Ash are a Northern Irish rock band formed in Downpatrick in 1992 by vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray. As a three-piece, they released mini-album Trailer in 1994 and full-length album 1977 in 1996. This 1996 release was named by NME as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. After the success of their full debut the band recruited Charlotte Hatherley as a guitarist and vocalist, releasing their second record Nu-Clear Sounds in 1998. After narrowly avoiding bankruptcy, the band released Free All Angels in 2001 and a string of successful singles.