Ash were ‘Shining Light’ at Montrose Town Hall

Ash on stage at Montrose Town Hall
Ash on stage at Montrose Town Hall

Northern Irish indie rockers Ash raised the roof at Montrose Town Hall as they kicked off this year’s Montrose Music Festival.

The trio, of lead singer and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray, began their summer long UK tour in Montrose, playing to a packed town hall.

They performed a long set of around an hour-and-a-half, playing songs from their back catalogue, including well-known hits ‘Shining Light’, ‘Burn Baby Burn’ and ‘Girl from Mars’, as well as eight songs from their new album - their first in eight years - ‘Kablammo!’, which was released on Monday.

Support was from local band If All Else Fails, who returned to the music scene on Friday after welcoming back bassist Lewis Paton from a period of ill health, and three-piece all girl rock band The Amorettes from Glasgow.

Lead singer Tim Wheeler told the Review that MoFest was the ideal place to launch their new album and begin their UK tour.

He said: “This is the perfect kind of festival to play. I think it was really good timing because the album is out on Monday. It is nice to play a festival earlier in the season.

“There is a real unpredictably about doing festivals as you don’t always get the sound check and sometimes you’re out there winging it but then that sometimes adds to the fun of it.

“You can’t really beat playing to your own fans.”

Drummer Rick added: “It was a friend in a band in Edinburgh who suggested we play it. It was a last minute thing as we had the tour booked.

“Everybody said it was a good place to start things.”

“The nearest place we’ve played to Montrose before is Aberdeen.

“Scotland is always very visual place to play and audiences are the best,” said Tim.

Mark added: “We’ve always had a good affinity with Scotland because geographically it is close to Belfast. A lot of our friends went to university in Scotland.”

See more from MoFest 2015 in this week’s Review.