Ash – Enter The Twilight Zone

Meeting your idols is quite rightly an ill-advised course of action for any music-lover. Lucky for me Ash haven’t been idols of mine since 1996.

As I chilled with the band on the grassy verge of the press tent at Leeds festival I quickly realized why, other than for their music, they are idols to so many today, eleven years after second album '1997' was released. They are cool, chirpy, happy and friendly guys and I wished I had a copy of 1977 for them to sign. This was the record that brought a really young three piece from Northern Ireland to the forefront of British guitar pop.

Despite sounding to many like ‘kids playing with guitars’, beneath the mess of distortion there lay great guitar solos, cool lyrics about things like Jackie Chan, Henri Winterman cigars and ‘the start of the summer’; amazing songs with, above all, a chemistry of seasoned and experienced rockers just wanting to have a good time.

As a band much further down the line they’ve been through the rough and the smooth. There were times during the barren spell of Nu-Clear Sounds era when things looked decidedly grim before sensibly realizing the best thing to do in times of crisis is return to the place where it all began, the garage.

As one of the better received British bands in the US and I asked how the festival experience in the UK differs from that across the pond and which do the band prefer. Tim definitely prefers it over here, “US festivals are Shit! The only decent festival is Coachella and that’s too hot.”

As a band their finest hour may have come at Leeds 2007, but it is unlikely it topped the other great moments the band have achieved on festival stages over the years. They remember fondly the Glastonbury in the rain of ‘97 but surely the finest hour for Ash has to be the Reading festival of 2001 where they headlined the second stage, a year when they played an amazing 44 festivals across Europe.

You may have been led to believe that it was indeed the end of Ash…it's not!

The band released the third single from the new album 'Twilight Of The Innocents' on the 10th September, another aural salvo from the mighty armoury penned by Tim Wheeler.

Meanwhile the band play:

20th Liverpool Carling Academy
21st Bristol Carling Academy
23rd Nottingham Rock City
24th Newcastle Carling Academy
25th Sheffield Octagon
27th Birmingham Carling Academy
28th Glasgow Barrowland
29th Manchester Academy
31st Leeds University

1st Norwich UEA
2nd Southampton Guildhall
3rd London Brixton Carling Academy

Tickets are available from all usual outlets, 24hr cc hotline: 0871 220 260 and link

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