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The Tropic At Ruislip, London
2nd January 2016

Photos by Sandra Ford

mark taylor

martin turner

It's been a messy state of affairs for the founding member of Wishbone Ash, Martin Turner who lost a rather expensive court case over the rights to the band name to fellow founding member Andy Powell, meaning that that the bassist now can't even use the moniker of Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash.

However promoters know that the iconic name sells tickets, so to get around that problem, he is now often promoted as Martin Turner Plays The Music Of Wishbone Ash! Confusing and unnecessary times for fans who will happily see both parties.

With Martin Turner releasing a brand new album last year, the acclaimed 'Written In The Stars' (reviewed here), it's time for maverick character to stand on his own two feet and be rightly recognised as an individual solo artist, although this project is most definitely a band effort.

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This gig at The Tropic in Ruislip was the perfect way to start the year anew, a sold out affair in a cosy venue which is part of the club house at non-league Wealdstone football club.

The intent on the new was hammered home on the opening number, the title track from his solo album 'Written In The Stars', still very much in the Wishbone Ash vein, but with a harder and deeper groove, in fact sounding more like Wishbone Ash than the current Wishbone Ash do.

Let's not start a war of words here, but confidence was high with five new numbers in the set, some of which were being performed for the first time ever.

After the double whammy of "Some old hippy music" from the Number One album of 1972 'Argus' came 'Warrior' and the endearing 'Throw Down The Sword' featuring the twin harmony guitar work of Danny Willson and new guitarist Misha Nikolic

martin turner

Nikolic takes his work a lot more seriously than his predecessor Ray Hatfield breaking up the partnership of the "Chuckle Brothers", although Willson can still crack a gag referring to the seminal album as 'Argos' after the High Street shopping chain.

New songs 'For My Lady' and 'Falling Sands', the Dire Straits click of 'Pretty Little Girls' and 'Vapour Trail' all fitted into the set with ease along with the Wishbone Classics of old.

The lenghty 'Pilgrim' from the first set was a major highlight was played with hearty vigour, with drummer Tim Brown proving he can be a capable jazz musician.

'Sometime World' and the commercially glossy 'You See Red' expressed the harmonies on the vocals just as much as on the guitar work. 'F.U.B.B' is one of many virtuoso showcases for Turner on the bass.

With a home run of 'Blowin' Free' and the majestic 'The King Will Come' along with the encore of the hard blues of 'Jailbait' this was a magnificent way to start the gigging year.

martin turner

Set list:
Written In The Stars
Throw Down The Sword
Lady Jay
For My Lady
Falling Sands
Living Proof

Sometime World
Pretty Little Girls
You See Red
Vapour Trail
Blowin' Free
The King Will Come


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