“Eee’s done!” In the immortal and traditional french - accented words of our sound man Daniel Vetter. 53 tour dates in all - one continuous set of shows - mostly 6 days on and one off each week in three countries - the USA, Canada and UK over a period of 2 months. Quite something to undertake. Wishbone Ash used to do this kind of thing when I was in my twenties but then we had tour managers, drivers and a full crew. In my sixties it’s another thing, but quite doable, driving included, if you are organized. And believe me, this unit is. With all the logistics mapped out in military precision, I must thank our agents Steve Ozark and Andy Nye for this. I often think that intelligence is the ability to predict the future based on incoming data, and if that’s remotely the case, then these two guys really have it down, when working out what is actually doable in the realms of the sheer human physical ability needed for the intense touring Wishbone Ash does. I can’t think of any other band that is able to do it quite the way we do. Perhaps it might scare them off if they even attempted it!
The shows seemed to benefit from it all, as evinced by the crisp presentation of material old and new for all the audiences we played to. We particularly enjoyed Edwardsville and some of the shows in the US Midwest. In the UK, we had a blast in Scotland with the Brian Rawson band opening (loved 'em) as well as some stand-out southern England dates where the Doris Brendell Band supported us excellently on certain shows, making for a real value for money experience. Next stop, mainland Europe with our annual pilgrimage to Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and last but by no means least, Germany, where our following remains so loyal.
It was great to receive the new Roadworks box set mid way through the tour and also I should let you know that before we said our goodbyes to each other, we each signed 50 copies of the vinyl version of Blue Horizon for Guy Roberts to handle by those wishing to order this item through the online store. On the subject of vinyl, we have just a handful of the Live at Metropolis Studios LPs left for anyone who was not able to pick one up on tour. Once they’re gone, that’s it, they’re gone. On a personal note, it was a humble thrill and pleasure to sign copies of my biography, Eyes Wide Open each night. Thank you to all of you who bought a copy and gave me such wonderful feedback on its contents. Many of you have been along for the ride with me, and that means so much.
Finally, while writing this blog/newsletter, I’ve been watching news of the Paris tragedy as it unfolds on TV and the internet, along with all of you, I’m sure. I fired off quick emails last night to make sure none of our French friends were directly impacted. They were all o.k. I know the Le Bataclan music venue and I also know one of the guys in the Eagles of Death Metal that played there. That particular event amongst all of it, brought home the enormity of what has gone down. Naturally, I speak for all Ash fans of our solidarity with Paris and France in this time of need. Our sincere condolences to the families of the dead and prayers for the injured. Live music will be impacted by this, I’m sure, for the foreseeable future, but we’ll not change our approach to it since our music knows no borders or ideology. I read a quote from Bono that sums up the current impact after his band U2 cancelled their scheduled show in Paris. He said. "If you think about it, the majority of victims last night are music fans. This is the first direct hit on music that we've had in this so-called War on Terror or whatever it's called.” That did make me think.
Love ~ A.P.