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Wishbone Ash: Access All Areas

It wasn’t all nostalgia for their 20th anniversary.

Reunited in 1987 after a 14-year gap, the classic Wishbone Ash line-up had already released a couple of albums before heading out on their 20th anniversary tour in 1989 from which this rough but ready CD/DVD set is taken.

The opening instrumental, Real Guitars Have Wings from Nouveau Calls, demonstrates that Andy Powell and Ted Turner’s signature twin-guitar attack can still bristle, and while the three tracks from the just-released Here To Hear album are more song-based they show that their style can also accommodate some surprisingly contemporary rhythms.

But the cheers that greet The King Will Come and Blowin’ Free from Argus makes it clear where the fans’ real allegiance lies.

However, those fans might have been less impressed by the first encore, a ‘medley’ of four vintage tracks crammed into less than six-minutes, particularly as the total running time here barely exceeds 50 minutes.

Fortunately the band do not mess with Jail Bait. It’s also the last chance to hear the original band together before they disintegrated again a couple of years later.