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London Rainbow Theatre concert review - Melody Maker, 25 October 1972 by Michael Benton

Wishbone Ash may be respected musicians, but their involvement with this type of image tends to slur the band’s approach to playing live. Wishbone’s arrogance, putting down bands like Slade and T-Rex when they played London’s Rainbow Theatre last Saturday, was totally uncalled for.

 

They opened in fine boogie style and after the first two numbers looked set to run through a smooth, uninterrupted set. ‘Warrior’, a composition from the band’s latest album, lashed across the audience in simply beautiful, plaintive tones, coupling with the excellent vocals of Martin Turner. It seemed they would win the crowd – forever.

 

Alas, drummer Steve Upton came to the front and embarked on some idle chatter, taking in T-Rex and Slade and involving rude, childish remarks about the two bands. Alas, Upton found, much to his discomfort, many a T-Rex and Slade fan present.

 

It was this incident that resulted in the band having to tolerate brief spells of barracking throughout the remainder of their set.

 

However, back to the music. Pilgrimage did much to re-establish the band’s concentration and ease some of the tension they must have been going through. Andy Powell and Ted Turner really shone with some exquisite, shrill sounding guitar, which jolted memories of early Fleetwood Mac.

 

Next came a handclapping stomper ‘Kingdom Come’ (sic) which did much to get the semi-subdued audience moving. ‘ Phoenix’, the band’s final number, drew much appreciation from the crowd.

 

The gig enhanced their reputations considerably, showing Wishbone to be a much-improved band. But it’s their big-headedness that prevents them from becoming a “loved” band and with their musical skills, being loved would make them a truly great band.