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Ash Grunwald headlines TNT’s 30th birthday bash next month, as Aussie bands storm the capital this summer

“It is going to be a mega party!” Aussie blues champ Ash Grunwald promises for his forthcoming show at Koko to celebrate TNT’s 30th birthday. “I’ll dip into the back catalogue as well as some of the new stuff – I’ll be picking the party tunes for the night.” 

Ash arrives in the capital at the end of the UK surf and beach community’s Sea Level tour. With seven albums to pick from he’s got no shortage of crowd rockers, but the Melbourne-born bluesman will be bringing something new to the capital, too, arriving fresh off gigging Down Under with The Living End’s bassist Scott Owen and drummer Andy Strachan.

“Scotty and I are mates,” he says of the collaboration sparked after the two began jamming when Owen moved to Ash’s hometown of Byron Bay.

“We’d played a little before and I wanted to do something different, so I got Scott and then Rob Hirst [from Midnight Oil, no less] to make a novel rhythm section.” The threesome played a string of shows last year, before Hirst was replaced by Owen’s bandmate Strachan for a 14-date tour of Oz, which began last week in Hobart.

Book tickets to see Ash Grunwald at TNT's 30th birthday party at Koko 

Ash regularly collaborates, but this latest team-up of his trademark blues sound with rock’s power has made a new impression. “I never do things in the rock genre,” he says. “So it was something different for me that’s powerful and fun.”

The new supergroup even recorded an album, Gargantua (out June 20), which includes a bunch of new songs, including a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s global smash Crazy, which Ash fell in love with despite his love for old over the contemporary. 

Their lead single, The Last Stand, was inspired by controversial coal and gas mining in Australia.

“It’s the worst environmental thing to ever happen in Australia,” he says. “I used the idea of drawing a line in the sand, and wrote the lyrics from that.”Working with Owen and Strachan opened up a new way of working, too. 

“The notion of rehearsals is pretty novel to me,” Ash laughs. “But those guys are rehearsers, over-rehearsers even, which is a good thing!”

Fresh off rocking out in the southern hemisphere, Ash will arrive in London  with Matthew P, Polly Maloney and Melic in support, and with punk-rock’s urgency flowing into his legendary solo show and well-toured blues grooves. 

“I keep things fresh for myself by mixing it up a lot,” he says of how his recent collaboration influences have influenced his trademark sounds. “

If you tour a lot in Australia, which is how I made my name, you inevitably play in the country a lot, which can be pretty raucous. You end up with a pub mongrel element in your music after a while, which I like!”

It will be this mongrel energy and his recent brush with the rock world that Ash will be tapping into at Koko. “My theory is people work a nine-to-five job, or even if they’re stoned all day, it’s great to come see music and leave excited and on top of the world.” 

You’d need a lobotomy not to agree with that – it’s party time! 

 

More Aussie gigs in London >

Book tickets to see Ash Grunwald at TNT's 30th birthday party at Koko 

 

See Ash at TNT’s 30th Birthday Show.
Koko. July 28. £15  NW1 7JE  
Tube | Mornington Crescent  

 

 



Talkback


Oz rock invasion: We speak with Ash Grunwald, plus more Australian bands playing gigs in London this summer
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