Saturday, December 5, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Album Review: Ash – Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash

Do you remember the time I knew a girl from Mars? Be honest here, you just sung that line didn’t you? I don’t care what genre of music you’re into, Ash gave us one of those iconic songs and lyrics that just about everybody has heard of if not sung along to at some point in their life. Apparently even NASA used “Girl from Mars” as their hold music on their phone lines. But my love affair with the band started even before this track blew them into the stratosphere.

It was 1994. I had just booked my first Reading Festival ticket for the following year and a friend of mine gave me a copy (sorry Ash) of Trailer,their first mini studio album. It blew my mind and I couldn’t wait to see them hit the Melody Maker stage the following year. The aforementioned single was released the month before and their show was phenomenal. Squashed in a small tent fans couldn’t get in for love nor money, poles were scaled just for a glimpse… it was an absolute riot and highlight of the whole weekend for me and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. I even joined the official fan club – remember those?

From their mini-album Trailer, a volley of intent with “Jack Names The Planets”, “Uncle Pat” and “Petrol”, recorded whilst still at school debut album proper, 1996’s Number One album 1977, almost imploding with the follow-up Nu-Clear Sounds, the addition of teenage guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, 1998’s  historic Northern Irish Referendum show in Belfast before a return to the number one spot with the universally acclaimed Free All Angels seeing Tim Wheeler awarded with an Ivor Novello for “Shining Light”, consolidating a reputation for a run of extraordinary singles.

Within the blink of an eye critically acclaimed 1997 had its 20th anniversary and spectacular tour to boot. Seeing the band play live again a handful of times reignited my passion and reminded me what spectacular musicians they are. Front man Tim Wheeler still performs as if he’s just finished school for the week, seriously the guy doesn’t age! An electric performance at Camden Rocks Festival last year ratified that.

And we here we are now 25 years on to celebrate Ash in all their glory.

Teenage Wildlife traces the band’s recording career from exuberant debut “Jack Names The Planets” through to the likes of “BuzzKill” from 2018’s top twenty album Islands whilst also including a brand new offering “Darkest Hour Of The Night” alongside thirteen Top 40 singles such as “Girl From Mars”, “Gold Finger” and “Oh Yeah” amid an array of the band’s recorded history. Teenage Wildlife also comes in a limited lenticular three CD set that will include a nineteen-track collection of rarities including a version of The Buzzcocks’ classic “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” (featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin), the eternal “Teenage Kicks” and the collection’s infamous title track.

Opening with the perfect “A Life Less Ordinary” a non-album single and soundtrack to same titled movie, is an instant nostalgic hit, the lyrics literally taking you in their arms as a huge comfort blanket and trip down memory lane. This compilation album continues to take you on a massive 54 track journey spanning the very best of Ash. I defy anyone not to find a track on here they don’t like and that’s the beauty of Ash. Their musicianship sees them ebb and flow from sublime indie shoegaze (new track “Darkest Hour of the Night”) to full on neck breaking punk rock tracks (“Jack Names the Planets”, “Clones”) attracting an eclectic fan base.

There’s something for everyone on here, reminding old fans how bloody fantastic Ash are and introducing new fans to an incredible repertoire that represents the band in all their exquisite glory. I’d have loved to have heard “Lose Control” and hilarious Abba cover “Does your Mother Know”, but hey you can’t have it all, maybe they’ll be on Ash: The Wilder Years?, for this band are sure to be around for another 25 if this compilation is anything to go by! There’s some smashing limited editions to order (Amazon link, helps support this site). Out this Friday 14th February. A huge European tour to follow, UK dates below.

Full track list:

Disc 1:
1. A Life Less Ordinary
2. Arcadia
3. Darkest Hour Of The Night
4. Kung Fu
5. Cocoon
6. You Can’t Have It All
7. Girl From Mars
8. All That I Have Left
9. Wild Surf
10. Binary
11. Uncle Pat
12. Shining Light
13. Star-Crossed
14. Buzzkill
15. Return Of White Rabbit
16. Goldfinger
17. Envy
18. Sometimes
19. Coming Around Again

Disc 2:
1. Burn Baby Burn
2. Dare To Dream
3. Annabel
4. Clones
5. Machinery
6. Oh Yeah
7. Projects
8. Confessions In The Pool
9. True Love 1980
10. Angel interceptor
11. Jesus Says
12. Petrol
13. End Of The World
14. Orpheus
15. Walking Barefoot
16. Jack Names The Planets
17. Twilight Of The Innocents

Disc 3:
1. Here Comes The Music
2. Spellbound
3. Teenage Wildlife
4. I Shall Not Die
5. Skullful Of Sulphur
6. Teenage kicks
7. T.Rex
8. Waterfall
9. Saskia
10. Seventh Circle
11. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
12. Chinese New Year
13. Wasted On You
14. Comet Tempel 1
15. Heroin, Vodka, White Noise
16. New Tattoo
17. When I’m Tired
18. Tinseltown

March Tour UK dates:

  • 17 Stylus LEEDS University
  • 18 O2 Academy NEWCASTLE
  • 20 SWG3 TV Studio GLASGOW
  • 21 O2 Ritz MANCHESTER
  • 22 Rock City NOTTINGHAM
  • 24 O2 Academy BRISTOL
  • 25 Pyramids PORTSMOUTH
  • 27 The Roundhouse LONDON

Ash: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | spotify

About The Author


A regular gig-goer and vinyl lover! I’m a very amateur photographer, so combine my love of this and music as much as possible. Huge supporter of the local music scene and up and coming bands. Emergency Nurse and Mother in my spare time!

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