Author: Tex Miller
The evolution of Ash Grunwald’s blues sound throughout his career has been an interesting journey to follow. Having already played a stellar set at the Wool Exchange in February this year, Ash is set to get you grooving again this Saturday night at the Torquay Hotel. The gig at The Wool Exchange (February) prominently featured the rhythm section of The Living End, and this was seen as a one-off performance. Yet, given the explosive energy and chemistry between the trio, they are on the road for the Gargantua tour. Although he was in the airport, jet-setting around and getting ready to tour once again, it was great to talk to one of the legends of the Australian blues scene.
“We’re really excited about the Torquay show. I used to live there for five years, so it is always fantastic to get back down there and soak up the atmosphere. Hopefully, fingers crossed, there will also be some waves, which would be good,” Ash said about the homecoming show.
Having written a stack of songs over the last decade, the decision of what to play on the upcoming tour must be hard; yet given the party atmosphere of the majority of Ash’s songs, there is definitely something to get you moving on the dance floor. From just a quick YouTube, if you have nothing on this Saturday night, Torquay is the place to be. To coincide with this tour, Ash is releasing a new album entitled Gargantua, which was born out of this collaboration. The first taste of this album, ‘The Last Stand’, went live on social media last week to rave reviews and steers away from his 2012 release, Trouble’s Door.
“The sound of this record is as far away removed from the last few albums as possible. It’s still got a lot of bluesy elements to it, but it’s the classic rock band setup. We started off recording for a few hours and that turned into six solid days of work. There’s two new songs, two covers and some reworkings of my older tunes. Playing with The Living End guys is fantastic because it is a lot more high energy than what I would usually do. The recordings were a lot more raw and original with everything done live. They are definitely one of the best rock rhythm sections in Australian music.
“The way that the Living End work is that they practice and practice; and Chris Cheney is an amazing guitarist and taskmaster, so that was definitely an interesting concept within the recording process because I am the complete opposite,” Ash said about the new collaboration.
The first single off the release, a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, started out as just a bit of fun as a promotional piece of material for the tour; yet after receiving airplay on commercial radio, the response from Ash’s fans has been extremely warm and positive. “It’s always good to change things up when you’re playing someone else’s song. Cee Lo is a great singer and I wanted Andy to go really rocky and arse-kicking in the chorus, rather than being smooth. Looking back now, it’s a lot more high energy than we first thought, but it’s going be epic to throw down live.”
I’ve got my tickets, have you?
When & Where: The Torquay Hotel – June 15; The Corner – June 27; The Prince – June 28.