Ash to play ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ benefit show

Ash will perform at a special ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ benefit show at the Ulster Hall, Belfast on November 3, 2011, also featuring The Divine Comedy, The Undertones and support from John D’Arcy. The three main acts will each perform one of their classic albums in sequence.

Ash will present their first album 1977, The Divine Comedy, featuring Neil Hannon and a string quartet will play their Promenade album while The Undertones will perform their debut self-titled album from 1979.

Tim Wheeler from Ash explains his involvement in the event:

"My Dad passed away in January this year. He’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2008 and lived the last 6 months of his life in the Psychiatry Of Old Age Ward at Downe Hospital. I spent a lot of time in the hospital with him and saw many other patients and families going through exactly the same thing as we were going through.

“As my Dad’s condition deteriorated I felt very helpless as there was nothing I could do except visit him as much as possible. When I heard that Neil’s father had also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I thought that we could actually do something using our music to help fight Alzheimer’s. It is a growing worldwide problem and as yet there is no cure. The main hope seems to be in prevention and a lot of funding for research is needed.

“So using the uplifting power of great music we are going to make a contribution. It’s going to be a wonderful and emotional night for me. The Undertones have been a big influence on Ash, they are Northern Irish music legends and it’s going to be a real treat hearing them play their first album.

“I’ve been a friend and massive fan of Neil for years too and always love being on the same stage as The Divine Comedy. With Ash, we’re really excited to be playing our debut album ‘1977’ in full, something that we’ve only ever done twice before. My Dad loved music, playing piano was one of his joys and he would never miss an Ash gig in Belfast. I know he’ll be there in spirit.

“As well as raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society I’d like to use our gig to say how important a service the Health Service is and that we can’t let it be taken away. I’d also like to say how grateful my family and I are for the Health Service and the kindness of the staff at The Downe Hospital for the care my father received.”

Doors at 7pm. Tickets, £20 and £22 will go on sale on Thursday 22nd September at 9am at the Ulster Hall box office: www.ulsterhall.co.uk Tel. 02890 334455.

You can donate to the Alzheimer’s Society by visiting www.justgiving.com/ulsterhallmusicbenefit or by texting ULST77 to 70070 for £5 donation.