#Cantina, Brooklyn Bowl, O2 Arena, London

Ash played a “Secret” gig in the build up to their 1977 tour, this show was part of a special event put on by Star Wars fans, for Star Wars fans. This I never noticed when I purchased the ticket so I was expecting to see loads of people dressed as Stormtroopers or Jedi’s. Only a handful were dotted around the venue, and most of these were part of the staff so it was pretty much like a normal gig.

All 3 bands had a Star Wars vibe going through them with the night set into a trilogy as both toy adverts and clips were beamed around the venue on giant screens while the crew were setting up the stages. Each band was introduced with their own opening crawl. The event was really well put together. The money raised went to the Alzheimer’s Society, if only AXS UK would also donate their rip off £3.50 fee to collect a ticket as well.

Blues Harvest were a really entertaining covers band, I wouldn’t mind catching them again to be honest. Really enjoyable for a support band.

Next up were Darth Elvis and The Imperials, this is where the evening really went to new levels… They are all dressed in Star Wars outfits, while the singer is a cross between Darth Vader and Elvis, highly entertaining and their re-work of Green Day’s Welcome to Paradise is classic!

Now onto the main act and the reason I’m here, Ash. I saw Ash on their 1977 tour back in 1997 and that gig still remains as one of the best shows I can remember. I’ve since seen them a few times over the years but I’ve never felt they have matched that energy of that show in Astoria. Last night proved they are still great musicians and still great to see live. The set was full of classics from their debut album 1977 and the Trailer Ep with just a couple of other hits thrown in.

Marks daughter (I think), Scarlett joined them onstage during Kung Fu for a lightsaber battle.

Overall this was a great gig for a last minute purchase considering I grabbed one the day before. I had considered to go to their forthcoming Round House show but never got a ticket in time so it was a real bonus getting this one.

Line Up

  • Ash
  • Darth Elvis and The Imperials
  • Blues Harvest

A quick note on the venue. The Brooklyn Bowl is a bowling alley by day within the O2 Arena, I was unsure how it would work as a music venue but they have done a really good job with it, it’s also interesting that you can watch the band from the side of the stage as well.

Reading Festival, Reading

It is all I seem to have left of my wristband. We had the worse location for our tent that you can imagine. I said I’d never camp at a festival again after this one. I Managed to blag 2 back stage passes for this gig via Garbage which was quite interesting.