Ash to rock fifth Long Division festival

ASH in the USA. Pictures by Ila Desai
ASH in the USA. Pictures by Ila Desai

Northern Irish rockers Ash will headline this year’s Long Division festival.

The multi-million selling band, who shot to fame as teenagers, will be one of 90 acts performing at seven venues across the city in June.

ASH on stage in the USA. Pictures by Ila Desai

ASH on stage in the USA. Pictures by Ila Desai

The band – frontman and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick Murray – are currently recording a new album and are promising ‘hot shows’ by the time they get to Wakefield.

Mr Murray said: “We’re really excited to be back on the road this year with a new record and to be playing clubs and festivals again.

“The new tracks are sounding great and we can’t wait for people to hear them along with our hits that we still love to play.

“By the time we get to Long Division festival in Wakefield, we’ll be fully firing.”

Their hits include Oh Yeah, Shining Light, Girl From Mars, Kung Fu and Goldfinger.

Forty more bands lined up for the festival will be announced at a launch event this weekend.

Dean Freeman, festival director, told the Express: “I’m so pleased to have Ash play in Wakefield. Although they are seen as a guitar band, I think they are one of the best pop bands ever.

“Tim Wheeler writes amazing, classic pop songs. Long Division has always been about true indie music, the alternative, the DIY.

“I think Ash embody that, it just so happens they have some of the catchiest songs ever. To see and hear the singalongs in Unity Works will be amazing.

“And yet, they are only the tip of the iceberg for a lineup with over 80 bands.”

For the first time the festival will be open to people aged 16.

Mr Freeman said : “It’s hard to believe it’s five years since I started Long Division. Wakefield has come a long way in that time. The thing that excites me most about Long Division is that it still excites me. It’s still so much fun to organise, and to see and hear such amazing bands in my home city.

“And then to meet people from all over the country who have travelled here and are having such a great time.

“I’ve just got back from a trip meeting the big artist booking agents in London; they all know about Wakefield now because of this festival.”

The festival will return for its fifth year over the weekend of June 12–14.

Bands will play at venues across the city including Unity Works, The Hop, Wakefield Theatre Royal, The Orangery, and Players. A free-entry launch event will take place tonight (Saturday, February 7) from 7.30pm til 10.30pm at Unity Works.

CryBabyCry and The Thomas Wilby Gang will be performing and discounted tickets for the festival will be on sale.

The festival’s sponsors include Wah Wah Records, Backstage Academy, Wakefield College, The Hop, Unity Works, Rhubarb Bomb and the Wakefield Express.

For more information about the launch event, or the festival, log on to www.longdivisionfestival.co.uk