A R T I C L E S
a n d I N T E R V I E W S
Worthing concert review - Raw, September 1989 by Dave Ling
For those of us who don’t like to drink the blood of virgins 24 hours a day, it’s nice to have the option of a less excessive alternative. At a Wishbone Ash gig you’re unlikely to encounter exploding dragons, levitating Marshall amps or vomiting Satanists, just quality, guitar-orientated, melodic Hard Rock.
That Ash have become an institution is undeniable; that they’ve been more popular in the past is almost as certain; that their new Here To Hear LP is a step into blandsville is arguable; but there can be no doubts about the relevance or reliability of the quartet’s live performance.
Naturally, the band were keen to plus HTH, and we were duly given no less than five newies of varying standards. ‘Cosmic Jazz’ and ‘Keeper Of The Light’ both made a mockery of their tepid studio counterparts, but ‘Hole In My Heart’ (introduced by guitarist/vocalist Ted Turner as a son of the Ash classic ‘Phoenix’) was sluggish and of more doubtful parentage.
What the audience really wanted, however, were the oldies and we weren’t disappointed. Andy Powell’s guitar intro to 1972’s vintage ‘The King Will Come’ still makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand stiffly in appreciation, the dignified splendour of ‘Throw Down The Sword’ flows onward like a crystal stream, ‘Living Proof’ is forged from the purest steel and the encore stomp through ‘Jailbait’ sees Turner and Powell ripping out twin leads that threaten to take the paint off the walls.
Wishbone Ash aren’t afraid to take chances – Here To Hear makes that perfectly clear – but you’d have to look long and hard to come up with a band who can match them in terms of musicianship, value for money and dogged tenacity.
Long may they continue to rock