Well, it was just Tim Wheeler actually. Rick McMurray and Mark Hamilton weren’t there. They might have been out shopping at Victoria Square, though probably not with the weather outside, weather that was addressed by Wheeler as he made his entrance and exit.
It was an entrance that was met with a rather polite “Wa-hey!” rather than raucous applause, with Wheeler thanking the crowd for turning up with the poor weather outside.
You can usually rely on Ash for a HMV gig. Usually when they release something, they’ll turn up in Donegall Arcade to promote it.
I had missed their previous HMV appearance in 2018 as, frustratingly, it was happening while I was at Biggest Weekend, that I saw them at the next day. Their last one before that, was in 2015, a warm-up, in their words, for the next gig two days later supporting Foo Fighters at Slane.
I have previously purchased a Greatest Hits compilation, Intergalactic Sonic 7s in 2002, but i’m not sure where it is, so this updated compilation will be handy to listen to in the car.
What they are currently promoting is a Best Of/Greatest Hits compilation called Teenage Wildlife, to commemorate 25 years since their first release.
Just under half and hour, they crammed as many hits as they could into this short gig, hits such as A Life Less Ordinary, Oh Yeah and Shining Light.
It was a family affair for Wheeler, who gave a shout out to his niece and nephew, who were in the crowd, planning to catch up on Red Dead Redemption with them, the last time he played with them, he killed a horse.
That video game based bantz might make sense to you, but not to me, as the last video game I played was on the Sega Mega Drive.
As a result of having youngsters in the crowd, Wheeler had to tone down on the language on Buzzkill, just as Neil Hannon had to be less sweary due to youngsters in attendance when he played HMV in 2016.
Also on the playlist was a new song Darkest Hour Of The Night, recorded especially for this new compilation.
As he finished the set Wheeler announced there would be a Belfast concert in May. He didn’t say where or when.
My guess would be the final weekend of the month, as Ash had just been announced to perform at All Aboard Festival in Dun Laoghaire (near Dublin, if you don’t know) so I would expect a Belfast gig to be that weekend.