button Ash @ Liquidroom Ebisu (11th July '05)

Liquid Room Meltdown!!!!

      For a band purportedly formed because Tim Wheeler and Mark Hamilton were "rubbish at football", Ash have certainly done alright for themselves. No strangers to Japan, at the liquid room they powered straight into 'Meltdown', instantly igniting the crowd. This is the third time I have seen Ash over here, and they just seem to get better. From the opening bars the sound was clear and bright, giving the songs an even sharper edge than on their albums.

ash       It didn't take too long for Tim to inform us that it was drummer Ricky McMurray's Birthday, and that they weren't going to stop playing until "it's the best gig Ricky's ever played". Trivia seeking readers may be interested to know that according to the official Ash web site, Rick McMurray is considered by Tim Wheeler to be the "Hottest Male"!! In any case, birthday or not, there was plenty of on stage fun going on, and as usual bassist Hamilton was cavorting about like he had a Girl From Mars in his pants. He claims to be seven foot three, which I think may be a bit of a stretch, but he does somehow make that Thunderbird bass look like a banjo.
ash      Preceding Ricky's birthday celebrations was a song called 'Warmer Than Fire' that is not on any of the Ash albums and is apparently by some friends. This seemed to trigger a period of rapid guitar changing, with Tim swapping in short order from his obviously favourite brown flying V to a deep red one, and finally one which I reluctantly would have to term "ash" in colour. Oh dear! 'Walking Barefoot' from the Free All Angels album went down exceedingly well, with a lot of audience participation, and for this tune I think Wheeler used a black Les Paul guitar which was either one of the first ever made or had been out on a few too many drinking sessions with the band. It certainly looked beat-up.

ash       The next tune, entitled 'Sometimes', was the only real let up in the entire evening in terms of relentless power rock, and is probably as close to a ballad as Ash will ever get. I recall at a previous performance Tim and Charlotte feigning a kind of on-stage romantic togetherness, inevitably prompting rumours amongst the girls in the crowd, and this time I think I could see a repeat being suggested, but being vetoed by Charlotte. It was then Ashness as usual with an intro reminiscent of Thin Lizzy's "Massacre", before the full onslaught of Orpheus.

      There was also considerable banter between the band and the crowd throughout the evening, and after being told by an anonymous voice that "you guys are so cool" Tim decided a language lesson was in order. "Tonight we're going to be communicating in the international language of "Fuck Yeah!!!". Someone was obviously paying attention, because a few minutes later he ash enquired of the audience "Does anyone like a record called Nu-Clear Sounds?", to which one wit in the crowd instantly replied "Fuck yeah!!!" to much laughter from band and fans alike.

      Another highlight of the evening for me was 'Shining Light'. They performed the song really well, and the lighting was used to brilliant effect.

      And then of course it was officially Ricky's birthday, so everyone sang along with the niceties, there was some good humoured cymbal crash/power chord interplay between Tim and Ricky, and then, following a dedication to the Asian Kung-Fu Generation, it was right in to 'Kung Fu', the first of a promised last three "crazy songs".

ash       These three crazy songs were in fact interrupted for a bit of gymnastic madness from bassist Hamilton. At Wheeler's goading, he appeared to be considering merely joining the crowd, but suddenly vanished behind the PA stack only to reappear moments later hanging monkeylike from the lighting support scaffolding. After a brief commando style dangling perambulation to stage center and quick gorilla impersonation, he gave it his best Olga Korbut before dismounting directly into the crowd from a worrying height for a thoroughly deserved 8.9 and heading off to the floor work section. Surely good enough for the gold medal.

      'Detonator' and 'Burn Baby Burn', which it seemed everyone had been waiting for all night, concluded the main set, so we all settled in for the usual "MORE!!!" type wait. The four song encore was augmented by what appeared to be a spontaneous and weirdly laid back version of Teenage Kicks by The Undertones. A nice little bonus to end the evening.
report by sean and photos by izumikuma

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buttonmag files : Ash

buttonLiquid Room Meltdown!!!! : (05/07/11 @ Ebisu Liquid Room ) : review by sean, photo by izumikuma
buttonphoto report : (05/07/11 @ Ebisu Liquid Room ) : photo by izumikuma
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?



buttonLiquid Room Meltdown!!!! : Ash (11th July. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)
buttonCan I play another song? It won't be a long one! : Little Joe Washington & The Eastside Kings with Jungle Hop(16th June. @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonStapling iit Together : Jack Johnson with G.Love & Special Sauce (2nd June. @ Tokyo Kokusai Forum)


buttonNot just along for The Ride : Los Lobos (7th Oct. @ Liquidroom Ebisu)

無断転載を禁じます。The copyright of the article belongs to Sean Brophy and the same of the photos belongs toIzumi Kumazawa. They may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.counter
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