Wishbone Ash - 35th Anniversary Tour

I got a call from a buddy the other day asking if I wanted to see Wishbone Ash as they came through town. I had no idea they were touring and even less of a notion that they would be within 1,000 miles of Dallas, Tx. Since I missed their set at Progday a couple of years ago, I didn't ponder this point too long. Oh yeah, I'm in.

Wishbone Ash was one of the brightest stars from the most creative period of British rock. If Andy Powell and Ted Turner didn't invent the dual lead guitar style, they certainly refined it to perfection over a 5 year period from 1970 to 1974. And Andy continued on with Laurie Wisefield for several more years before the music industry (and to a lesser extent their fans) turned away from creativity and talent in favor of image.

OK, so only Andy Powell is left from the glory days - one can argue that they are almost a tribute band now. But even a tribute band with that catalog is worth hearing. but let's think about this a second. A tribute band ? That's not really fair. Like fellow British heavy rockers Uriah Heep, the core lineup of Andy Powell, Bob Skeat and Ray Weston have been together longer than any of the formations from the classic era. And in the case of both bands, it shows in their live set. Wishbone Ash was well a well rehearsed machine and played as tight as they ever did.

Was it an enjoyable show ? Absolutely! If they are playing anywhere near you make sure and see the show.

There were a few surprises in their set, and I won't spoil them except to say that Persephone (from There's the Rub) was a an unexpected surprise and brought down the house. That is one you have to experience live.

New guitarist Jyrki “Muddy” Manninen fits in perfectly and it was eerie how well he complemented Andy Powell's style - his blues style a perfect match for the classic material. Andy's Flying V was being fussy, so he had to be content to play a Fender all night - which was fine as Muddy stuck pretty close to his Les Paul, so we still had the diversity of the two great guitars and guitarists. Even more scary was how much he sounded like Ted Turner. Close your eyes and it was 1974 all over again and you were reliving Live Dates for the first time.

But how about the new material ? Well that has always been a tad of an issue. The various reunions and new lineups have produced some great material, but not always consistently. And some of the recent tours have had a fair amount of the weaker material creep into the set list - and that's to be expected as this isn't the Argus tour (again). There was quite a bit of new material in this set list, but in a pleasant surprise it was as good as the older material. It rocked along nicely and had lots of bluesy dual guitar leads - just they way it should be played. I will be looking for a copy of their latest album to be sure.

Wishbone Ash point on a great show. Don't miss them if they are playing near you.

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haha! thats kool...well im really good friends with mimi ---martin turner(from the band) daughter shes like a sis to me ! ha ! martin is a dude he rocks!

Posted by luc on February 16, 2006 at 10:00 AM CST #

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Bob Netherton is a Principal Sales Consultant for the North American Commercial Hardware group, specializing in Solaris, Virtualization and Engineered Systems. Bob is also a contributing author of Solaris 10 Virtualization Essentials.

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