Tuesday, August 27
REVIEW SIMON COLLINS
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a bunch of teenagers made a record called 1977,” Ash frontman Tim Wheeler told the packed Rosemount. “We’re going to play it now.”
The Northern Irish alt-rockers were 19 when the album in question exploded in 1996 and the crowd rocking along to openers Lose Control and Goldfinger would’ve have been around the same vintage.
Perth was initially too far, far away when Ash pegged some Aussie dates to their South-East Asian tour but the diminutive Wheeler, lumbering bassist Mark Hamilton and powerful drummer Rick McMurray looked pretty stoked that they’d made it here from Melbourne via Bangkok.
As with many other bands playing a classic album from go to whoa, the track-listing doesn’t always make for a perfect set list. Fan favourite Girl from Mars came early — that is, third — and amped up the crowd feeling half their age.
Like a Ramones-lovin’ Hobbit, Wheeler revealed himself quite the guitar hero on non-singles such as tasty rock ballad Gone the Dream and Innocent Smile. The 1977 redux peaked on the twin rockers Kung Fu — “one for the Jackie Chan fanclub”, the singer quipped — and Oh Yeah, which recaptured the summer of 1996-97 with a big sing-along. After the punky Darkside Lightside completed album duties, Ash stepped back to 1994 for debut single Jack Names the Planets and a rare cover of Welsh band Helen Love’s Punk Boy.
The encore was a rollicking affair completed by 2001 hit Burn Baby Burn — a suitably incendiary finale from a trio that remains a bright star for WA fans