Back to Music

Wishbone Ash

A real and constantly evolving creative entity

Wishbone Ash will rock Jazzbones Saturday.

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Bobble Tiki knows it. He’s the oldest music columnist the Weekly Volcano has. That means, when sitting around in the Weekly Volcano War Room with fresh faces like Matt Driscoll, Brad Allen, Paul Schrag and even the hard living Suzy Stump, Bobble Tiki assumes the role of elder. When a story idea is being bounced around that pertains to any band even remotely gray — all eyes turn to Tiki.

Bobble Tiki covers the old stuff with pride for the Weekly Volcano. Someone’s got to do it. And besides, Tikis typically live well into their 90s, if not longer. Years after Matt Driscoll goes face down in his soup Bobble Tiki will be alive and kicking.

Bobble Tiki’s the oldest music columnist the Weekly Volcano has, meaning he spends a lot of his Tiki time writing about Jazzbones — pretty much the best live music venue the South Sound has for the 40 and older set. In honesty, Bobble Tiki feels a little out of place when he drags his old ass into Hell’s Kitchen. Bobble Tiki feels right at home at the Boneyard. Plus, Jazzbones books some kick-ass shows, especially for those with an experienced musical IQ and reference points beyond Blink 182.

Take this week, for example, when Jazzbones will host Wishbone Ash on Saturday, May 17. The double-guitar edged Wishbone Ash, a British rock staple of the early ’70s, may be older, grayer, balder, and less popular than they were in 1972, but the band’s sound still resonates with music fans of the era — and excitement and ticket sales for the show coming up at Jazzbones are proof enough that the band still has something to offer.

Wishbone Ash, like they were in the early ’70s, is still a blues rock band that relies on the power of twin lead guitars to get from point A to point B. That’s the band’s bread and butter, and nothing’s changed. What has changed is the lineup. Original guitarist Andy Powell has kept Wishbone Ash going, but he’s needed some new faces to do so. Bassist Bob Skeat, guitarist Jyrki “Muddy” Manninen, and drummer Joe Crabtree now round out the current version of Wishbone Ash, and though the new faces sometimes leave audiences wondering “wtf?,” the music rarely disappoints.

Bobble Tiki caught up with original Wishbone Ash guitarist and leader Andy Powell this week. Here’s a look at what the axe man had to say.

BOBBLE TIKI: Describe the makeup of the band these days for those who haven’t been paying close attention. Who are you playing with these days? Where do they come from? How is the chemistry in this incarnation?

ANDY POWELL: This lineup is really kicking right now. We have Londoner Bob Skeat on bass, a 10-year member of Wishbone Ash. Then there’s Muddy Manninen from Helsinki on guitar, who is into his fourth year, and newest member, Joe Crabtree from Lancashire, England, on drums. The chemistry is particularly good inasmuch as we really have a unit that can tackle all the varying facets of the band’s music.

TIKI: Wikipedia describes the situation as a rotating lineup of musicians. Is this the case?

POWELL: Well, not exactly. When you have been a band for nearly 40 years, there will be lineup changes. Most people stay for between five and 10 years, which is longer than most (in) some band’s entire career. That Wikipedia sight is pitched negatively toward us, in actuality.

TIKI: How has the writing and recording process changed over the years for Wishbone Ash?

POWELL: In the early days, the writing was a group effort, but the bulk of which came from bassist Martin Turner and myself. He handled a large portion of the lead vocals and lyrics. These days it’s still a group effort, but a large proportion of the songs emanate from the Manninen/Powell songwriting team. I handle the lead vocals and much of the lyric writing.

TIKI: You released Power of Eternity in ‘07. It was an album of all new material. Are you still pleased with the finished product?

POWELL: I am pleased with it. It’s an honest document of our time at that point. We are working on new material, but we are currently rethinking things a little — perhaps looking for a slightly different work model with regard to new song releases. A downloading scenario might be in the cards.

TIKI: Why do you think, after all these years, people still connect to what you do?

POWELL: Because we are for real and we are a player’s band. We are also a constantly evolving creative entity. They trust us, and that makes for community.

As usual, Bobble Tiki doesn’t care what you do this week because he doesn’t even know you. Sorry, Charlie. Unless you can help Bobble Tiki stimulate himself until a check from the IRS arrives, he’s pretty sure he doesn’t want to meet you. Check out for all your South Sound blogosphere needs, and concentrate on the friends you already have. They already put up with all your shit. 

[Jazzbones, Wishbone Ash, Saturday, May 17, 9 p.m., $25-$30, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396. 9169]

Read next close


Film Around the Clock

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search