News From The North Week 112 (Hot Press)

24 10 2012

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


Words: Edwin McFee

This issue I’m pleased to bring you news on the final line-up for the various music-based events at this year’s Culture Night Belfast, which has expanded faster than Axl Rose’s waistline since I last mentioned the bash in the previous issue. Taking place in the centre of the city on Friday Sep 21, the programme now includes Best Boy Grip, the Bonnevilles and Sons Of Caliber performing at the John Hewitt bar (from 6pm-10pm), an acoustic set from singer/songwriter David Paul at the Good Book Shop (from 7.30pm-9pm), Soak, Katherine Philippa and Ciaran Lavery appearing at St. Anne’s Cathedral (starting at 4.30pm) and Girls Names, Third Man Theme and Blue Whale playing the Oh Yeah Centre (7pm-1am) too. With magic shows, performance poetry, burlesque evenings, lindy hop events and a shed-load more all planned, this year’s Culture Night Belfast is shaping up to be the best yet and you can view the full line-up at


Next up, if you’re currently reading this latest missive clad in wellies, a rain coat and, erm, hopefully some sort of trouser/skirt combo and are yearning to go to one more festival before we all get smothered in the icy embrace of Jack Frost, then I bring you good news-a brand spanking new bash called GrassStock has just been launched and it takes place in Belfast on Oct 13 at the Haymarket Arcade and Hudson Bar. Specialising in Americana, bluegrass, roots and alt-country, some of the acts include Acoustic Dan & the Black Mountain River Dipsos, Wookalily and the Down and Out Bluegrass Band and for more details check out


Fresh from supporting Frightened Rabbit on their just finished Irish tour, those fine purveyors of outsider indie sounds Amidships continue their unstoppable rise to greatness this fortnight with news of an in-store show at Tower Records Dublin on Friday, Sep 28 at 7pm. The band, who has earned rave reviews in this very magazine, also play the G Sessions at the Cellar Bar, Draperstown on Sep 22 and the University of Ulster Students’ Union in Coleraine on Nov 2 and I’ll have more Amidships infortmation over the weeks to come (#Mysterious).


Finally this fortnight, at the time of writing the relatively new kids on the block My Sunday Hat has just unleashed their self-titled debut EP out into the wild. Comprising of three classic rock songs (the solo in ‘Cold Winter’ will make you want to air grab like your life depended on it) you can have a listen via so check it out.

News From The North Week 111 (Hot Press)

22 10 2012

Here’s a reprint of my NI music news column that runs every fortnight in Hot Press. Yes, there’s a back-log of these.Sozzles!


Words: Edwin McFee

By the time you get your grubby little hands on this latest issue, NI’s favourite sons Therapy? will have just finished unleashing their very own day of rockening at the Tall Ships in Dublin. Now, if you read that last sentence and are currently lamenting your decision not to visit Ireland’s capital to see the trio unleash hell itself in the form of barbed riffs and songs about James Joyce doing dirty things with Andy Cairns’ sister, then fret no more faithful readers, as it has literally just been announced at the time of writing that the boys will be playing a headline show in Belfast at the Empire Music Hall on October 4.


Topping the bill at the always ace Gifted Live extravaganzas, the gig will be the first time Therapy? have played in the venue since their near mythic date in 2000 and this full-on set should see airings of some of their new material from current LP A Brief Crack Of Light,so it’s shaping up to be a bit special. Also on the bill are Fighting With Wire, the Original Rudeboys, Silhouette, Jason Clarke and Robert Vincent and there will be special recorded appearances from Mojo Fury and more. Admission is a mere £10 and for more info check out See you down the front.


Next up, well thought of Bangor indie types Kowalski have bagged themselves the support slot on the Cast of Cheers’ upcoming Irish tour. Kicking off in Whelan’s, Dublin on Sep 19, the rest of the dates include Roisin Dubh, Galway (Sep 20) Dolan’s, Limerick (Sep 21), the Forum, Waterford (Sep 22), the Pavilion, Cork (Sep 23) and the Limelight, Belfast (Sep 24). The band will also be joining Two Door Cinema Club for seven dates on their European tour this November and for a full run down check out


The organisers behind the immense Belfast Culture Night have revealed some details on this year’s shin-dig (which takes place on Sep 21). The mighty Kasper Rosa, Eatenbybears and Parachutes Over Paris all play a sure to incendiary show at the Black Box in the city and to keep updated on the event visit


Finally this fortnight, news has just broken that the Answer have inked a deal with Napalm Records. Yes folks, the legendary home of all things loud and lairy now have Cormac and the boys in their stable and in a group statement they said:


“We’re very excited to be given this opportunity and can’t wait to get started. 2013 belongs to THE ANSWER…you heard it here first!”