Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash. The ARC, Stockton-on-Tees. 19.02.2016

Our second Martin Turner gig in less than a month (see review of Butlins Rock and Blues from January).  This time it is the full show.

MT started the Butlins gig with two new numbers, and his full show has the entire ‘Written in the Stars’ cd  as the first set.  A brave move, but did it work?  Back in the 70s, I saw Pink Floyd do it with DSOTM and Jethro Tull with TAAB.  Elton John came a cropper at Wembley by trying to follow the Beach Boys with the complete ‘Captain Fantastic…’LP.  Even Hugh Cornwell has tried the idea more recently.

The first set at the ARC drew polite applause, and the material sounds pretty good, but I am not sure if the idea of a set of new material  is a success…whoever tries it.  It is always a bit of a giveaway when people are looking at their watches.  A brief break, and the second set kicks off with ‘The King will Come’.  There is plenty more to come from ‘Argus’ , unsurprisingly,  and they are performed pretty well.  Martin’s voice strayed occasionally , but guitarist Danny and drummer Tim provide very good backing vocals.  The rest of Martin’s 70s catalogue is well represented, with a track each from the first LP, Wishbone 4, Pilgrimage,  There’s the Rub,  No smoke without fire and Just Testing. Nothing from the reformed Mk 1 era, but the whole second set is pretty well paced and performed.

Not a huge venue, but there were some hard-core Wishbone Ash fans there.  All in all,  a good night.

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