Wishbone Ash New England tour Newcastle City Hall 14th November 1976

Wishbone Ash New England tour Newcastle City Hall 14th November 1976
wishbonetix76Support from Supercharge
Wishbone Ash released their sixth album “Locked In” in early 1976. It featured much softer rock songs, and wasn’t as successful as their previous lps. They soon, however, followed this with their seventh album “New England” which was released later in 1976 and was a return to the traditional Wishbone Ash style. “New England” was recognised by fans and critics as classic Ash and was a much bigger success than “Locked In”. “New England” contained much harder rock songs along with soft rock ballads, and the classic twin guitar style returned in force.
Wishbone Ash toured to promote “New England”, calling at Newcastle City Hall on 14th November 1976. Support came from Supercharge; a great Liverpool band fronted by singer and sax player Albie Donnelly. Supercharge built up quite a following in the mid-70s gigging a lot on the college and club circuit; I remember seeing them several times, at Newcastle Poly and Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt, I think. They were always good fun and guaranteed a good night. wishboneprog76
Andy Powell from my “New England” tour programme: “We’ve finally pulled all the elements together. We finally got back to what Wishbone Ash is all about…For a while we lost direction and had an identity problem. This band has never been hyped. Anyone with longevity has substance.’New England’ will confirm that substance.”
The programme goes on: “Like six years beofe, Wishbone Ash will provide a pleasant musical change from recent bands more adept at applying eye mascara and spitting blood capsules into the audience than playing musical instruments. The return of the guitar hero awaits your viewing pleasure. Although Wishbone Ash now live in America, they have retained those distinct British characteristics that have always been the trademark of their music. Upton will undoubtedly address the audience from centre stage, exposing his latest footwear [Now that rings a bell, Steve Upton would always show off his new shoes and colourful socks]. Turner will still split out vocals with fierce aggression while laying down the firm foundation of rhythmic support with drummer Upton. And another generation of aspiring guitarists will soon discover two idols to mould their styles after. Powell and Wisefield have taken those initial twin guitar relationships into untrodden territory….Wishbone Ash are blowin’ free once again.” And indeed they were.
wishboneflexi76When I opened my programme yesterday, possibly for the first time since the concert almost 39 years ago, I discoverd a flexi disc had been popped safely inside. This must have been given away on the night, and features snippets of four tracks from “New England”: “Outward Bound”; “Runaway”; “Mother of Pearl”; and “(In all my dreams) You Rescue Me”. I put it on my record player and played it, possibly for the first time. Straight away the music took me right back; the record started with some quite heavy rock, but soon the familiar twin guitar sounds came, weaving their way towards the melody. Classic stuff 🙂
The 1976 Newcastle concert was another excellent Wishbone Ash performance. The set featured old favourites, several songs from”New England” and a couple from “Locked In”.
Based on published setlists it is likely to have been something like this: Jail Bait (from “Pilgrimage”); Time Was; Blowin’ Free; Warrior; The King Will Come (all from “Argus”); Rest in Peace (from “Locked In”); Runaway; (In all my dreams) You Rescue Me; Lorelei; Outward Bound (all from “New England”); Bad Weather Blues (live favourite); Mother of Pearl (“New England”); Persephone (“There’s the Rub); It Started in Heaven (“Locked In”)

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