For your Star Wars Day observance…

May the Fourth is here again, bringing us another Star Wars Day. What better way to celebrate than with Ash‘s cover of John Williams’ “Cantina Band,” released in July 1995 as the B-side to their classic “Girl From Mars” single? I saw the band perform a ripping version in San Francisco last year (and noticed the prominent Darth Vader decal on Mark Hamilton’s bass)…

If you’re so inclined, go to 3:50 of the following video to see the then-teenaged Ash members discuss their Star Wars fandom on a mid-’90s episode of The Big Breakfast, featuring a Star Wars trivia lightning round! (You may roll your eyes at the fairly easy questions, but clearly there were extenuating circumstances involved…)

Advertisements

Song In My Head #100: “Buzzkill” by Ash

What better way to mark a blog milestone than with my favorite single of 2018? “Buzzkill” boasts a typically timeless Tim Wheeler melody, with a smartalecky, world-weary lyric that feels perfect these days. Add handclaps and a relentless groove, and you have the most infectious tune to come out of Northern Ireland since the Undertones’ legendary “Teenage Kicks” in 1978. In fact, the Undertones’ Damian O’Neill and Michael Bradley contribute the sassy-yet-charming background vocals on the recording (never fear, Ash drummer Rick McMurray is up to the task in concert). A radio edit apparently exists, but as Ash’s brilliant San Francisco show proved in September, there are few greater joys than listening to adorably-accented swearing. (Now, can you finally get off my case for using dashes while writing this post?)

Song In My Head #86: Ash’s “Let It Flow”

I’ve always felt that Ash’s 1977 is one of the great underrated records of the 1990s. Happily, it’s not as unheralded as I’d thought. Not only did Britain’s New Musical Express list it among the 500 greatest albums of all time four years ago, Ash is continuing a highly successful tour in honor of 1977‘s twentieth anniversary as we speak. The Northern Irish act expertly veers between raucous guitars and well-crafted balladry (indeed, I almost opted for “Gone The Dream” instead, which manages to avoid sappiness in spite of the presence of strings). Even 1977‘s B-sides are worthy: check out the band’s synth-driven cover of the Temptations’ “Get Ready.” Nevertheless, I’ve been singing “Let It Flow” to myself all week, so here it is…