Sunday 16th December 2001
The Olympia Theatre


I've always liked Ash, even though I went through a lull around the time of their second album (which I now like too). Ash play loud guitar music, but base this loudness (which is pretty loud) around some very good melodies. They also haven't made any stupid attempts to stop playing what they play just because it's not "cutting edge" enough. I guess they're perfecting their sound through a nice natural progression, which seems to be working in their favour.

So Dr. J, the Cockmaster and me (fjp) went along to our front row seats on the Olympia's first storey balcony (called The Circle). We missed the first support act, and sat through an alright second act that played three songs too many. Then it was relaxation and the anticipation of how nuts the throng of teenagers in front of us were going to go once the gig started.

The gig started - Ash emerging from their curtained-in smoke-fest and kicking straight into a fuckload of vigour. They played all our favourite songs, generally abusing the tempo at which the tracks were originally recorded. It was nothing but good song after good song, good guitar solos, top notch guitar playing, a nice light show, and the best use of a snow machine at a gig I've ever seen. Yes - a snow machine. They left it on for a whole song, and it rained a slow cloud of foam snowflakes from the very top of the Olympia's lofty Upper Circle. Oh, and the kids on the floor below up jumped up and down as much as they could. Some even kissed in that seventeen-year-old style of kissing. The kind that looks like they'll crap themselves with fear.

Ash played a fantastic set, jumped around a lot, then finished on a strong song and left the stage. We couldn't think of any major single they hadn't played, and Dr. J suggested that if they left it at that it would be a perfect gig. But no-one doesn't do at least one encore these days, and they made no exception. They returned to play an extra set which even included material not of their own making (Weezer for example). They also played a couple of remaining songs we'd not thought of, including "Uncle Pat".

We left, went to a bar, and I ran into some folks I'd been in school with (BMC and his pals)(2005 - I now have no idea who I'm referring to). After that we tried for some food, but the places sought had closed.

We went home, playing Dr. J's new Tenacious D record on the way.

ps - there are now some photos of this gig under "Concerts" in the People Section.

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