In this first blog of 2018, we see the band back up and running, deep into tour mode, which is exactly how myself and the rest of the guys like our year to start. It feels good to me, after the seasonal festivities to have the anticipation of a new year of touring. It’s that familiar old feeling of emerging from the deep, dark depths of winter, during the first few days of January, and being straight back out on the road - familiar faces, stages, hotels, neighborhoods. I think we all thrive on being active on the road during this month and into February. I have a feeling our European fans feel the same way also.
Once again, the Doris Brendell Band is opening for us - this time in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria and doing a mighty fine job of promoting their great music. Their Steampunk vibe and stage production values are certainly warming up the crowd for our show. In addition, both Lee Dunham and Doris herself, are supplying wonderful background harmonies for us on a selection of Ash tunes during our set, which enhances things no end. On disc, we often feature tracked vocal harmonies which is simply not possible in a live context, but this makes it so. Thank you guys! A quick note, Doris and Lee will also join us for our show at The New Morning in Paris on March 22nd.
European audiences have really taken to their hearts, my new guitar partner, Mark Abrahams. That’s for sure. His interpretations of much - loved Ash tunes have fired them up no end, judging by the post-show comments we’ve been getting both in person at the venues and from posts on social media. From my perspective, Mark is pushing the band to new heights, while at the same time contributing to what is now a very easy going, fun atmosphere in the band, which is what I always strive for. Spending this amount of time together as musicians can put a lot of stress on relationships all round, so it’s essential to keep things relaxed and stress free. Thank you Mark! By the way, he’s featuring the Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster just like we did in days of yore and the tonal palette is correct, in all areas.
Exciting things in the pipeline: By now everyone knows about the Vintage Years deluxe box set release scheduled for April 2018. In conjunction with this celebration of the first 30 years of the band’s recording career, I’ve recently been involved in interviews and reviews for various publications like Classic Rock Magazine, Shindig, Rock Candy Magazine, Iron Fist etc. So expect to see some multi-page features on the original band in these publications, which is a big change in the PR course of events, since we never get featured in standard national rock magazines - not that it worries us because we have a much stronger social media presence on our own dedicated Facebook site ‘Wishbone Ash’ plus Twitter and Instagram. But it’s good to get these print articles nonetheless. Thanks to Snapper Music and Sharon Chevin.
Very soon, we will post dates for the usual UK autumn tour, except that this one will mark the beginning of the band’s 49th year in existence. This simply amazes me - having personally participated in each of those years and being the sole WA band member to have done so. I’ve seen many changes in the band, society itself and music in general. But the roots we laid down in the waning months of the 1960s have proved strong indeed, relying on the lessons learned through the 1960s by all the original members. Who could have foreseen that our style of twin lead guitar driven melodic rock would still be strong and vibrant creatively speaking? Or could pull in audiences across the globe as it still does, with fresh albums and DVD recordings, biographical material, box sets and so on - all keeping that original dream alive. A great band, a great brand, a great team and loyal fans. Thank you all.
Finally, here’s a couple of items for the more intrepid traveling fans out there; we’ll produce a theatre tour of Canada, or mostly British Columbia, during the month of September 2018, with Canadian bluesman, David Go Go supporting. Then, as we launch into 2019, one year from now, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare, Wishbone Ash will be featured on the Sur la Mer cruise run by the Moody Blues. 5 days on a cruise ship, calling into the Bahamas and leaving from Miami on February10th, just after the usual German/ European tour.
Also, of course, there will be a sprinkling of festivals featuring The Ash during the summer months. Please regularly check wishboneash.com for info on tours. After this current tour of course, we’ll play some dates for our loyal Polish fans and then flip into France via one show in Freiburg Germany, and play some shows including the aforementioned Paris show. That one WILL sell out quickly, so be sure to get your tickets a.s.a.p.
Best Wishes - Best Bones ~ A.P. and team.