Wishbone Ash 50th anniversary tour Sage Gateshead 6 November 2019

wish 50 tixSo many of my favourite bands are reaching their 50th anniversary now. It just shows how old I am. This was a night full of memories for me, taking me back to the early 70s. Andy Powell has continued to fly the Wishbone Ash flag high for all of those 50 years and arrived to a packed Hall 2 of the Sage, Gateshead and delighted the audience with two sets, spanning the entire Wishbone Ash catalogue.

Jackie, my carer, and I were seated close to the front with a prime view of the stage; and marvelled at the twin guitar melodies and the vocal harmonies of a set of classic songs. The first set opened with “Real Guitars Have Wings”, and then we were back to Argos and the early days with “The King Will Come” and “Throw down the Sword”. In an instant I am back halfway up the lighting tower at the Lincoln Festival in 1972, 15 years wish pixold with my long hair blowing behind me and next to me is my sadly missed old mate Clive. The band may have changed over the years, but my memories remain, and to me the songs sound as glorious as they ever did. A few more great songs and the first set closes with another classic “The Way of the World”.

After a short interval, during which Jackie and I partook in some gorgeous ice cream (they do particularly nice creamy flavours such as butterscotch in the Sage), the band return. And we are back to the very start; Side 1, Track 1 of the first album: “Blind Eye”; simply unbeatable, the closing discordant guitars still ring in my ears now. A couple of more songs lead us into the guitar epic “The Pilgrim” from the second album Pilgrimage. Soon we are rocking away in “Living Proof” and then the closer “Jailbait” which for some reason brings back memories of standing at the back of a packed Sunderland Locarno ballroom (the Mecca) watching the Ash finish their set with the same song. The encore is, what else could it be but “Blowing Free”.

A wonderful night of great songs, great guitars, great harmonies and great memories. wish pix 2Jackie came along full of interest and left, a convert and a fan. I am having so much fun converting my carers into fans of classic rock bands! One omission: the epic “Phoenix”, but then you can’t have everything.

Andy Powell closed the evening by announcing that Wishbone Ash would be returning to the Sage in January 2021, with Jan Ackerman, in the larger Sage 1 Hall. The next day I bought tickets. Job done!

Thanks to Jackie for taking the photographs of the band.

wishbone progSetlist:

Set 1: Real Guitars Have Wings; The King Will Come; Throw Down the Sword; Sometime World; We Stand as One; In Crisis; The Way of the World.

Set 2: Blind Eye; Deep Blues; Enigma; The Pilgrim; Tales of the Wise; Living Proof; Jail Bait.

Encore: Blowin’ Free.

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michael Heatley on July 12, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    I do love your reviews, but calling my all time fave album Argos is like calling a Nissen hut a Nissan hut!đŸ˜§


  2. Posted by John Johnstone on July 12, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    I saw Wishbone Ash at Kendal Bootleggers the night before and they were really at the top of their game. This was the eighth year running that they had played Bootleggers, and it was probably their best gig there yet. The new lead guitarist (Mark Abrahams) is a gifted player and has really nailed the classic WA sound. A brilliant gig and the band never fail to come out afterwards to meet the fans. Great bunch of lads. I first saw them in 1972 (3?) at the Sunderland Mecca touring Argus and they are as enjoyable now as they were then. It’s a shame that they are unlikely to play Kendal this year, I hope they come back next year.


    • Posted by vintagerock on July 13, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Hi John yes I was at the Sunderland Locarno gig I think it was 1972. Still great after all this time happy days Peter


  3. Posted by Steve White on July 13, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Loving these reviews by Vintagerock, guess probably same age!



    • Posted by vintagerock on July 13, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Steve

      I’m pleased you are enjoying my reviews and my memories. I am 63 by the way cheers Peter


  4. Your posts always take me back! I had almost forgotten about Wishbone Ash, but just reading the titles brings them all back. I must revisit some of those …


  5. Posted by Bryan on July 17, 2020 at 8:19 am

    There’s not too many advantages of being 63, but it does mean we have lived through the golden age of rock ‘n roll! Your reviews read like a who’s who of the very greatest in our generation’s music. Rock on! Bryan


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: