Funk to funky

Ash are old hands at this festival game and know exactly how to tailor their set to suit the occasion. They do it nicely today but they must surely have been disappointed that the mass crowds that gathered for preceding act Pendulum have largely dispersed.

You can almost see the brain ticking in Tim Wheeler’s head “hmm Download, what’s the fastest, heaviest trio of songs we do these days?” and needless to say they kick off with the still excellent after all these years ‘Lose Control’, quickly followed by ‘Orpheus’ and crowd pleaser ‘Burn Baby Burn’. Ash are a great band make no mistake and there’s probably only Feeder that can match them in the hit singles stakes but the simple fact is that at Download Ash at their heaviest sound pretty weak by comparison to most of the acts on this stage!

The performance is good with Wheeler’s guitar playing sounding particularly inspired today (and you have to love a bit of wah wah). The set list is pretty short but spans a good section of the back catalogue with ‘Life Less Ordinary’, ‘Shining Light’, ‘Girl from Mars’ and set closer ‘Twighlight of the Innocents’ all getting an airing amongst others. They don’t get a great deal of crowd movement but they do get a good reaction and that’s no more than they deserve. The problem today though is that with nothing new to promote and a familiar set list there’s nothing new or exciting to pull in the punters. Good band, good songs but wrong time and place.