WISHBONE ASH : HAMMERSMITH '88

  1. Tangible Evidence
  2. Livin’ Proof
  3. Genevieve
  4. No More Lonely Nights
  5. The King Will Come
  6. Throw Down The Sword
  7. Clousseau
  8. In The Skin
  9. Blowin’ Free
  10. Jail Bait
  11. Phoenix
  12. Bad Weather Blues

Label : no label

Venue : Hamersmith Odeon, London, UK

Recording Date : March 4, 1988

Length : 76:01

Quality : FM recording (A+)

Review : Just like BBC radio host Richard Skinner quite rightly says in his intro to the BBC Transcription Disk for this show, in the course of the 80’s, the good ship Wishbone had lost their distinctive, tasteful and finely-spun style, plus their main singer, focal point and important song writer Martin Turner – and eventually even ended up without a record contract. Hence, they sure considered themselves more than lucky (as did we left over die-hard fans) that seemingly out of the blue their original manager up to 1975 Miles Copeland contacted them in January 1987 and came to their rescue by offering them a new record contract for his then newly founded IRS label. His idea and (rather wise, IMHO) prerequiste was for the MK I to reform and record an album for IRS‘ No Speak series of four instrumental albums, upon both of which all then past and present original members thankfully agreed. Alas, as is commonly known in the Ashanatic community, Ted Turner had severe immigration issue and therefore could only contribute a little to the reform album plus wasn’t able to join the band for the rehearsals and the first few dates of their subsequent reunion tour whose February 27 kick off was (unfortunately) scheduled rather shortly after the album was finished. Hence, the band’s previous 2nd guitarist Jamie Crompton had to help out on the first five dates. Rather luckily, Ted did make it just in time join the band at least for their second set of their most prestigious and radio-b’cast Hammersmith Odeon show. Phew, thank god! It may perhaps sound a bit surprising, but Ted Turner was clearly not under rehearsed as this concert shows. It's a tour de force of all the old chestnuts, and mixed in are even two new instrumental tracks off the Nouveau Calls album, „In The Skin“ and „Clousseau“. The band did some more numbers during their first, Ted-less set that were not selected for b’cast such as „Room 602“, or „Underground“. Along their tour, the band would drop more and more of these post-Martin Turner/pre-reunion tracks and thankfully resurrected „The Pilgrim“ again. How to describe this performance is perhaps best left to Steve Upton who said of their reunion: “[W]e all looked pretty much the same as we did 15 years earlier - just a few more wrinkles and a little less hair. We had travelled different paths and our experiences had forged much stronger characters than when we were boys. Not just musically, but we were now men and had our own formulated ideas. It was fascinating seeing how we had all developed both as people and musicians. The latter was like putting on a well worn glove - it fitted perfectly.” Compare this version of Phoenix with the last time they played it in 1974. There is a passion here that goes beyond nostalgia. Both sources for this torrent stem from a great recording made by the BBC, the stereo image is nice and wide with the drums properly miked. Please note that the US FM broadcast version not only contains a different selection of numbers but some bits & pieces of stage banter that was edited out for the Transcrition Disk – and vice versa.