Heading down to Heathrow Airport for the long journey home. Just wanted to thank everyone who made this, for my money, the BEST AshCon! I thought we played a blinder of a set and I thoroughly enjoyed Xander and the Peace Pirates - a very classy act who could have held their own in musician towns like Nashville, Brooklyn or Austin TX. Thanks to Mike Day for putting them forward for AshCon.
Doris Brendell has been supporting us on 19 tour dates for this tour and played a fabulous extended AshCon set. Talking about great musicianship - this band pulls off arrangements and theatrics that would be a bridge too far for most. And to cap it all, they are great people!
Mike Day, Jim Lochhead et al gave a wonderful acoustic set during the afternoon. I thought their version of Everybody Needs a Friend was truly inspired!
Although we weren't there we heard that the evening before AshCon went fabulously, at the pub, with Nick de Jong and Fred Renz excelling on guitars. The owners of that establishment truly looked after our folks in style too. Big thanks! By the way, new mother, Sarah who we saw a few days earlier, sent a big Southampton 'hello' to all since she couldn't be there this year to lend her dulcet tones to the occasion.
The Flying Vs, during their afternoon set gave an energised performance of Ash material - reeducating me in the process, into some overlooked songs from our catalogue and also highlighting the feel of our music as it was in the old days. Well done guys! Really enjoyed it!
I thought the Grand, in Clitheroe, being a world class venue, truly worked. It was the right size and seemed to add to the warm feeling of what is always a special feel- good event for the bands and fans alike. Great lights, stellar digital sound, raised seating area at the back, a bar etc. A few folks wondered if there might have been a café on hand. Usually, I believe, there is this facility and I'm sure we could have arranged that for you. Point taken.
Guy and Sue Roberts and their band of merry helpers pulled out all the stops, working with the venue and fans to really produce something special, both in the hall and backstage, where we had our own party, with Colin Harper, my coauthor, and Heather his wife, holding forth, keeping us all entertained. Mike and Pauline Holt worked their magic. Big Harry gave Pauline, my wife and tour manager, a night off by selling our merchandise. Special shout out to Pete Marsh for his wonderful Lino cuts and paintings (he produced our tour shirt). A lady whose name I didn't get, also produced some great artwork on the band. Thanks to all concessioners that helped make a great day!
I could go on and on - I'm feeling very happy today, as I believe are the rest of the band.
~ Andy Powell.