News From The North Week 49

19 03 2010

Want some gossip about NI bands? You got it brah.


Words: Edwin McFee

This issue, we start things off with a bit of an appeal. However, unlike those adverts featuring scruffy dogs or those weird hairless cats that look a bit demented, this cause isn’t going to pull at your heart-strings quite as much (don’t worry though-it’s still as worthwhile in our book). You see, Belfast’s finest purveyors of heavy metal Standup Guy need your help to aid them in their quest for global domination. Not content with holding NI in their thrall, the riff aficionado’s are aiming to take over this year’s festivals too and thanks to a competition organised by Red Bull, the lads have the chance to play at the likes of Download and T in the Park. All you have to do to aid the group is go to this link and vote for them (it only takes 10seconds). Standup guy are currently writing their third album and we’ll bring you news on the slab of wax over the forth-coming weeks.

Good news for fans of Heliopause. The band have made their ace EP ’Let The Silence Go’ available for free via their bandcamp page ( and very good it is too. If you end up falling in love with the group after that (and of course why wouldn’t you?) you can also buy their ‘Moment Of Recognition’ single (and limited edition screen prints) as well as their ‘Dark Matter’ and ‘Acoustic In Berlin’ EPs as well and as all of the money goes directly to our heroes, we fully recommend you do so as soon as you can.

Congrats to the Kicks from Belfast who have just announced that they are through to the audition stage of Live and Unsigned (the UK’s biggest unsigned music completion, in case you didn’t already know). The band beat hundreds of other entries to qualify for the event and will be playing live in front of a judging panel (as well as a few thousand punters) in a bid to perform at the Live and Unsigned festival at the 02 in London. For more information on the four-piece check out

Finally this fortnight, news reaches us that everyone’s favourite hard to pin down rebel rousers the Tin Pot Operation are due to enter the studio this month to start work on album number three. The group (now augmented by the addition of mandolin player Daithi) are returning to their old stomping grounds of the Blueroom to start work on the much anticipated opus and if it’s anything like their second album ‘Human Resources’ then we’re all in for a treat.

News From The North Week 47

8 02 2010

Would you believe this week marks the 2nd birthday of my NI band news column in Hot Press? Mad, isn’t it? Two years on and I’m pleased to report that bands from my neck of the woods are starting to get the recognition/breaks they deserve and I’m still as fired up about writing about them as I ever was. This fortnight’s issue of Hot Press is out on Thursday, so here’s last issue’s piece.

Support your scene. Cynicism is for dicks and rich kids.


Words: Edwin McFee

This fortnight has been mostly spent recalling the heady days of summer 2009 and more importantly the local band love-in that was Glasgowbury. Why is that we hear you cry? Well this week we’ve received word from the organisers that they’re now accepting submissions to take part in this year’s festival. If you’re in a band and want to feature on the bill, then post out a press pack (including an up to date biog and CD) to Glasgowbury Music Group, Unit B1, the Business Centre, Tobermore Road, Draperstown, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland BT45 7AG. We don’t know about you, but we’re looking forward to revisiting the noodle bar that ran out of noodles and the always entertaining campsite already.

Congrats to And So I Watch You From Afar and the Duckworth Lewis Method who have made the shortlist for the Choice Music Prize. While this writer feels that there should be a few more NI names on that list apart from the customary token few, it’s always nice to see hard working bands get some recognition. The live show takes place on March 3 in Vicar Street and we’d like to wish everyone good luck.

Fancy yourself as the next Steve Harris, Phil Lynott or even, er, yer man from the Jonas Brothers who sometimes plays an instrument onstage? Well, you might just be in luck this month as Delirium Tremens are on the hunt for a new bass player. Eager the fill the hole left by DT’s mainstay Brian, the band are urging anyone with an appetite for destruction (and by destruction we mean good old fashioned alternative rock) to email if they want the gig.  

Comply or Die have made a video for their thunderous track ‘Love Under Will.’ The clip, which was directed by Ron from the Black Bear Saloon (more on him in a minute) features enough fake blood to give Rob Zombie himself the willies and you can view it here- Comply or Die also have a shed-load of dates coming up so check out their website to see if they’re playing in your town, village or mud hut.

Finally, as most of you already know-a huge earthquake decimated Haiti recently. Keen to do their bit, the NI music scene have banned together for a gig on January 31. Organized by Ron from the Black Bear Saloon, Anto from Tin Pot Operation and John from Bruised Fruit, it features 50bands including the Answer and General Fiasco. For more information take a look at the HP news section and for up to the minute info click on