Ash on being the youngest act to headline Glastonbury: ‘It’s actually us’

Virgin Radio

6 May 2022, 15:38

Ash performing on stage

Credit: Getty

Irish rock band Ash are still, to this date, the youngest people to ever headline Glastonbury when they performed at the festival in 1997.

The band achieved a string of hit singles in the mid-90s with their album 1977, which landed them a headline slot on the Other Stage.

However, when Steve Winwood was forced to pull out of Sunday night’s bill- apparently due his truck getting stuck in the mud- Ash were asked to perform again, making them the youngest-ever Pyramid Stage headliners.

Speaking to backstage at the Big Thank You Tour, the band reminisced on some of their biggest career achievement- and Glastonbury was one of them.

Bassist Mark Hamilton said: “We’ve done some really amazing shows. The fact we’ve played Reading festival 10 times more than anyone else, and thinks like that are milestones.”

Frontman Tim Wheeler added: “Maybe having a number one album when we were 19 years old, that was huge. It was just a real peak early one, and just to achieve that also so young was amazing.”

He continued: “And, so Billie Eilish is headlining Glastonbury this year, and there was a chicken out thinking that she might have been the youngest person to headline, but it’s actually us.

Ash performing at Glastonbury in 2002:

“Mark is still going to stand as the youngest person to ever headline Glastonbury.”

Although Billie Eilish will be the youngest solo act to headline the Pyramid stage at 20 years old, Mark is still the youngest overall to perform on the stage at the age of 19.

Ash performed as part of Virgin Radio’s Big Thank You Tour last month to celebrate the amazing key workers that got us through the pandemic.

Speaking about why it was important for them to get involved in such a cause, Tim revealed he had several nieces and nephews who worked in the NHS, so he had a connection to it.

Drummer Rick McMurray also said: “I think the NHS through the pandemic has just been amazing. They're putting themselves in danger to look after the whole country and, you know, we can't thank them enough for that. I mean, I couldn’t tell you the number of times they've taken care of my kids and stuff, you know, for the last 10 years as well.”

Tim added: “It's one of the few things in this country that most people would agree on. It's like a really important part of the UK. So you know, there's a million reasons to thank them for that.”

See what other headliners Ricky Wilson, David Gray and Isaac Stuart had to say about the tour here.