Lumped in the Britpop craze of the 90’s even though they hail from Northern Ireland, alternative rock band Ash hit massive heights in 1996 with the release of their debut album, 1977.
While the band would never reach the height of that album’s popularity again, they still have a huge and supportive fanbase as shown by the packed-out Forum in London. This tour is in support of their latest album, Islands which was released in May of this year.
The over-riding thought as the band kick off with True Story off the new album, is just how anyone can really feel passionately about Ash in 2018. By the end it was clear how as they smash through tracks across all seven of their albums and even throw in the odd cover too. The focus is on the new album with the majority of songs coming from that but Ash also know which side their bread is buttered on as they also play almost as much from the 1977 album.
It’s some of those songs; Kung-Fu, Girl from Mars and Oh Yeah that go down the best but it’s also the likes of Shining Light from Free All Angels that get the crowd moving. The level of singing from the attendees is enough to drown out the band at times. Although that could just be because of The Forum’s sketchy sound.
To be fair, Ash don’t have many problems in that regard and only if you’re right at the back are really struggling to get much out of it.
While they have many a melodic tune, it’s the high-energy stuff that really gets the crowd bouncing and the word ‘fun’ constantly comes to mind. Take for example, Ash throwing out the Star Wars Cantina Band song before launching into Angel Interceptor. That was very cool. Although their cover of Abba’s Does Your Mother Know as their first encore song is not so cool.
Time might have forgotten Ash but their fanbase clearly hasn’t. The Forum stays packed and everyone inside stays high in energy for a rousing finale of Lose Control. Emotions run high but few are leaving without a smile on their face.
Ash at The O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London (24/10/18)