Christmas Greetings! News update.

Exciting new live recording of Live Dates as part of the Roadworks series.

It’s not very often that we put out newsletters but I’d like to make you aware of a great new in-house live recording we’ve made as part of the popular Roadworks series. I just got home from the final mixing session in New York, of this, the 4th in the series and it sounds GREAT!

If you missed seeing Wishbone Ash on the recent USA and UK tours we played the Live Dates album in its entirety each night. We decided to make recordings of all the shows. However, it turned out that the performance at this year’s fan club convention in Chesterfield, UK, was so good that we decided to release just this one recording. So, if you missed the tours and the fan club convention itself, you can still immerse yourself in the Live Dates section of the concert in Chesterfield, as it went down.

For diehard fans who bought the album back in the day, it’ll be an interesting exercise to compare how the band in 2014 interprets this classic album. There will be some surprises. For my money, I was very pleasantly surprised at just how good the recording and musicianship turned out. As usual, Tom Greenwood was at the controls on the mix and Daniel Vetter, our stalwart live sound engineer worked the front of house console.

A CD is currently in production and will be available early in the new year from our website www.wishboneash.com or at the merchandise stall on each tour date, but for right now, it will be available as a download on Bandcamp.

If you would like to support the band and future releases you can pre-order the album for less than the price of 2 cups of coffee.

Click here to pre-order the album now. You might even get us in the charts!

The tracks will be available to download on Christmas Day!

It's been a good year

Whilst no new studio recordings have been made, we’ve been busy airing a few songs from the critically acclaimed Blue Horizon album which was released at the end of 2013. The response when played in a live setting, to songs like the title track itself, Blue Horizon has been immediate and heartwarming. Just as it will do in the upcoming year, our touring schedule followed the usual pattern. We started in the bleak winter months of January and February in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria to great response confounding our bookers and promoters who constantly wonder how we do these routine tours each year. Very few bands, it seems, can guarantee customer loyalty in this way and so we thank you, our fans!

Then after a short break we completed one of two tours of North America for 2014. The first one, interestingly, was waking up some of our fans in the deep south who have not had a chance to witness the band live in recent years. So, we were fortunate to be able to visit places likes Atlanta, Georgia, Jackson, Mississippi as well as Texas and on to New Mexico and the beautiful state of California. Of course the warm weather that followed us all the way did not hurt. The temperature gauge even reached a shocking 109 degrees fahrenheit on one day in the desert.

The summer saw us playing a few festivals and taking some much needed family time and in the autumn/fall we played a great and successful tour of Noth America with a tour that started in Denver Colorado and worked its way east. We then followed up in the U.K. with a national tour featuring the enter Live Dates album.

Plans for 2015

With the release of Roadworks 4 - the CD we are off to a good start but there are also some really exciting live events in the works for 2015. The main touring pattern will follow the lines of what we did in 2014. In other words, two North American tours - the first being just like last years tour of the deep south and western states, except that this year we’ll work the other way round. Our tour will kick off in Vancouver, work its way south through Oregon, California and then move eastwards through New Mexico and Texas, finally making our way north up through Georgia and so on to finish in Atlanta.

From there, we’ll fly out to the UK where a very special event is planned in London on May 16th. Chiswick to be precise. We’ll be featuring a special V.I.P. ticketed show which will in effect be an opportunity for fans to attend a recording of a vinyl album, in real time, at world renowned Metropolis Studios. Attendees will enjoy the recording at close quarters and have their names recorded on the resulting package. Tickets are limited to around a 120 folks so check our site regularly for details on where and how to buy these.

After this, the band will fly direct to Paris for 3 shows on May 21st, 22nd and 23rd to be recorded for a live DVD. The venue will be the delightfully intimate Le Triton Theatre in Les Lilas district of Paris and we are offering hotel / dining packages for folks wishing to join us for the duration or simply just come for one of the shows. I must stress that unlike some of the provincial shows we do, this one is in one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful capital cities and we aim to make it a one of a kind event.

We’ll play a date in Provence after that and then journey on to Spain with shows scheduled in Barcelona and Madrid. See the tours page for more info.

Again, summer festival dates will be on the agenda including 5 dates or so in July in South Africa including Cape Town and Johannesburg. We’ll finish up the year with tours of both the UK and North America again in September and October. We look forward to meeting our friends, fans and extended families on our travels and we know that many of you tie in vacations with our tour plans so we are pleased to be able to give you a heads-up for 2015 in advance.

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season and Happy New Year ~ Wishbone Ash.

Paris Update.

We just received this note about the Paris extravaganza from our organizer, Raphaëlle. She will also update us with the price adjustment concerning couples. We, the band, can confirm that the venue is super and very intimate! It's going to be a great week. Paris in the springtime! Oh, and did we mention that we'll be recording a new live DVD there which this Paris audience will obviously be a part of.
~ A.P.

