projects from Nu-Clear Sounds (the band’s first album with Charlotte) before continuing their assault with A Life Less Ordinary (earth shatteringly amazing performance), Star Crossed and Orpheus from the Meltdown album and the classic Wildsurf. There’s also a special performance of Warmer Than Fire which Tim reminisces used to be a set standard in the Free All Angels days before they close off their main set with the rallying Oh Yeah.

Returning to the stage, the band introduce two time Irish air guitar champion Deku Chan for one of the nights stand out performances, Lose Control. Kung Fu Follows sending the mosh pit into chaos and the night is closed with the triumphant Girl From Mars. With that, the band hit their curfew and take a well deserved bow before leaving the stage.

This was without a doubt the greatest ASH performance many have ever seen and it delivered everything any fan could have ever hoped for. Whether Charlotte’s return to the group turns into a permanent situation or not remains to be seen, but for now the group look and sound the best they ever have and this tour is just another reminder of why we love them so much. Fans in the U.K. – prepare to be amazed!

Set-List Available @ Swear I’m Not Paul.com

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Review: ASH – Live @ Whelan’s, Dublin (June 6th, 2011)

Posted in Gig Review, IRISH NOISE!, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by Tickets There

Ash, Ireland’s favourite pop rock trio are back in Dublin tonight for a highly anticipated appearance at local indie haunt, Whelan’s of Wexford St. Excitement’s been building for weeks so it’s no surprise to see queue’s of hungry Ash fans geared up for a night of sweat, pints and tuneage. Entering the packed venue it seems tonight’s sell out crowd don’t seem concerned that they’ve lost the fashionably late edge by piling in just in time for opening act, The Plea. Fortunately it’s one of those nights you’re glad you came early as The Plea rocket through an incredibly well played set of heavy guitar laden alt-rock gems including ‘Praise Be’ from their split, special tour edition E.P. Definitely a band that requires further investigation and a great start to the night.

Belfast indie rockers LaFarro take the stage next and initially drop the quality a little. While The Plea presented themselves as well seasoned, confident performers; LaFarro singer Jonny Black looks uncomfortable, inexperienced and unexciting on stage. He stares at the floor, doesn’t connect with the crowd and lacks any energy as the band kick off their set. This drop is heightened by poor sound on the vocals which trespasses on the rest of the band’s efforts. As the set continues, Herb MaGee (the “only Catholic in the band”) begins some onstage banter that seems to liven LaFarro’s mood as well as the crowds. From there we’re treated to some great tunes as Johny finds his feet and Dave Magee’s head banging can be properly enjoyed. Nice save and another band you’ll be hearing more of soon.

As the lights go dark, the crowd erupts at the site of Ash taking the stage. On the rare occasions you get to see a band of their size take the same stage as your mates on their EP launch night, it’s hard not to feel that special tingling. ‘Lose Control’ opens the set and pounds the audience with its furious intensity. Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and tonight’s stand in drummer Alan Lynn (LaFarro), all sound fantastic as they command the stage, kick ass and deliver some of the finest hits any Irish band has ever produced. Tickets There favourites ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ and ‘Dionysian Urge’ follow, immediately cementing this as a great night. ‘Twilight of Innocents’ makes an early appearance, which Tim passes off as an “experiment” and leads to mass sing-alongs from the crowd before hit after hit pile drive the crowd into submission. ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Gold Finger’ and ‘Petrol’ bring us back to our youth while ‘Joy Kicks Darkness’ holds up the recent material’s crown for all to see.

Walking Barefoot’ has to be one of the highlights and it serves as a reminder of how great Free All Angels is. Again, the band are drowned out by the crowd, leaving them no choice but to rip through ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘The Dead Disciples’ which sends the pit into frenzy mode. ‘Shinning Light’, the mega-powered up ‘Orpheus’ and ‘Return of White Rabbit’ – the A-Z singles flagship dance-floor epic, finish the main set; giving all at the front a well needed chance to breath and mop the brow. Before long Ash return and bring us home with the stunning ‘Arcadia’, the punk fused classics ‘Angel Interceptor’, and ‘Jack Names The Planets‘ before calling it a night with one final blow out; the shredding ‘Burn Baby Burn’.

As surprising as it is to think Ash have been around for nearly twenty years, it’s even more incredible how amazing they are on stage. Their energy, passion and enthusiasm ensure they never lose connection with the audience and their songs sound better than ever. While the crowd leave,  ears ringing and looking blown away from tonight’s amazing show, the band brim from the stage at a job well done. Come back soon lads!