1 December 2016

Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash at The Eel Pie Club

Somehow it had been a year since I last saw Martin Turner's version of Wishbone Ash play (at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton) and that was so good that I was clearly going to see them play at an even close venue, The Eel Pie Club in Twickenham.

I had been to The Eel Pie Club a couple of times before and found it something of a frustrating venue with its sunken stage area and restricted view for people of modest height. Knowing that I got there a little before the doors opened at 8:30pm.

Even so, all the prime seats had been taken by the time that I got in but I was not interested in seating and I was pleased to get a good standing position by the top of the stairs down to the pit. You can tell how good my view was from the photos.

With the doors not opening until quite late that gave me time to do a few things first. My evening started with a walk to the Eel Pie pub (nothing to do with the club) to meet a friend before we went to a curry house nearby for a couple of vindaloos. A good start to the evening.

I quickly came to appreciate my vantage point not just because of the uninterrupted view but also because I was well positioned to hear the band being a little way back from the stage. Normally I have to sacrifice the sound for the view but this time I had both.

The top photo shows what Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash are all about, three guitars playing off each other while the drums keep them in order. The sound they made was the one they always have, blues inspired rock, whether it was a classic song from their 1972 album Argus (which Martin wrote most of) or a song from their most recent album Written in the Stars. These were long songs with plenty of guitar solos and we all loved them.

Somewhere along the way they played the whole of Argus, as they had done on a previous tour but not the last time that I saw them.

There were few surprises, even the joke Martin told was one he had told before, and that was as it should be. We had gone to hear classic Wishbone Ash and that is what Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash delivered with panache and good humour. A happy band is a good band and they were both. I was very happy too.

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