button ASH @ Shibuya AX (17th Jan. '05)

Winter Be Damned

As the lights dimmed in Shibuya AX, a pre-recorded female voice burst out of the speakers. Counting down from ten, four silhouettes made there way across the stage as the voice echoed though the venue. Upon reaching zero, a flash of bright lights ushered in the opening notes of Ash's lead-off track, "Meltdown." The floor became a giant trampoline as Japanese bodies gleefully bounced while the band ripped through the title song from their most recent release. Lead singer Tim Wheeler swung around his Flying V guitar while belting out his lyrics. Not wanting to be outdone, guitarist Charlotte Hatherley's stunning back-up vocals showed that she could keep up with the charismatic frontman.
A collective scream emerged from the audience as Ash kicked into 1977's classic "Girl From Mars". Judging by the crowd's reaction it was safe to say that any stragglers who weren't instantly won over with the scorching version of "Meltdown" were now. A textbook example of how to write the perfect pop-punk song, "Girl From Mars" still sounds as fresh and fun as it did when released nine years ago. Dancing along wildly, the near capacity crowd tried to drown Wheeler out as they sang along to the infectious single.


Throughout the night Ash demonstrated how to play excellent pop-driven numbers. Whether ploughing through Meltdown's or Nu-Clear Sounds power-pop songs or inducing mass-pogoing with one of the catchy pop-punk gems that adorns 1977 and Free All Angels, the Irish act could do no wrong. The perfect soundtrack to summer, Wheeler's sun-drenched tales made it feel like a beautiful June day, which is no small feat in mid-January. Despite the cold, Ash's abundant energy, sizzling melodies, and fantastic sing-a-long choruses kept everyone inside the club feeling warm and happy inside.
Ash The set featured selections from each of the group's last four studio efforts. Although the bulk of the material presented came from Meltdown, songs from 1977 and Free All Angels were greeted with the loudest applause. Along with "Girl From Mars", standout tracks early on included "Shining Light" and the almost nu-metal-ish "Clones". It was recently announced that the latter will be featured in the upcoming Star Wars video game, Republic Commando. Considering their album 1977 was named in honour of the year the original Star Wars was released it's a good bet that the band is pretty psyched about their inclusion. Dominated by Rick McMurray's powerful and frantic drumming, the heavy, spacey track will lend itself nicely to battle scenes as gamers try to destroy the Empire. Halfway through the show the momentum began to slightly drop, but Ash quickly got things back on course will the stellar combination of "A Life Less Ordinary" and "Walking Barefoot".

Ash Wrapping up with "Orpheus", Wheeler yelled "Thank you, you guys fuckin' rock," before following his bandmates off stage. Returning a few moments later, the group knocked out a tight version of "Goldfinger". Surprisingly, the audience was rather subdued for the fantastic song. Based on the reception to 1977's other tracks I was expecting mass hysteria to break out amongst the sweaty kids huddled near the front. After watching everyone go completely nuts for the closing number, "Burn Baby Burn", I can only assume that people were trying to stockpile their energy for a big finish. Screaming along to every lyric, the band stopped playing at one point so that they could appreciate just how loud the audience was. With big smiles spread across all their faces, Ash wrapped things up as the audience continued to yell their support.
Having played the Fuji Rock Festival in the past, let's keep our fingers crossed that the band return as part of this year's most likely stellar line-up. Until then, cue up your personal music player of choice with a couple of Ash tunes and forget all about the cold and dreariness of the winter season.

