Lessons from Ash and the magic that comes with them

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On the boy’s nudging, I took a trip to Bangkok in order to catch my favouritest band ever perfoming at Sonic Bang, Ash. The one band whose every album I have owned since I was 14 to date.

Sometimes when you love something long enough, the whole idea of biding one’s time suddenly makes a lot of sense. Ash was truly one band I have waited half of my whole life now to catch performing live. As if catching them up front at Sonic Bang was not reward enough for the waiting, more surprises awaited me at the Bangkok International airport en route back to Singapore…

Memories flood back whenever songs by Ash play and they have been the one band I grew up with, without them ever knowing it. The songs that saw me through teenage years, exciting 20s and I am sure unrelentingly through the rest of the chapters of my life too.

I screamed at the top of my lungs and bobbed so vigorously, as if unaware of my own real age, as Ash rocked the stage away at Sonic Bang, every single song a masterpiece of their brilliance and nostalgia for me. The iconic number, Girl From Mars, that got me hooked on them in the first place. The songs shared with a dear friend of secondary school days, Rendy, who adored their wonderful sounds too. A Life Less Ordinary, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn, Oh Yeah, Walking Barefoot, Kung Fu, Angel Interceptor…oh the same invigorating and timeless tunes for me. I felt like a million dollars when I screamed for the set list and the band’s manager saved it for me at the end of their set that I just wandered around at Sonic Bang holding it proudly like a prize yet still keeping my eyes peeled for Tim, or Rick, or Mark, hoping to get their signatures on the set list…who would have thought dreams come true when you wish for them with all your heart and soul like that. I did not see them again for that night at Sonic Bang but the very next day at the airport as Wilson and I were walking to the departure gate D8 for our fateful 3K516 Jetstar flight back to Singapore, I took a glance down at the crowd gathered waiting for the flight and then I saw… Ash bassist, Mark. My heart almost stopped beating for a moment and I pulled the boy over to look down as well, asking him if I was dreaming or was that actually Ash. His verification was all I needed to trigger off hyperventilation mode for me. I went weak in the knees and I could barely speak as the flight attendant tore our boarding passes for us to enter the waiting area…the tickets that are now immortalized and have become even more powerful than Sonic Bang’s magic. I took out my set list carefully from my bag and walked towards the band and the moment the band manager saw me with the set list in hand, he giggled and grinned at me. I didn’t have to say a word as the tears streamed forth. Tim took the set list from my trembling hands, whipped out a marker and signed on it before passing it on to Rick and Mark to do the same as well. “Would you like a picture with them?” of course, I have dreamt of this moment since wanting to be Mrs Tim Wheeler at the age of 14. The photo revealed a teary eyed me, still in stunned disbelief but I think I was the luckiest girl alive on 25th August 2013. Who would have guessed I would one day end up on the very same flight as Ash?

The encounter really left me in a very very very emotional state, despite the band’s down to earth demeanour. It was the epiphanic moment for me that ANYTHING can happen if you put your heart and soul to it. I wished, I waited for years, I met a lovely boy who egged me on to go for Sonic Bang in spite of my poor financial health, and on our one year’s anniversary together, the whole belief I have always held dear of biding one’s time made so much sense to me.

I am a sucker for constants in life and Ash had been a constant love of my life over the years. Blessed am I to have seen this day come to light and I cannot be more grateful indeed.

The band dearest to my heart, stuck together and with me through my life of growing pains and joys, and now they are the ones to lift me up and inspire me to believe that truly ANYTHING is possible. Thank you, Ash. I will forever remain a loyal fan and avid lover, to trust the changes in my life with your music and our magical encounter of a lifetime.

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