Who are Ash?
Ash are a three piece rock band from Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, who consist of Tim Wheeler on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Hamilton on bass, and Rick McMurray on drums.
They formed in 1992 and play a mixture of punk and pop tunes with a melodic twist. Between 1997 and 2006 Ash recruited Charlotte Hatherley on backing vocals, keyboards and guitars. Russell Lissack of Bloc Party joined the band as an additional guitarist in 2010 for the bands A-Z Series tour.
Why are they called Ash?
The simple but frankly boring story is: in search of a name the band found themselves flicking through a dictionary to a find a cool word which would propel them to global stardom. They scrolled down (not very far) to Ash, and have stuck with it ever since.
Didn’t Ash have a different name?
Kind of, in the late 80’s/early 90’s before Ash formed, Tim and Mark were in a metal band known as Vietnam. This was when they were around 14-15 years old. Tim says “we were together for two years with the band Vietnam, embarrassing ourselves everywhere we went, yet we persevered and remained true to our twisted vision.”
The band fell apart after a few years, and Tim and Mark, encouraged by the sounds of Nirvana, recruited Rick and became known as Ash. The song “American Devil” is the only Vietnam song that was carried over to Ash. There is only one known Vietnam demo tape, containing five tracks and thought to have been made around 1989.
What are their birthdays?
This may border on obsessive but you asked for it, so here it is:
- Tim Wheeler - January 4, 1977
- Mark Hamilton - March 21, 1977
- Rick McMurray - July 15, 1975
What type of instruments/amps do the band play/use?
You can check out the
gear history section which charts all the equipment Ash used from 1994 to 2004. Please note that this page is no longer updated. If you have some gear info you feel should be added to this section please contact us.
How many times have they played #insert song here# live or has #insert song here# ever been played live?
You can search for the song in question on our lyrics page, once you’ve selected a song you will see a “Performance info” section which outlines the number of set lists the song appears in as well as the first and last known live appearance of the song.
Note if you can’t remember the name of the song, the lyric search is pretty powerful and allows you search for a song by:
- Alternative/working titles (e.g. Slow Suicide, Singapore Song, etc)
- Songwriter (e.g. Tim Wheeler, Rivers Cuomo, etc)
- Original performer (e.g. Weezer, Ween, etc)
- Project name (Useful for solo/side projects e.g. Charlotte Hatherley)
- Song type (You can type ‘cover’ or ‘original’)
- Appears on (release that the song first appeared on e.g. 1977)
- First released (date the song was first released e.g. August or 2004)
What was the A-Z series
The A-Z Singles Series was a project undertaken by Ash in 2009-10, It saw the band release a new single every fortnight for a whole year. They also released a variety of bonus tracks as digital downloads. Our A-Z Singles Series releases page outlines all the singles and bonus tracks the band released during this time.
Have Ash ever played #insert city here#?
Probably, they get around a lot to all corners of the globe. Our comprehensive shows archive goes right the way back to 1991 and includes details of a few known Vietnam shows. Simply select your desired year from the dropdown and have a quick flick through and see what you can find. We’re hoping to add a search functionality to the site soon.
What release contains #insert song here#?
For information on all Ash’s releases see the releases section.
Where can I get old singles?
The band still have a lot of A-Z Singles Series releases for sale on their online Store. However the vast majority of older singles are long out of print. The best place to pick them up is either eBay or Amazon. You shouldn’t expect to pay more than a few pounds for CD singles and maybe up to £10 for 7" singles unless it was a limited edition release.
Note that in 2019 the band released ’94-’04: The 7” Singles Box Set, which compiled most of their 7" singles from 1994’s “Jack Names the Planets” to 2004’s “Orpheus”. This should still be relatively easy to get hold of however it misses a few singles like “Starcrossed” and “Renegade Cavalcade”.
Where can I get original Jack Names the Planets, Barbie, and Get Ready 7" singles?
When the band say limited edition release, they mean it. Only 2,000 copies of Jack Names the Planets were made worldwide and Barbie was given out to fan club members who attended shows at the London Astoria in March 1997. While Get Ready was released to fan club members only. All three are still floating around independent collectors shops and internet auction web sites fetching very high prices so keep your eye out for them.
Jack Names the Planets was re-released on CD in December 2002, this version is extremely easy to get hold off.
When is the next Ash single/album released, and what is it?
All new releases will be announced in the news section. Keep an eye out there for all the latest on new releases.
Why did the band call their album 1977 ?
The band called their debut album 1977 because it was a year that meant a lot to them. Tim and Mark were born, Star Wars was released and the punk explosion hit.
What’s all this about Garage Girl?
Garage Girl was the name of one of the bands early demo tapes. It was recorded in February 1993 at Cosmic Ray Valentine’s 8 track studio in Strangford, County Down, Northern Ireland. The demo tape was recorded by Gary Aiken. It contained 13 tracks many of which were later re-recorded by the band, however the tracks “La La La”, “Only Friend”, “Garage Girl”, “Rick’s Riff”, “Don’t Talk to Them”, and “Unlike You” were never re-recorded again. The version of “Jack Names the Planets” on this tape is what interested Stephen Taverner, their future manager and led to the band being signed.
Why are there two different “Girl From Mars” videos?
The original UK video, a cross between “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Natrel Plus TV ad, was shot on a windy day in Camber Sands. A paint-splattered Ash looked to enjoy it, but Rick found it completely demeaning. When the single was released in the US some 16 months later, the band decided to enlist the help of the Foo Fighter’s “Big Me” video director Jesse Peretz to create a more dignified and intelligent video.
Who created this site?
This site was created and is maintained by Steven Woodhead. It launched on August 23, 2001.
How many people work on your site?
All of the design, content and server maintenance is done by one person, however your contributions, news, reviews, photos, set lists etc, are always welcome. Just simply contact us and I’ll get them added.
This site sucks/is lovely. Who do I complain to/praise?
You can use the contact section to send us your complaints/praise. You can also use the contact section if you wish to contribute a review, article, or set list or suggest corrections.
Do you reply to every email? or why haven’t you answered my email?
I try too, although I have a full time job and other commitments so don’t expect a rapid reply, it might take a few days.
I tend not to reply to emails that ask “can you get me tickets for the #insert city here# show“ or “can you get in contact with the band for me”. Mainly because I get so many and also because I can’t. I tend also not to reply to emails that ask questions that are on this FAQ page.
How can I get in contact with the band or can you ask the band…?
This site is 100% unofficial and we have no direct contact with the band or management and cannot pass on any requests or messages.
How many times have you seen/met Ash?
Quite a few, basically every time they’ve been to Nottingham since 2001. Most recently in 2016 on the 1977 20th anniversary tour. I also met the band at the signing sessions for the Meltdown album in May 2004.