Ash Red impressed with their debut single ‘The Single Song’ and released their second track 4th of June via Blowtorch Records. This is a cover of Rory Gallagher’s ‘Philby’ from his 1979 album “Top Priority”.
This is a snappier, speedier, sharper version of the original while at the same time still retaining that impressive electrifying guitar. The vocals are delivered with a confidence and self-belief, and indeed the twist Ash Red have put on ‘Philby’ works beautifully. They have shaved almost a quarter off the length off the original and it works all the better for it.
Kim Philby was a cold war double agent for the Soviets. Gallagher had a fascination for men who were outsiders of society, perhaps relating to that feeling of not quite belonging himself. Gallagher was brought up in Cork and Ash Red have recorded this cover as a homage to a local hero of theirs.
One line of the lyrics particularly struck me:
“I'm lost in transit in a lonesome city, I can't come in from the cold”
The atmosphere and emotion of this line works on a number of levels: the feeling of being lost in oneself, being lonely and the Cold War are all alluded to in this one line.
Ash Red are comprised of Conrad Twomey (drums), Arthur Murray (guitar, vocals) and Maciek Zwirkowski (bass), and with two strong singles now under their belt it will be fascinating to see what the trio delivers next.