Oran Mor, Glasgow, Tue 27 Feb
Charlotte Hatherley was always the odd one out in the lads’ gang that is Ash, but she brought a refreshingly spiky new dimension to the Irish rockers, so after almost ten years as a fully-fledged member it’s a shame that she’s left.
But Hatherley is proving herself to be a consummate solo artist. Her debut solo album, Grey Will Fade, was released while she was still whacking out solos for Ash, but now there’s a very different and much more expansive follow-up, The Deep Blue, released on her own label and showcasing a much greater depth of songwriting talent.
‘That first record was made in two weeks between Ash tours,’ she says. ‘I had more time to spend over this record, and I tried to embrace the other side of my songwriting, influences like Kate Bush and The Flaming Lips. It’s more ambitious, more expansive, and I’m glad it’s completely different, because I didn’t want to do the same thing again.’
Things came to a head when the rest of the Ash boys relocated to New York, just when Hatherley was getting right into her solo work back here. She didn’t have to think too long about the decision.
‘It became obvious they wanted to get on with the next record, and my heart wasn’t into going to New York or abandoning what I’d started,’ she says. ‘It was an amicable split, but I think it had been a long time coming.’ Ash’s loss is definitely our gain.