Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash
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With millions of album sales and concert attendances worldwide, Wishbone Ash’s heritage as one of the most enduring and best loved British rock acts is assured.
2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of Wishbone Ash. Forty years will have passed since West Country musicians Martin Turner and Steve Upton arrived in London to embark on their musical journey. Forty years since Martin Turner first envisaged the innovative harmony-guitar hallmark that has since influenced numerous successful rock acts. Forty years since guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell answered that now legendary Melody Maker advert and joined Martin and Steve in a rehearsal room for the first time, establishing a partnership and a unique musical identity that would produce some of rock music's best loved works. Forty years since Martin Turner chose the words “Wishbone” and “Ash” from a list of possible names put forward by the band members, creating a legendary brand name that would become synonymous with high quality guitar-driven melodic rock music.
Forty years on, the enduring music of the classic marks of Wishbone Ash continues to delight audiences worldwide through both live performances and a rich legacy of recorded work that continues to be enjoyed by fans old and new. Classic album releases such as Argus, Pilgrimage, There’s the Rub, New England and Live Dates defined the Wishbone Ash sound and have touched the hearts of several generations of music fans. As lead vocalist and key creative force, Martin Turner was central to the critical and commercial success of Wishbone Ash’s most revered albums, with his passionate vocal delivery, songwriting ability, keen melodic sense and production values being a key ingredient in the definitive Wishbone Ash sound.
Forty years later, founding original member Martin Turner celebrates the 40th anniversary of Wishbone Ash’s formation with the Life Begins tour. With a line-up featuring guitarists Ray Hatfield and Danny Willson, and drummer Dave Wagstaffe, Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash remains faithful to the original Wishbone Ash blueprint and promises a show which focuses on material from the classic eras of Wishbone Ash, featuring stage favourites mixed with classic album tracks.
The Life Begins tour follows hot on the heels of the highly acclaimed Argus tour of 2008/09 and appearances on the major Classic Legends of Rock nationwide UK theatre tour. 2010 also sees the release of the Argus Live DVD, filmed in 2009 and containing a live performance of Wishbone Ash’s seminal Argus album (voted 1972 ‘Album of the Year’ in music weeklies Melody Maker and Sounds) as well as other Wishbone Ash classics. Other activity planned for 2010 includes various archival projects including a new book celebrating the classic years of Wishbone Ash and featuring anecdotal contributions from Martin Turner, and a series of commemorative merchandise items bearing the iconic designs that helped to brand Wishbone Ash and its defining albums and to which Martin Turner possesses exclusive reproduction rights courtesy of original designers Hipgnosis. Who can forget the distinctive images that adorned the sleeves of classic albums such as Argus, Live Dates, Pilgrimage, New England and many others?
Martin Turner describes working with his current band as “an extremely rewarding experience on both a musical and personal level, with a positive vibe not unlike the early days of Wishbone Ash. Collectively we have had a great time revisiting many of the classics from the vintage days of Wishbone Ash, recreating the essence of many songs, some of which have hardly ever been performed live, and reminding us all of the diversity contained in the Wishbone Ash back catalogue. I am confident that we have compiled a show that will please all true Wishbone connoisseurs.”
Martin Turner's return to the live stage has clearly delighted the Wishbone Ash fanbase:
“Martin was in fantastic form! This band surpassed everyone's hopes and expectations. The twin harmonies were spot on.”
“The best thing was hearing those bass-lines again. Good to hear a few songs live for the first time.”
“The show was a stormer and the band did more than justice to the songs, many of which I thought I would never again have the privilege to witness live on stage. Martin’s in fine voice and the interplay of his bass with the guitars was a joy.”
“MT and band exceeded all expectations. The band were spot on with just the right feel for Wishbone Ash music..”
“Better than anyone could ever have expected. It was quite simply the music as it is supposed to be heard”.
“Martin and band blew us all away. They really were first rate. The two guitarists were incredibly polished and of first division quality.”
“The best Wishbone show I have seen since 1980 - and yes, that includes the original reformed band and definitely anything since.”