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Vault Lines: Hannah Richardson on 1977 by Ash

In the latest installment of Vault Lines, Hannah Richardson from fast-rising Derry pop-punk trio Cherym sings the praises of a stone-cold Northern Irish classic, 1977 by Ash

Photo by Jane Donnelly

I was introduced to Ash as a teenager by a friend. By this point in time I was well into my wee punky teenage-angsty phase, but I’d also started taking an interest in local bands and Irish bands in general. My friend grew up with ‘cool parents’ who listened to a lot of music and they had a bookshelf that occupied a space in their back hall, dedicated entirely to vinyl records stacked way up high. He had what I thought of as a really well-versed knowledge of the music industry, which I admired greatly.

1977 was one of the records from the bookshelf. I remember hearing the opening tune ‘Lose Control’. It starts with what to me sounded like a scene out of Jurassic Park played backwards through a shit guitar amp…then fire maybe? Straight into this big shreddy, loud guitar-led punk rock song. It was class and a reflection of everything I loved at the time.

Listening to ‘Girl from Mars’ I quickly became obsessed. I would play it everywhere, all the time, for anyone who would listen. “Do you remember the time I knew a girl from Mars, I don’t know if you knew that.” I loved how that line immediately sets the scene. An alien love song! Gross… I love it! Even today listening to that song just rings my head full of nostalgia.

“Oh yeah she was taking me over.” This was the first time I’d ever heard violins and more orchestral parts written into a rock song. I think it makes it sound very ‘coming of age-y’ and you can picture it at the end of one of those teen movies I used to watch in the early 2000’s. I see 1977 as an anthem-like record for how my life was at the time as a wee teen, falling in and out of love, sharing first-time experiences with friends and youth culture etc. Even today I still enjoy coming back to it once in a while for a wee listen. That, to me, is a sign of a great record. Hannah Richardson