Ash / Hyena / The Bucky Rage – Liquid Room, Edinburgh – Tuesday 9th June 2015
It seemed entirely appropriate that Ash should arrive in Edinburgh on the first day of the hottest spell of the year given that new LP ‘Kablammo’ sees the band return to their strength of delivering unadulterated upbeat guitar pop.
Being honest it’s hard to imagine Ash not delivering with their impressive back catalogue. They’ve got more than enough great songs for a set of more than 90 minutes and that was certainly true of Tuesday night. But pleasingly the show wasn’t simply a run through of their greatest hits with two thirds of the new LP also played and that seems to me to be a healthy percentage.
This was no ‘promote the new record’ tokenism either. From the opening ‘Evel Knievel’ onwards the new tunes slipped in effortlessly between the classics. On the evidence that it got stuck on the internal jukebox for much of Wednesday ‘Shutdown’ was the one for me that benefited most from live performance but I was disappointed not to get ‘Hedonism’’ from the new record.
Of the older songs with only a couple of cuts from ‘Free All Angels’ there were some less obvious choices in ‘Jack Names The Planets’ and a scorching ‘Wild Surf’. It was nice to hear something from ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ although in fact ‘Twilight Of The Innocents’ was the only record completely ignored even if the entire ‘A-Z’ cycle was represented solely by ‘Arcadia’.
This was MPK2’s second Ash show but it has to be said that the band may not welcome him back for a third as the first time he saw them was the night of Tim’s dental emergency. Tuesday’s problems were certainly less painful in comparison but the show certainly wasn’t glitch free as a problem with the bass drum saw ‘Evil Eye’ grinding to a halt mid song. Perhaps as a result the show also overran meaning that the encore was, rather frustratingly, cut back just to ‘Burn Baby Burn’ (which might indeed explain the apparent omissions).
With a return to Scotland promised for Ash in November I suspect that the Manic Pop Family will be in attendance again. But perhaps we should be looking out the lucky white heather for the band in advance …
The Bucky Rage
Not a lot to say about the supports to be honest. The Bucky Rage brought something visual to the show but didn’t do much musically for me. But at least they had some character which tour support Hyena lacked. But then again four earnest young men pitching for that crowded market between grunge and metal isn’t really my thing.
1. Evel Knievel 2. Cocoon 3. Jack Names The Planets 4. A Life Less Ordinary 5. Go! Fight! Win! 6. Goldfinger 7. Wild Surf 8. Free 9. Kung Fu 10. Let’s Ride 11. Evil Eye (parts 1 and 2!) 12. Oh Yeah 13. Shutdown 14. Orpheus 15. Moondust 16. Arcadia 17. Shining Light 18. Machinery 19. Angel Interceptor 20. Girl From Mars
Encore – 21. Burn Baby Burn