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Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash Stanley Theatre, Liverpool 11th March 2011

The Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash "Life Begins Tour" which began early last year was a celebration of forty years of Wishbone Ash and the band seems to have been continually touring ever since. All those years ago, the band was brought together by Martin and Steve Upton's Melody Maker advert which was answered by guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell. Millions of album sales followed along with live performances around the world. The rest, as they say, is history. There are now two versions of the band, "Wishbone Ash" headed by Andy Powell and, of course, this one.


The Stanley Theatre, Liverpool is part of the University Of Liverpool Campus and offers a friendly, intimate atmosphere; seating if you want it (or if you've arrived early enough) or plenty of standing room. This night, all seats were taken and a great deal of the standing space.


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There was no introduction, just the ever so familiar opening riffs of 'The King Will Come' building up from the chattering of the audience to a crescendo of sound and appreciation from the audience. The quality of sound was excellent and the musicians that Martin has put together showed that they are very competent indeed. Instantly, the band had the audience in their grasp. It seemed inevitable that a song from the massively selling album "Argus" would open the evening and it was no surprise to hear most of the other songs from it as the evening went on.


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The songs rolled on, one after the other: 'Living Proof', 'Doctor', 'Errors', 'Prelude-Skin' and 'Outward Bound'. All the memories of their classics started to come back; the twin guitars weaving in and out of the melodies All this was held together by Martin's impeccable bass playing. Yes, forty years of the band and the original songs still stand up in their own right today. They finished off the set with 'Warrior' and 'Throw Down The Sword' from the infamous and everyone-should-have-a-copy "Argus" album.


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After a short break, the band came back on stage to deliver an even more impressive set. From 'Blowin' Free', they sailed through classics such as 'Rock & Roll Widow', 'Sorrel' and 'FUBB'; finishing off with 'Way Of The World'. Throughout, the audience was bobbing, some dancing and the music and atmosphere was just right.

The twin guitars of Ray Hatfield and Danny Wilson fitted in sublimely. Martin was his usual, competent self whilst the drumming of Dave Wagstaffe drove it all along; another memorable 'Ash night.



To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 6 available.