THE ROUNDHOUSE >> AS IT HAPPENED...

5th Aug: The day had arrived, the big event, the one we'd been waiting for all year, the first 1977  show at the Camden Roundhouse. It had sold out in a few days and we knew that many of the hardcore fan-base had travelled long distances from all over the globe, there would be loads of press attending and the pressure was definitely on to deliver something special. After 3 solid days of rehearsing old songs and b-sides, many of which we had not played in over a decade, we had calmed most of our our anxieties and were ready to put on a show. I got the tube to Chalk Farm and walked down to the venue, I'd never been inside the Roundhouse and didn't know what to expect. As soon as Rich (tour manager) walked me into the hall I was instantly impressed. The room was indeed round, pretty large and the stage looked awesome with the massive 1977  backdrop. "This is gonna be great", I thought to myself. Rick was wandering about looking at home and after I got acquainted with the stage and dressing rooms I started to feel settled and more confident in the new surroundings. The brand new ash-official banners also looked fantastic draped over the balcony, "Good job Mr. Hamilton!"

Soundcheck @ The Roundhouse

The UK Garrison of the 501st had agreed to come down and take part in the festivities, when they arrived we had a quick briefing of what they were gonna get up to and it was pretty exciting peeking through the keyhole to see them getting kitted up in their dressing room! Vader wears boxers from M&S, who would've thought! After soundcheck we all dispersed to various locations to eat, shower, etc. I hurried back to watch Fighting With Wire who were brilliant, even from my crappy vantage point peering through the curtain. Hopefully Ash fans will check out their new album Man Vs Monster  which has just been released. They really are a band to watch!

Fighting With Wire: from behind... ooh er!

Before we went on stage we were all unusually nervous. We never get nervous, but tonight we all were! Vader and his 501st continued to warm up the crowd, posing on stage, taunting them with blasters during change over. Then after the lights dimmed and the sound of a solitary Tie Fighter screeched past, our nerves finally settled as 3000 fans went nuts to Lose Control . It was such a relief that everything was underway and appeared to be going according to plan. The songs seemed to fly by as Goldfinger  and Girl From Mars  got the pit pogoing and going mental. It was nice bashing out old tracks like I'd Give You Anything and Gone The Dream , as we hardly ever played them, even back in '96. Kung Fu  was a mini riot and Oh Yeah  a massive sing along. After Let It Flow  it was time for one of our old trump cards, Innocent Smile , it was always great live and tonight it was immense. I think we'll be playing that one again regularly! Angel Interceptor  rocked out and then Lost In You  had lighters in the air and a few eyes watering in the front row. Darkside Lightside  was another mosh-fest and all too quickly we'd finished the main set, but the crowd were yelling for more and who were we to argue!

Lord Vader and the Stormtroopers led us out at gunpoint to start the second section, panto beckons! This was the Trailer / b-sides  part that we'd planned. We started with Sneaker  (Fireska's dreams finally came true!) then into Get Ready  and possibly the cheesiest but coolest Abba cover ever, Does You Mother Know?  We'll my Mum was there which was the main reason I didn't do a live Sick Party ... oh well. I thought I'd save her the embarrassment!  Petrol  got the pit going berserk, which was surprising and then TK-421 came out to request Cantina Band , this really was becoming theatre now! We finished off with Jack Names The Planets  and then everyone's favorite A Life Less Ordinary  which sent the place ballistic.

Vader patrols the pit!

Was it over??? Of course not, we weren't gonna stop yet, this was way too much fun. Coming back on to Twilight  was odd as we usually finish with it but it worked well, it really is our most pompous piece of showing off! Shining Light  and Orpheus  were dead cert winners, being big singles, and then we dropped in Ichiban . It's always weird playing new songs before they're released, as no-one knows them, but it's good to test the water and at least show that we really are actually working on new material, it was over in what felt like seconds and then it really was time to finish proceedings. Playing the last ace up our sleeve,  Burn Baby Burn tore the Roundhouse a new one and our work was done.

Added on 18/09/2008 by dmh