Oh Yeah!

“You never think” said Ash frontman Tim Wheeler tonight “when you write a song, that there’s going to be a building named after it!”

I was seeing the band for the 4th time, wearing the T shirt that I bought way back in 2004 when I interviewed them backstage in Luxembourg. They’d been around for a few years even then, and I swear they still don’t look a day over 17.

ash on stage in Belfast

Belfast has gradually recognised the need to give its tourists something to do, and so its rich musical stable has been given some kudos. And that has a new-ish home in the Oh Yeah centre, down in the hip and trendy Cathedral Quarter, all cobbled streets and arty venues. The Oh Yeah itself is dry, so I nipped across the road to the Duke of York for a quickie before the show, and wondered why I’d never been there before! What a great pub, full of life and chatter, and snugs, and pictures, and mis-matched tables!

Ash are incredible – they still have a teenage enthusiasm and energy, and they are constantly exploring new ways to be a pop-rock band. Back in 2004, they had Charlotte Hatherly with them on guitar, though they’re best known as “that 3-piece from Downpatrick”. She’s since gone solo, and tonight they had a new member, Russel, on keyboards and guitar. But they’ve also since done an A-Z alphabetical tour of Britain (what a logistical nightmare that must have been for the tour manager!) and decided that they aren’t making any more albums, just releasing singles.

It was one of those night’s when I just lurv being here, when Belfast is my favourite place in the world.

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