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London Lyceum concert review - Sounds, April 1971 by Ray Telford

ANY BAND that has the power to set a couple of ordinarily sedate Lyceum bouncers bopping, must be worth their salt in anybody’s book. Wishbone Ash did it on Sunday and all within a very short one-hour’s set.

 

It must have been very heartening for them to see a packed ballroom and even more so to hear the applause after each of the five sched­uled numbers and the three encores. Whether by accident or not, it seems that Wishbone’s recent American tour (this was their first gig since their return) has freed the group from their former slight in­troversion on stage. They played on Sunday with a great deal more fluidity than I had ever heard them do previously, a fact which obviously got through to the main of the au­dience.

 

Despite noticeable nervous­ness at first, guitarist Andy Powell warmed after the first number and confidently Went on to play some excellent music, especially on “Where Were You Tomorrow” the first of their encores. Co-lead guitarist Ted Turner also rose to the occasion on “ Phoenix”. one of the longest songs of the set but one which kept its interest thanks to Turner’s in­ventive playing. Martin Turner and Steve Upton, bass guitar­ist and drummer respectively, are undoubtedly among the best of British rock rhythm sections. Upton especially knows how to use dynamics to the full.

 

With a fairly extensive British tour coming up in the near future, Wishbone Ash can only come out of it a few rungs up the ladder.