ASH – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 16.12.2021

This concert should have taken place at the end of May 2020, to kickstart the Summer of 2020. A lot of things didn’t happen in the Summer of 2020. Instead, the rearrangements to October 2020, May 2021 and then December 2021 meant that this became the now triennial Ash Christmas Bash.

In 2015 and 2018 (later in the month, coincidentally both on 20th December) they held concerts in the run-up to Christmas, dubbed The Ash Christmas Bash, which descended into anarchy and farce. The good sort.

Even though this concert didn’t have the same billing, it was. We all knew it was.

The reason for this tour, was to promote a compilation album called Teenage Wildlife, released to celebrate 25 years of Ash as a recording act, except it is now 26 years. Almost 27, as we are two months short of it being two years since it was released, braving a very wet Belfast City Centre to see Tim Wheeler perform a solo acoustic set in HMV to promote it.

To be honest, as with the other concerts I have attended, I was a bit unsure about going to this because of you know what, especially when The Charlatans and Supergrass became the first of many band over the next few days to immediately postpone their tours.

Eventually, I decided to go, wearing two masks and having a hand held fan with me to be extra sure. I’d got my Booster Jab the night before.

For this concert, The Limelight were making something vaguely resembling an effort for once, checking Covid Passes as people went in. They even had signage up requesting people wear masks. Obviously, they didn’t enforce it, that would be too much of an effort.

You may be shocked to discover that Maskexemptionitis is still rife. If only somebody could find a cure for it.

Oh sorry, I forgot, Magnum Carter.

Eventually, Ash appeared onstage, jumping straight into Goldfinger, one of many of their big hits played early on.

Might as well give the people what they want.

That was followed by Shining Light, A Life Less Ordinary and Oh Yeah, as well as Darkest Hour Of The Night, the single to promote the compilation released nearly two years ago that they are only getting around to promote.

I was expecting some changes to the lyrics in Buzzkill to reference you know what, but that would be letting you know what win.

Throughout the concert, Mark Hamilton was adopted Peter Hook-esque poses with his Bass, holding it in every position possible. You could have just stood watching him all night and be entertained.

It wasn’t just their own hits, as they included a cover of Another Girl Another Planet and one of Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, as tradition dictated they have to, in their words, massacre at least one Christmas classic.

Before leaving the stage, Tim Wheeler declared “See you next year” that Ash would be going on tour in 2022 to celebrate 30 years since they started performing as a live act.

All being well, that is, because of you know what. I admire his optimism.

I only have one concert in my diary for 2020, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.

At least I did, returning home to an e-mail from Ulster Hall to say that concert has been postponed until a (as yet unannounced) new date.

Although, it was on my dad’s birthday, which saved me from an awkward double booking. Phew.

I was hoping to see The Cure at The Odyssey in December (It’s on Robert Smith’s favourite day of the week) but not with a £7 Booking Fee. I will probably relent nearer the time.

Just remember that if someone from The Odyssey is ever on the news complaining that they are struggling financially because of you know what.

As a footnote to this concert, Ash appeared on a TV show called Live At The Waterfront. Funnily enough, it was filmed at Waterfront Hall. It was broadcast on Sky Arts so if you have Sky Q, you should be able to download it.

So, 2024, the next Ash Christmas Bash. Let’s try and have Covid consigned to history by then. Is that too much to ask for?

Photo Album

Ash live at HMV Belfast 2020

Ash live at The Limelight 2018

Ash live at Titanic Slipways 2018

Ash live at The Empire 2015

One thought on “ASH – LIVE AT THE LIMELIGHT 16.12.2021

  1. Pingback: 2021 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR ….) | Analogue Boy In A Digital World

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