News From The North 100

11 05 2012

Last month, my NI music news column in Hot Press became 100 issues old. Now, I must admit, while I’m not a particularly boastful man, I do take a massive amount of pride in that column and I’m pleased to say that over the last four years I’ve been the first person to break dozens of bands and it’s something I enjoy writing every fortnight.

These days, running a column for four plus years is pretty much unheard of, so thanks to anyone who reads it etc etc.Anyway, enough slabbering, here’s a reprint of the 100th edition.Here’s to the next 100.


Words: Edwin McFee

Hello folks and welcome along to the 100th edition of the little column that could. Over the last four years we’ve helped break some of NI’s best and brightest bands and now that it’s hit double figures I feel it’s time to don some sensible knit-wear, buy a humungous pack of Werther’s Original and finally get round to watching that new Daniel O’Donnell dvd (which I’ve been reliably informed is a “powerful tape”). Ach who am I kidding…? The Donegal Demi-God can wait for another while…


Let’s get started with some news about a freshly formed act called Good Friend who, by the time you read this, should have released their storming self-titled debut EP. Rising from the ashes of North West punks Under Stars and Gutters, the trio’s virtual slab of wax was recorded in the kitchen of a holiday home (get them!) in sunny Portstewart and they formed in December ’11. Occupying a similar musical territory to the likes of the Gaslight Anthem and the Ataris, Good Friend’s anthemic and impassioned racket is an infectious one and the County Derry natives should be an awesome prospect live. Check out for more details.


Next up, well thought of rock trio Axis Of have taken a little time off from wowing the great and the good in Europe to curate a new compilation CD called 1000 Bricks. Master-minded by the North Coast Music Collective in a bid to highlight the ever fertile scene in that part of the island, the album will be launched at a special two day event at the Playhouse in Portrush (from April 13-14). Kicking off on a Friday night, the line-up includes Axis Of, Pocket Billiards, Black Dunes and Space Muffins, while on Saturday there is an all ages matinee show in the Cinema Room with Axis Of, Town Cried Wolf, Casper’s Friend and Little Big Box. For more details visit


Finally, I’ve just enough room to let you all know that the line-up for this year’s Pigstock festival has just been released. Taking place in Killinchy from June 1-3, the bash features the likes of (*deep breath*) Fighting with Wire, Jogging, More Than Conquerors, Gacys Threads, Mojo Fury, Silhouette, In Case Of Fire, Not Squares, Rarely Seen Above Ground, LaFaro and a shed-load more and it’s shaping up to be one of the must-see events this summer. Tickets range from £20-£35 (depending on how many days you want to go) and more info can be found here