Wishbone Ash live 2001 to 2007

wishbonetixI lost touch with Wishbone Ash for around 10 years and decided to go and see them again at a concert at Newcastle Opera House on 26th May 2001. The only remaining original member of the band was Andy Powell and they had released 5 album since I had last see them in concert; these were: Strange Affair (1991; reunion line-up without drummer Steve Upton); Illuminations (1996; brand new Andy Powell led band); Trance Visionary (1997; an electronic-based dance album); Psychic Terrorism (1998; another techno dance album), and Bare Bones (1999; an acoustic album with new versions of Ash classics, some new songs and some cover songs; and special guests including Claire Hamill). The line-up of Wishbone Ash in 2001 was Andy Powell (guitar, vocals), Ben Granfelt (guitar, vocals), Bob Skeat (bass, vocals) and Ray Weston (drums). It was great to see them and hear the old classics again. I saw this line-up once more at a concert at the Park Hotel Tynemouth on 8th October 2003. They released the album Bona Fide in 2002. Both concerts were excellent. I recall the Park Hotel being packed and giving Andy and the band a great reception.
wishboneprog35yearsIn 2004 guitarist Ben Granfelt left the band and was replaced by another excellent guitarist Muddy Manninen. The band continued to tour, and I saw this line-up three times: back at the Park Hotel (20th October 2004), at Newcastle Cluny (19th October 2005, moved from the Park, as I recall; I have two tickets one saying the Park and one the Cluny!) and at Newcastle Academy (14th May 2007).Β  All great gigs, although I think the Academy gig was not well attended. This line-up recorded the Clan Destiny album in 2006. The 2005 tour was billed as the 35th Anniversary Tour (see programme). in 2007 drummer Ray Weston left after being in the band for 10 years and was replaces by Joe Crabtree. This line-up has recorded three albums Power of Eternity (2007), Elegant Stealth (2011) and Blue Horizon (2014). I saw them at Newcastle Academy in 2001, which I blogged about at the time.
Andy Powell continues to fly the Wishbone Ash flag high, and tours the UK at least once a year, sometimes twice.
That concludes my Wishbone Ash memories. Writing about them has reminded me how great this band was, particularly during the 1970s. Both the Mk I and the Mk II line-ups were pure class. I’ve played a lot of Wishbone Ash this week, and those classic songs have really taken me back to those days. I’d forgotten just how many favourites I have: Blind Eye, The Pilgrim, Pheonix, Jailbait, Blowin’ Free, Time Was, The King Will Come, Warrior, Throw Down the Sword, Living Proof…all wonderful tracks. I think I’ll play a few more this morning before I move on to the next band. Happy happy days πŸ™‚

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on February 1, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Thanks Peter for your week of Wishbone Ash memories. Great reading.

    I was at many of the concerts that you have written about including all of the shows mentioned in todays blog.

    There was a couple of really good support acts at these shows – Del Bromham at the 2004 Tynemouth gig and Michael Katon at the 2001 Newcastle Opera House concert.
    I had never heard of Katon before at the time but I was blown away with his full on roadhouse boogie style music. He began with a track called Rip It Hard and I remember sitting there thinking ‘wow’ – and that was just for starters. He was great.

    As well as the studio albums that you mention Wishbone Ash have released a large number of live albums in recent times. By my reckoning there has been fifteen in the last twenty years. These include Live Dates 3 from 2001 (Mark Birch was the ‘other guitarist’ at this period and his solo on Errors Of My Way is extremely good), Then Again Live from 2008 (which has the entire Argus album played in LP running order) and the most recent one, Roadworks 4 from 2014 (the entire 1973 Live Dates set).

    Keep up the good work.


    • Posted by vintagerock on February 1, 2015 at 11:09 am

      Many thanks for all your support Mitch. How on earth could I forget Del Bromham supporting at the Park! I am a big Stray fan, and now you mention it I remember being delighted that Del was supporting that night. πŸ™‚ Cheers Peter


    • Posted by vintagerock on February 1, 2015 at 11:10 am

      PS I am listening to Argus as I type this πŸ™‚


  2. Have you not seen the Martin Turner fronted “Wishbone Ash” (now just going under the name “Martin Turner” for legal reasons)? He’s the only original member, but his band does a great job of capturing the classic sound. They’re playing City Hall AND Durham Gala next month as apart of a package tour with the Strawbs and Carl Palmer. Highly recommended!


    • Posted by vintagerock on February 5, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Hi David Yes I’ve seen Martin Turner a few times recently. If you search until Martin Turner I think (hope) my comments on his band should come up. Yes I agree he also does great versions of the old classics, and I may well go along to the City Hall or the Gala for Classic Legends tour. Many thanks Peter


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