Click here to see the letter with maps included

South Africa

Building on our visit to South Africa where we played on shows with Deep Purple and Uriah Heep in cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, we’re proud to announce that we’ve been invited to play a tour of the Barnyard Theatres in that country starting in July of 2015. We'll visit Jo'berg and Cape Town again along with Pretoria. The band might take in a photo safari or a short break in Cape Town which will be the last show. Extra dates may be added and we'll announce those, if that's the case.

Saturday 11th July 2015 @ 20h00 Barnyard Cresta (Johannesburg) Get Tickets

Sunday 12th July 2015 @ 14h00 Barnyard Parkview (Pretoria) Get Tickets

Wednesday 15th July 2015 @20h00 Rivonia (Johannesburg) Get Tickets

Saturday 18th July 2015 @20h00 Barnyard Willowbridge (Cape Town) Get Tickets

Click here to read the press release

Forum Back Up FINALLY!

Hi All,

Big apologies for the forum being down for so long. The folks running it decided to update all their servers. We have now made the necessary adjustments and it's all back on track. Thank you for your patience! Check out details coming soon about Special events in London and Paris.

~ A.P.

P.S. Thanks a million, Rich Powell!

Special Shows Announced!

Just finalized the booking of three small shows in Spain for 2015.

May 26 Lleida- cafe del teatre, cap.300 ticket price: 24€

May 27 Madrid-Caracol, cap:400 25€

May 28 Barcelona-Razzmatzz 3, cap:250 25€

These will follow on from our live vinyl recording event (100 limited VIP tickets available) at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London on May 16th to be followed by ....

...the very special intimate (limited tickets available for each of the three shows May 19th thru 23rd) in Paris at Le Triton. These will be recorded for a DVD. We will be offering individual one day tickets or special package especially for British, Dutch, French or German fans etc, to include the three shows, plus hotel (great deal), meals (fab restaurant) and tickets for the David Bowie Exhibition taking place in Paris at that time. More details to follow.....

....but for now, Les Lilas (France), Les Lilas is a small city, very close to Paris. By metro it takes 15 minutes to reach the very center of Paris. From the metro station "Mairie des Lilas" to the metro station "Chatelet" , it takes 15 minutes. For those who'd like to come by Eurostar, "Gare du Nord - Mairie des Lilas" is 15 minutes too.

Wishbone Ash will stay 5 days at Le Triton from the 19th of May to the 23rd. The band will have time, during the day, to rehearse some old and news songs rarely played live.

Some special guests will be there to join the band backstage and on stage. Then WA will play 3 shows the 21,22,23 of May.

Le Triton is a nice little theater venue, 130/150 people, fully equipped. Sound, lights and 8 cameras. So all the sessions and the 3 shows will be recorded. Images & sound.

US Tour Wrap

I started writing a blog on the first night of the recent American tour, intending to do a kind of travelogue, but never got any further with it because I was always too busy (I mean really busy) or just simply too tired to complete it. Anyway, here is the beginning of what I started, reproduced below in italics. I’ve added to it at the end for a more complete general tour impression. We’d just arrived in Denver, Colorado from North Carolina after traveling all the way by road to meet the rest of the band members.

Well, that was interesting. Almost 2,500 miles driving, much of it through mountains,  to make the first show. The guys flew into America, directly from London- lucky bastards - but we’re all together now in Colorado Springs. The first sound check is out of the way and we did a special VIP ticket holder meet & greet. Such nice people here in Colorado. Maybe it’s because of the new relaxed laws on marijuana. At any rate for all this laidbackness, we’ve been warned to expect a possible search on exiting the state since exportation of the drug is strictly a no no and out of state license plates means scrutiny. No worries, those days are long gone and I would be the only band member with anything of a history with da ‘erb. It’s all I can do to remember the words to the song. A spliff in this situation would spell certain chaos these days. I need all the remaining brain cells at my command.

I must say, it’s great to feel well again. I had the most bizarre affliction some weeks ago once I arrived in England. It’s called Bell’s Palsy.  Sounds positively medieval doesn’t it? It came on big -time just before we played the Cambridge Rock Festival in the UK. For the uninitiated, it’s an infection of the facial nerve which causes paralysis of one side of the face. In my case it was the left side. Once it gets hold, you are unable to smile (that’s the worst thing) you have a weeping eye and a drooling mouth and food and liquids slip down your chin as you try to eat and drink. Self confidence goes out the window and it’s just a depressing experience. In some cases it stays for life, I soon found out. It was indeed totally scary. At one point there I was up on stage at the Cambridge Rock Festival with video cameras filming my every facial contortion as I tried to form my mouth round the words of the songs, as all the while my image was projected onto the giant festival screens either side of the stage. The words and pitching of the melodies suddenly seemed alien and unknown. I was close to panicking.

