The Middle East-‘Blood’

27 08 2012

To quote the poet(!) that is Rihanna, last week was “totes cray-cray.”

Had a ridiculously good time at the T-Vital gigs and the Tall Ships with Therapy? in Dublin was a class day out full of Black Milk and big riffs.

Today,needless to say, is a bit of a fuckin’ slog as a result. This tune is helping heaps though.

News From The North Week 107

9 08 2012

Here’s a reprint of my NI music news column that runs every fortnight in Hot Press.


Words: Edwin McFee

In just a few days time, the lion’s share of regular readers of this column will no doubt be preparing to straddle the Sperrin Mountains in Co. Derry and break themselves off a piece of metaphorical rock ‘n’ roll action at the Glasgowbury festival. Featuring a bill consisting of some of this island’s brightest and best acts, the bash will be headlined by Therapy? and just recently the Larne/Ballyclare-born boys revealed that they will be debuting a slightly altered line-up for the July 21 event. Yes readers, standing in (temporarily, mind) for long-term tub thumper Neil Cooper is Alan Lynn, who you may remember beats the shit out of things for those riff-laden berserkers LaFaro.


A few days ago I caught up with bassist Michael McKeegan and he explained the situation:


“I suppose the biggest bit of news is that Alan from LaFaro will be drumming with us!” offered the Evil Priest. “Neil’s had to sit out a few shows due to a longstanding family commitment so (with Neil’s help and LaFaro’s blessing) we head-hunted the best young drummer around to fill in. We’ve been rehearsing and it sounds fantastic, he definitely will be doing the songs justice. Aim to maim…that’s the plan.”


So there you have it folks. If you’re making the trip to Draperstown you’ll be witnessing a wee bit of history and if you’re not going, well…consider me very disappointed in your actions. For more info visit See you down the front.


Next up, sticking with open air-based events, I’m particularly pleased to tell you that there has been a raft of NI additions (well, seven…) to the line-up for Electric Picnic. Leading the charge are festival stalwarts Rams’ Pocket Radio, Fighting with Wire, LaFaro, Mojo Fury, Axis Of and Master & Dog and rounding off the list are the utterly incendiary rap/punk hooligans Bomb City 7, who will no doubt steal the show at the shin-dig. The quintet of turns will play the Oxjam Wigwam and personally I think it’s only a matter of time before BC7 members Brendy and Kev play similar stages with their other projects Bee Mick See and Empty Lungs too.


Finally, I’ve just enough room to let you know the organisers of the annual Hard Working Class Heroes are on the lookout for acts to play at this year’s event (which takes place on Oct 4-6 across six different venues in Dublin). If you want to take part all you have to do is visit for more details. The closing date for submissions is July 26. You have been warned…

Blink 182 Belfast Review

8 08 2012

Here’s a reprint of my review of the Blink 182 Belfast gig that ran in Hot Press.

Piccy by Ramsey Cardy (

Blink 182 at the Odyssey, Belfast

After surviving plane crashes, in-band bust ups and the decade that is now, somewhat baffling, referred to as “the noughties,” pop punks Blink 182 finally make their way to Belfast tonight for their first ever show. One of the heavy hitters in the so-called second wave of punk rock, the trio have succeeded in turning their recent frowns upside down thanks to their successful reunion in ’09 and these days they are once again embraced by stadiums across the globe with the same sort of passion that Jim from American Pie reserves for baked goods.

Opening with the frenetic ‘Feeling This,’ the near capacity crowd go ape-shit for the opening salvo of ‘Up All Night’ and ‘The Rock Show’ and while this writer usually prefers a lot more snot in his punk rock (trust me, it’s not as disgusting as it sounds), it’s hard not to break out my invisible pogo stick when they kick into ‘What’s My Age Again?’ Speaking of “pogo sticks,” the boys, as expected, deliver all the required puerile jokes you’d imagine and even the notorious sourpuss that is guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge happily offers scripted jokes and gentlemans’ Johnsons and it seems to push all the right buttons for the faithful.

Hits old and new are all aired tonight and sonically, the trio are as tight as they come. ‘I Miss You’ and ‘First Date’ are particular highlights and the Laurel and Hardy like double act of bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus and Delonge certainly induce the odd grin or three with the former acting like the best mate Belfast never had, while the latter gamely charms the gaggle of girls down the front who are all looking for a tickle on his love truncheon (see-they’ve got me making these types of references now too…).

Ill-advised drum solos and silly willy jokes aside, Blink 182 have matured (if ever so slightly) into a bona fide stadium straddling rock group and this evening NI’s capital got to witness a slick and polished show by a band back to their best and if you can’t enjoy the genius that is ‘Dammit’ then frankly that’s your loss.


Hot Water Music ‘State Of Grace’

6 08 2012

Two words: Fuck Yeah!

Maiden Room

3 08 2012

When I was 8 I wanted to live in a house that had an Iron Maiden room.Here’s 5% of my collection.Dreams can come true kids.Up the Irons!

One of these days I’ll get my full collection together and documented…That’ll be exciting for you all, eh?