Ash Wednesday

In honour of the day that’s in it, here are some tunes by the band from Downpatrick in County Down. The three-piece from Northern Ireland have been together for nearly twenty years and I’ve been a fan of them since their first album, 1977. The band’s punk-pop sound had been augmented for a while by the inclusion of Charlotte Hatherley on guitar, but has reverted to its original line-up in recent years. In 2007, the band announced that they would be only releasing singles for the forseeable future. This is not a bad idea for the group as their single releases have always stood head and shoulders above their album tracks. Here are songs covered by Ash that have appeared as extra tracks on some of their singles and on tribute albums. It should be obvious that the Buzzcocks and Nirvana were influences on the band and it shouldn’t really be a surprise that the music of Abba and Motown were also influences on them. Like their predecessors The Undertones, Ash’s sound has always combined elements of both punk and pop. Another contemporary pop star from the North, Neil Hannon, joins the band for a version of their song, Oh Yeah. Peter Wilson (aka Duke Special) is from Belfast and he brings out the spiritual side of Shining Light, a song that has also been given a piano-based cover by Emm Gryner. We move away from Ash and Northern Ireland to New Zealand and Bic Runga’s version of Ashes to Ashes. The final two songs actually concern Ash Wednesday. Elvis Perkins is the son of the actor Norman who died on September 12th, 1992. Nine years later, his mother died as a result of the attack on the Twin Towers. He wrote the songs on his album Ash Wednesday about her; the first side is about her life up to 9/11 while side two focuses on its aftermath. I got Mary Catherine’s Ash Wednesday Journal Entry by Christine Kane from this Star Maker Machine post. Nice. I’m off now to take the chicken out of the oven

Everybody’s Happy Nowadays (Buzzcocks cover) – Ash feat. Chris Martin

I Don’t Mind (Buzzcocks Cover) – Ash

Blew (Nirvana cover) – Ash

Get Ready (Temptations cover) – Ash

Does Your Mother Know? (Abba cover) – Ash

What Deaner Was Talking About (Ween cover) -Ash

Gimme Some Truth (John Lennon cover) – Ash

Oh Yeah – Ash & Neil Hannon

Shining Light (Ash cover) – Duke Special

Girl From Mars (Ash cover) – Star 69

Ashes to Ashes (David Bowie cover) – Bic Runga

Ash Wednesday – Elvis Perkins

Mary Catherine’s Ash Wednesday Journal Entry [Live] – Christine Kane

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