Live @ Swindon Oasis
February 3, 2002
Review & Photography: Steve Bateman

Even now, I can still remember my excitement after flicking through the NME’s Live Gig Guide, last December.

Ash – one of the greatest bands of all time – had just announced a one-off date at the Swindon Oasis on February 3, 2002, in preparation for their upcoming NME Carling Awards Show.

It seemed like a lost date from the highly successful low-key Comeback Tour of 2000, as established bands rarely hit this part of the country. Mark explained: “A friend of ours who lives in Swindon, asked if we would play a gig in their hometown”.

Two hours before the doors opened and a huge queue was developing, as loyal fans were eager to Lose Control – proving that there’s a demand and hunger here, for regular live music!

Once inside, the atmosphere was electric: “Tonight there’s no denying, no there’s no denying, there’s something magic in the air”. Support act: Hundred Reasons, warmed the crowd up a treat. Their set was extremely loud / energetic and current single If I Could was a real highlight, definitely a band to keep your eye on.

As Here Comes The Music blasted from the stage speakers, fans soon realised that The Ash-Team were on their way!

Although Ash have been touring Free All Angels for nearly a year now, the songs as always, were delivered with passion and conviction, thus reinforcing their much lauded reputation as a fine live act.


Fans were absorbed by a classic set, which began with A Life Less Ordinary, followed by a mixture of Greatest Hits, Free All Angels album tracks and recent b-side No Place To Hide.

With Cherry Bomb, Shining Light and Walking Barefoot delivered in quick succession, Ash were obviously enjoying themselves immensely. “How’s it going?” Tim enquired, “Do you like Rock ‘n’ Roll in Swindon?” to which the crowd cheered ecstatically! This is a band on top form.

During the encore, Ash re-visited their early days with Uncle Pat and Jack Names The Planets, before ending the night perfectly, with a fierce rendition of Numbskull.

Overall, an Excellent gig, which as a devoted Ash fan has left me with many great memories.

A very special thanks to Ian Cheek for all of his help, and to Ash + their management / security.