Royal Albert Hall
London, United Kingdom
Teenage Cancer Trust concert with Supergrass. This show marks the debut of “Orpheus” and “Renegade Cavalcade”.
- Lose Control
- Cherry Bomb
- Girl From Mars
- Orpheus (Live debut)
- Jesus Says
- Shining Light
- Renegade Cavalcade
- Jack Names the Planets
- Oh Yeah
- Walking Barefoot
- A Life Less Ordinary
- Kung Fu
Do not adjust your sets. Ash are playing their first UK gig since Reading in August 2002. And they’re marking it in the best style possible by doing it at the Royal Albert Hall. And it’s for charity kids! It’s a bit of a coup for a band all but written off and virtually bankrupt a little over two years ago.
The Hall isn’t full, there are quite a few empty seats and the floor is only about three quarters full of people, but the surrounds are still magnificent and the greeting that welcomes the band when they take to the stage rapturous.
A quick hello, they start the show in the best possible way with a fired-up version of “Lose Control” and it’s almost like they’ve never been away. The songs should be familiar now; it’s the usual collection of greatest hits, by now honed to perfection. They’ve been touring roughly the same collection of songs for about two years now, so it’s pleasing to see that they still enjoy playing the old stuff and aren’t just trotting on stage every night in search of a quick buck.
The gig also gives Ash the chance to unveil two new songs for the first time - “Orpheus” and “Renegade Cavalcade”. Both songs show a bit of a deviation from the rose-tinted pop of Free All Angels and more than a passing nod to their Nu-Clear Sounds album. “Orpheus” is the poppier of the two, but carries an acidic punch, and is the more recognisably ’Ash’ of the new material. “Renegade Cavalcade”, which is only a working title is a little harder to get into, but was my favourite of the two. It’s choppy, rises and falls with a distinctive 80’s tone on guitar.
The new stuff occurs in the first half of the set, then it’s a whiz through some of the crowd favourites - a keyboardless version of “Sometimes” provides the only real rest bite of the set, the rest is played with hearts on sleeve, Tim commanding the stage like the accomplished front man he is becoming, Charlotte pogos whenever she gets the chance and Mark roaming with his bass.
They finish with “Kung Fu” which has the floor massed in hand-claps before coming back for an encore of “Burn Baby Burn” which generates the best reception of the night. Then it’s off to party and to give everyone a chance of a breather. A great set, I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I was up in the cheap seats. The new stuff shows great things are hopefully on the horizon for Ash, and I for one think they are totally deserved.
Review by Dave Martin
Warning Tim Wheeler’s getting frisky. For there first gig of 2003, Wheeler is pirovetting with his guitar, bouncing around in a manner quite unlike the static presence who usually let’s Ash’s music display his natural exherance.
It must help that the two new songs offered up tonight seem pure classic punk singles. Throw in an hour of what is effectively a Best of set, one thing that seems odd however is that they are supporting Supergrass instead of the other way round.
Review by planet sound