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The Mag: Play: Small wonder; Last week rock superstars Ash played a top secret gig for just a handful of fans. CHARLOTTE WARD was there.

Byline: CHARLOTTE WARD

INDIE rockers Ash were as hot as their pre-gig curry as they played an exclusive set to just TWENTY fans.

Band members Tim Wheeler and Charlotte Hatherley discarded their signature electric guitars as they performed an unusual acoustic set at Kerrang 105.2's Birmingham studios on Thursday.

After enjoying spicy dishes from Broad Street restaurant Shimla Pinks, the duo got started with a laid-back version of their summer anthem Girl From Mars.

Then they went on to play their new single Star Crossed, which is out on July 19.

Playing to the smallest audience of their career, Tim and Charlotte were in perfect harmony as theycontinued with dramatically different acoustic renditions of Shining Light and current single Orpheus.

Next, after asking the audience for requests, they did an impromptu version of Teenage Kicks - originally by fellow Belfast band The Undertones.

They finished off the 30-minute acoustic set with destructive love song Burn Baby Burn.

Bearing in mind that they'll be performing for more than 70,000 fans a time at the upcoming Carling Weekend in Reading and Leeds, this was a real chance to get up close and personal.

Among the handful of fans was Sunday Mercury competition winner Laura Fitzgerald, 19, from Redditch, Worcestershire, who arrived at the secret gig with her 18 year-old sister Kayleigh.

CAPTION(S):

ON SONG: Tim and Charlotte on stage, above, and, right, with Laura and Kayleigh Fitzgerald and drummer Rick Murray
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2004
Words:241
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