Ash,The Crimea Live Review @ Manchester Academy (Manchester) - 06 Jun 2004
Proceedings were opened by Davey McManus and his four partners in crime collectively known as The Crimea who dazzled, dazed and confused the waiting crowd with their indie punk madness. McManus has been hailed as a modern day Lewis Carroll and it is true that his lyrics do at times defy belief, such as in set highlight Girl Just as with infectious melodies and Daveys coarse and authoritative vocals they deliver the cutting lyrics;
"If you wanna see my happy side
better tell me that my girl just died, girl just died."
Just as cutting and raw, is the newly returned Ash, teenagers soundtrack to the 90s, and a band whose songs trigger memories in rock and chart fans alike. Tonight, however, Ash are no longer the soundtrack to school and summer jobs, but on stage walks a raw looking band took to the stage, with an air of confidence, and raw appearance, more provocative than previous shows. What matters is the music, and Ash not only dress differently, but are heavier, having had a complete overhaul of image. The question was, what would the fans think, despite growing up with the band, they have followed them through and through, perhaps now is the time to recognise that fans also mature, and Ash manage to welcome this, whilst still keeping younger, and newer fans.
The atmosphere tonight proves this, a steamy hot night in the Academy still had the crowd in a frenzy, reminiscing to opener "Girl From Mars" already working the crowd, Ash had them singing along in unison, but the real frenzy started for "Jack Names The Planets" which had them jumping up and down like a child going to Disney world with ten times the passion. The heat was turned down once more for the mellow, reminiscent "Sometime" but not for long as another memory graced the crowd and the lively "Kung Fu" kicked in, one of the many energy filled songs which screamed out an air of confidence with Tim and Charlotte squaring up for howling guitar riffs, and played back to back, taking the stage as their own and oozing an atmosphere of on stage chemistry, their harmonies stronger than ever.
This was not the only harmony present, as Ash work the crowd into unison clapping during "Renegade Cavalcade" and "Star Crossd" is the calm before the storm before they burst into current single "Orpheus" regaining the craze and energy of a buzzing crowd, who really were up for a meltdown. An air of increasing excitement buzzed for the expected "Burn Baby Burn" and the crowd were not the only enthusiastic bunch, as the band who must be in the record books with this song, played with the freshness and enthusiasm of their previously played new single, a sure fire way to maintain the fans adoration and gain new ones.
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