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Croydon Fairfield Hall concert review - Sounds, 24 December 1972 by Ray Telford
Wishbone Ash: Making a Lot of Sense
Wishbone Ash were on form at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon on Sunday. This year has seen Wishbone Ash transcend the thin line from would-be stars to fully fledged rock and roll heroes and it seems as though they’ve done it in double quick time too.
Perhaps their biggest problem has been in learning how to handle the sudden success and I feel that this is something they’ve come to terms with only comparatively recently for when you take a long hard look at the band you realise that they are not instant star material the same way as, dare I say, Deep Purple, but it’s there all the same.
Word has it that Wishbone are on the point of introducing a brand new programme and general stage production and that makes a lot of sense for they’ve been playing basically the same set now for almost two years and there really isn’t much more they can do to embrace and improve on the old material.
Nevertheless, Sunday’s show was an exceptional example of a totally original rock band giving their audience a good time and for Wishbone Ash freaks that means pure music.
Traditionally, Wishbone Ash reach the peak of their act somewhere around the second last song, thus leaving plenty leeway for them to build on encores. Croydon was no exception, though there were times it seemed they would have appreciated livelier reaction earlier in the set.
Guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell played as proficiently as ever. Turner especially has matured into an exceptionally fine player who sounds equally at home on rhythm work as he does on lead parts, and Andy Powell, Wishbone’s main focus point, has lost none of the zest in his playing that has distinguished him from most other British guitarists in the past.
Martin Turner has also refined his shaky bass lines to an astonishing degree of precision and Steve Upton on drums remains one of the most precise and articulate drummers currently playing in British rock.