A R T I C L E S
a n d I N T E R V I E W S
Oxford Mail concert review, February 1980
Wishbone Ash seemed destined to go down in history as the band who never quite made it – twice. At Oxford’s New Theatre last night they proved their famous two-pronged lead is definitely of virtuoso vintage – but the “vintage” golden oldie tag is getting too close to comfort for a band still determined to take their rightful place at the top.
Despite the promotions razzamatazz of their Tenth Anniversary World Tour, it was clear the band rely too heavily on past glories that climaxed with Argus seven years ago. Balding lead guitarist Andy Powell had it in a nutshell when he said almost apologetically: “Things haven’t changed much – I’ve just lost a bit more hair.”
Ten years on it’s a poor do for their twelfth album to be called Just Testing – and to mean it. The tracks they took from Just Testing – ‘Lifeline’, ‘Helpless’ and single ‘Living Proof’ – were not in the same league as their other material.
But the synchronised splendour of their twin lead flourished in ‘Blind Eye’, ‘The King Will Come’ and ‘Blowin’ Free’.