-- set list--

Meltdown / Girl From Mars / Cherry Bomb / Evil Eye / Clones / Shining Light / Renegade Cavalcade / Detonator / Oh Yeah / Starcrossed / Kung Fu / Vampire Love / A Life Less Ordinary / Walking Barefoot / Orpheus / Goldfinger / Wild Surf / Burn Baby Burn
report by shawn and photo by mari

==>top page : JPN / ENG

buttonmag files : Ash

buttonphoto report : (05/01/21 @ Namba Hatch ) : photo by yegg
buttonphoto report : (05/01/18 @ Shibuya AX ) : photo by izumikuma
buttonWinter Be Damned : (05/01/17 @ Shibuya AX ) : report by shawn, photo by mari
buttonRevolution, we're the solution! : (05/01/17 @ Shibuya AX ) : report by U-co., photo by mari
buttonアッシュは煌きシャイニング : (05/01/17 @ Shibuya AX ) : report by toddy, photo by mari
button普通じゃない! : (05/01/17 @ Shibuya AX ) : report by rad, photo by mari
buttonphoto report : (05/01/17 @ Shibuya AX ) : photo by mari

The official site



The latest album


( 国内盤 / UK import )
previous works

『Intergalactic Sonic 7s』 ( UK import )
『1977』 ( 国内盤 / US import )
『Nu-Clear Sounds』 ( 国内盤 )
『Free All Angels』 ( 国内盤 / US import )
『Envy』 ( 国内盤 )

『トーキョー・ブリッツ』 ( 国内版 )

check the albums?


Search Now:
In Association with Amazon.com
previous works by shawn


buttonWinter Be Damned : Ash (17th Jan @ Shibuya AX)
buttonInterview : Peaceful, But Far From Quiet : Mono (20th Jan)
buttonCD review : "The Nein" : The Nein (13th Jan)


buttonCD review : "Christmas" : Old Man Gloom (28th Dec)
buttonExciting Music for Exciting People : illreme (6th Dec @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonIt's In Their Hands Now : Franz Ferdinand (29th Nov @ Shibuya AX)
buttonLights, Camera, Action : Brahman (15th Nov @ Ebisu Liquidroom)
buttonMostly Business : The Stills (8th Nov @ Ebisu Liquidroom)
buttonScare The Rock Right Outta Ya : Halloween Ball 2004 feat . The 5,6,7,8's, Gasoline, The Woggles (30th Oct @ Shiomkitazawa Shelter)
buttonThree More, Two More, and Take it to the Left : Hawaiian6/ Idol Punch (11th Oct @ Shinjuku Loft)
buttonBusting Eardrums : Mogwai (5th Oct @ Ebisu Liquidroom AX )
buttonGrey Skies Are Going To Clear Up... : HUSKING BEE (5th Sept @ Shibuya AX )
buttonno title : V∞REDOMS (8th Aug @ Ebisu Liquidroom )
buttonCD review : Andre Ethier With Christopher Sandes : Andre Ethier


buttonCause Music Must Be Magic : Mayor McCa (21st Dec @ The Casbah,Hamilton, Ontario )
buttonMake It a Double : EVANESCENCE (28th Jul @ Shinjuku AX)
buttonGetting Knifed in Tokyo : Shonen Knife / bloodthirsty butchers(12th Jul @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonHail Hail! Some of Japan's best come together to pay tribute to San Diego's finest : TRIBUTE TO ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT feat. John Speedo with Jet Boys, Retro Gretion, and KEMURI, (21st June '03 @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonThe Canucks are Coming! The Canucks are Coming! : Simple Plan & GOB (26th Apr @ Akasaka Blitz)
buttonno title : Banda Bassotti with Doberman, Oi Skall Mates & Rude Bones (12th May @ Kawasaki Club Citta)
buttonThe Enchanting Sounds of Summer : KEMURI (31st May @ Shinjuku ACB Hall)
buttonAbsolutely F**king Brilliant!! : The Coral (21st Apr @ Shinjuku Liquid Room)
buttonno title : Short Circuit w/ Asparagus (24th Mar @ Shibuya AX)

無断転載を禁じます。The copyright of the article belongs to Shawn Despres and the same of the photos belongs to Marimi "mari" Horimoto. They may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.counter
==>Back To The Top Page : JPN / ENG.