A R T I C L E S  

a n d   I N T E R V I E W S

 

Pop Column, Daily Mirror, October 1976 by Rosie Horide

Wishbone Fans Get Their Wish

 

Wishbone Ash were firing on all cylinders.  The capacity audience were loving it.  And then the trouble strated.

Minutes after the gig at Sheffield’s City Hall, bass-player Martin Turner said: “It was insane.  One minute everything was fine and the next minute rows of people were collapsing like dominoes.  No band likes a quiet gig but this one went a bit far.  Twenty people were injured and one chap got a broken ankle.  We knew we were back in England.”

 

Thousands of Wishbone Ash fans have waited patiently for two years for this tour.  There have been only the odd album, a few reports from far-off corners of the world and one appearance at the last Reading Festival to keep them interested.

 

Martin, 29, said “I’m afraid we have been neglecting Britain.  But we are one of the few bands who have been lucky enough to build up a following in most parts of the world.  We didn’t plan to be away for two years.  We just started touring.  And when people wanted to see us in various countries, we went there.  We covered America and Europe, and then the Pacific area – Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  When we finally fitted in a British tour, we were all worried.  Rock fans are fickle and two years is a long time.”

 

The band need not have worried.  Britain had not forgotten them.

 

The 20-date tour sold out within days of tickets being available.  Tonight’s concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, puts them halfway through their tour, and they have not played to an empty seat.

 

The other members of Wishbone Ash are the two lead guitarists Andy Powell, 27 and Laurie Wisefield, 24, and drummer Steve Upton, 29.  Unlike most bands Wishbone Ash enjoy touring.  Which is probably why they do so much of it.  Rock musicians usually want to tell you about the loneliness of life on the road.  Martin Turner has a more romantic approach.  He said: “I treat every tour as an adventure.  We never have much advance knowledge of where we will be or what we will be doing.  And that’s great.”

 

Martin is an unlikely looking adventurer – pale and frail in the way that rock stars are expected to be.  He grinned as he made the sort of confession that few rock musicians would admit to.  He said: “I’m always getting told off by the others for being a bit sloppy about my playing.  They tell me I don’t practice enough.  But I am not convinced that a couple of bum notes are all that important.  The atmosphere and the amount of excitement and enjoyment you can generate are much more important.  I suppose every band needs at least one person like me.  It stops the others taking themselves too seriously.”

 

Martin is married.  He and his 26-year old wife Maurn live in Barnes, London, when they are not touring.  For Maurn is one of the few rock wives who tours with her husband.  And Martin says she enjoys it as much as he does.

 

“She loves it all,” he said.  “And the one thing all adventurers need is a good woman to look after them.  That’s where Dr.Livingstone went wrong, or something. I really agree with the sentiments of that new single by Robert Palmer.  It’s called ‘Man Smart, Woman Smarter’.  I’ll drink to that!”