Ash have been together for 30 years, but it was their two years apart which ultimately inspired their brilliant new album.
Like the rest of the world, Tim Wheeler (guitar/vocals), Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray (drums) were blindsided by the pandemic. It enforced not only the first extended period of downtime the band have ever had in their incredible three-decade career, but also became the longest they’d gone without seeing each other since they met at school in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.
So, when they were finally reunited to rehearse for a livestream gig in the dark days of 2021, there were some understandable nerves at how it might go.
“Madly, we sounded like we’d never been away,” grins McMurray. “We sounded better than ever. It was probably one of my favourite days of being in a band – there was just such a buzz to get back in a room together.”
That buzz extended to reviewing the next steps for one of Britain’s most beloved bands.