I had three diagnosis - 2 in the UK and then one when I returned back home where my doctor discovered it was a bite from a tiny deer tick that had caused it. Now here is where it gets totally crazy. I got the word out to various fans and friends. This thing had attacked my nervous system after all and I was freaking out. One friend told me if I was interested in conspiracy theories that this thing with the deer ticks which cause Lyme disease has malevolent origins. Are you ready for this? Back after World War II the Americans recruited certain Nazis to help with their germ warfare program giving amnesty in return for working at a secret facility on Plum Island on the east coast here,  situated about one mile from Old Lyme Connecticut and in close proximity to what is now the Hamptons, playground to the rich and famous.  It seems that our German friends figured out that tiny ticks would make the perfect delivery system for pathogens or nerve agents. They feed on human and animal blood and are carried quickly by deer, chipmunks and especially the white-footed mouse. Security was lax at the facility and in the 1970s there may have been, shall we say, a containment issue, with the result that this thing arrived on the USA mainland in yes, you guessed it, the charming and quaint town of Old Lyme, and a lot of families fell ill with the newly named Lyme disease. Now it’s at epidemic proportions and there seems to be some kind of government cover-up. We are slowly trying to figure out diagnosis and treatment methods but the conspiracy theory is still very much open. If you are in any way interested then read the book Lab 257 by Michael Christopher Carol. Luckily, I was cured with some serious antibiotics and steroids but I know of others who have been less fortunate.

Well, the US tour is well behind us now and the mileage ended at around 10,000 in total but we had very fine traveling weather and some great shows, meeting all sorts of nice folks along the way. as we took in the fall foliage, particularly up and down the east coast.  Highlights were playing by the Mississippi River at an open air event in the town of Alton and then there was the amazing bar, the Midway Tavern in Mishawaka Indiana where our good friend John Ford promoted a homespun event which we almost missed due to a tire blow-out at 70mph. We were later treated to a show by opening artist Kelly Richey. One of my personal favorites was a return to the delightful Sellersville Theater in PA. Great sound, great hospitality and again a great restaurant close by. The very cool band Wild Adriatic thrilled as our opener.

Restaurants seem to now be a delightful feature at some of the venues we visit. The Town Crier moved it’s location from Pawling New York to Beacon New York (former home of Pete Seeger) and now features a much bigger listening room featuring fabulous artwork by some great artists along with a great bar and sophisticated dining experience. The custom deserts are not to be missed. A similar experience can be found at the renowned Infinity Hall in Norfolk Connecticut. I’d heard so much about this place and how we should be playing there so I was very happy to have it all confirmed and more. One of America’s truly special venues. It’s the site of US Public Broadcasting’s televised music events from time to time and has an amazing old-time feeling that is very special. It was built in 1870 I believe. Again, the restaurant and wine list is superb to say nothing of the professional attitude of all the staff.

We finally made it up to Toronto and had a great night playing for the patrons of Hugh’s Room. Again, a place with sophisticated dining and interesting artwork on the walls. It’s the new paradigm and I’m liking it. Great music and dining combined with visual art. Why not? Our crowd has now grown up and enjoys the good things in life just like anyone else for the most part and yet if you wanna get down in the dirt and stand all night on a sticky floor with your head rammed under some big guy’s armpit, well,  that can be arranged too. Me? I’m liking the upgrade. BB Kings Club in NYC was a less high brow night though, and perfectly fine for that. I had one of the best burgers of the tour there.  But the all time vote for best tour burger supreme goes to the sports bar next to our hotel in Denver where they served a dynamite bison burger and that ’s what we ate on our first night together as a band again. Welcome to America.

As I say, the tour wound up in Toronto, Canada and we said our goodbyes to the rest of the band and Pauline and I made our way home to Connecticut by way of Niagara Falls. I’d been there many years before but if you are ever up in that area, take the diversion and spend a couple of hours there on the Canadian side. It’s spectacular. We hit the outlet malls on the way back and spent a slightly frustrating time waiting to get jump started after I’d left the lights on in our vehicle overnight. You’d think that I’d have gotten over making mistakes like that but no…it still happens. No worries, we were on no schedule so just built the delay into our day and got helped by the AAA man and went on our way.

All in all a very satisfying tour, not without some ball-busting drives but that’s America. - a very large country. Next time we hit the road here, it will be all through the south again and moving to the left coast winding up in Vancouver, Canada,  no doubt. But for now we have the UK in our immediate sights. We’ll tour there for a month and look forward to meeting all our friends on the road. Don’t forget we’ll be selling vinyl copies of Blue Horizon and featuring the entire Live Dates album on stage as a major part of our set. Thank you all for your continued support of live music and specifically Wishbone Ash as we come to a town near you.

~ A.P.