Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Rating: Live/Re-issue
Label: Cherry Red Records 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Martin Turner is of course the former bassist/vocalist of Wishbone Ash. The voice that sang all those old classic songs. This is the repackaged and reissued Deluxe 2CD + DVD set of "Life Begins". Featuring Argus in its entirety as well as other Ash classics and celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wishbone Ash. It's the full concert recorded and filmed live at the Y Theatre in Leicester 13th March 2010. It's a nice and cozy theatre and town where magical things happen. You don't believe me? They've recently dug up an long lost King and their football team just won the premier league! That's sheer and utter magic. Wicked Leicester! (that's a KISS reference by the way).

The total of 20 tracks and obviously the same concert on 2CD and DVD. Turner is looking flashy sporting the spiffy leather jacket and matching hairdo. The rest of the band? Danny Wilson & Ray Hatfield (guitars), Dave Wagstaffe (drums). Let's just mention it's more like Moody/Marsden than Vai/Sykes, if you catch my drift? What about the audience? Well. Let's just say there's a lot of bald spots reflecting in the spotlights. The spots are unfortunately rather laid back throughout the gig and that's a minor letdown.

The concert, starting up nicely with "Time and Space", but drags on a bit as they insist on performing the strange "Vas Dis" as their second piece? I never understood the greatness about this track? "The Ballad of Beacon" or if you're feeling especially hungry, Bacon (that's Turner's joke and punchline and not yours truly) and "Rock N Roll Widow", are from their 4th album and here you get to experience Wilson as lead singer. There's more Turner funny lines coming at you, as "Ships in the Sky" becomes Chips in the Pie. Oh, dear. CD:2 and the last nine tracks on the DVD are all from the classic Argus album though, kicking off with "Time Was" and ending it all with "Jailbait". It's a thrill to any Wishbone Ash fan.

DVD: Behind the scenes section includes interviews, rehearsals for the tour, trailer, and 9 year old wee lass Amy and her work to raise money for cancer research. She's up there on stage with the band enjoying (?) the music and receiving freebies and praise. Good on ya', Amy. Interviews. Turner sitting on stage and talks in depth about various Ash topics and stories about fans that haven't seen him live since 1973 and expect business as usual. The great thing about being in a rock n rock band? You get to travel around the world. The Argus era? 'We were just young, free, and able to devote a lot of time on the record. The album does deal with some classic themes especially space and time. The concept of the end of the world and various Bible quotes and phrases. It's just taking a look at the doom concept'. There is a link between all these songs. Find out about this Swedish girl which inspired him to write "Blowin' Free". Also quick interview and chat with his band. "Time doesn't exist when I write and create music" - Martin Turner. Recommended.

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