News From The North 115

10 12 2012

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


Words: Edwin McFee


You know what makes your humble correspondent a considerably contented wee bunny these days? It’s seeing some of NI’s best bands and artists spread their wings and book tours that take in the length and breadth of the island. While in the past a considerable number of acts (usually based in Belfast) always appeared reluctant to cross the border (and by “reluctant” I mean they never bothered their holes leaving whatever town they lived in) the last few years have seen things slowly start to change and let’s face it-that can only be a good thing for both the performers and their audiences alike.


One such band who have been steadily building up a fan-base all over Ireland are the life-affirming Empty Lungs and they bring their brand of righteous rock to the great unwashed all over the country this month for a tour and here’s the dates for your diary. Kicking off on Nov 1 at the Blind Pig, Limerick, the band play the Workman’s Club, Dublin on Nov 2, the Office, Limerick on Nov 13, Roisin Dubh in Galway on Nov 14, TBC in TBC on Nov 15 (I love that place!), Emmet’s Bar, Ballina on Nov 16, Whelan’s in Dublin on Nov 17 and the Crane Lane Theatre in Cork on Dec 4.


Not to be out-done, the mighty rock ‘n’ roll killing machine that are Gascan Ruckus also embark on a tour and dates include (deep breath) the Blind Pig in Limerick on Nov 1, the Workman’s Club in Dublin on Nov 2, the Roisin Dubh in Galway on Nov 3, the Piper Inn in Clonmel on Nov 9, Whelan’s, Dublin on Nov 10, the Top of the Town, Omagh on Nov 16, the Nerve Centre, Derry on Nov 30, the Crane Lane, Cork on Nov 12 and the Limelight, Belfast on Dec 21. The boys have also just released their ace new EP ‘Buddies’ and you can download the thunderous offering here


Finally this fortnight, alt pop sensations Runaway Go also have a huge whup-ass Irish tour in the works and you can catch them at the Workman’s Club, Dublin (Nov 2), Penny Lane Cashel, Tipperary (Nov 3), Whelan’s, Dublin (Nov 9), Monroe’s, Galway (Nov 23), Dolan’s, Limerick (Nov 27), the Crane Lane, Cork ( Nov 28), K2, Nenagh, Tipperary (Nov 30) and the Hole In The Wall, Kilkenny (Dec 1). For more info on the massively promising bunch visit


All three tours are booked in conjunction with Youth Of A Nation Promotions and you can keep up to date with them on Twitter @YOANPromotions. #MoreOfThisSortOfThing

News From The North Week 105

14 07 2012

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


Words: Edwin McFee

By the time you read this latest missive, Co. Armagh’s kings of sledge-hammer rock Gascan Ruckus will have released their ace new single ‘Pieces’ out into the wild. Calling to mind the likes of bruisers such as the Bronx and Hot Snakes, the quartet have built up a live show that’s as ferocious as a badger that’s been booted in the balls and their latest slice of recorded sonic thuggery stands as some of their finest work yet, so pick up a copy via their Band Camp page pronto ( In the meantime check out the new, “one for the ladies” themed video for ‘Pieces’ here


Next up, the line-up for this year’s Tanglewood Festival has just been announced and it’s a doozey (if you pardon the children’s TV presenter-esque phrase). Taking place at Narrow Water Castle (which is midway between Newry and Warrenpoint geography fans) the event returns for a second year and the fun starts bright and early on Saturday, August 4. Boasting a line-up of over 50 acts, the bash features the likes of Silhouette, Dead ‘Til Friday, Aslan and Runaway Go and entry is £20. With comedy shows, burlesque performances, plays and more also planned to happen across their many stages, it looks like a good day out and for further info visit


Keeping proceedings in a festival-vein, June 16 sees the return of the Junk Yard festival in the Tunnel Bar, Portadown. Headlined by well thought of reggae type Natty Wailer, homegrown acts such as Trucker Diablo, the previous mentioned Gascan Ruckus, Wookalily, Microlip and more are on the bill and you can purchase tickets (which, at the time of going to press are TBC) from all Ticketmaster outlets.


Next, I thought I’d turn your attention to a new EP that came out at the start of the year which was tellingly titled ‘Rock Road’ by Belfast-based trio Tric. Full of swaggering, skyscraper-sized blues-influenced raunch ‘n’ roll, the record is full of tales of scandalous behaviour (‘Virgin On The Verge,’ ‘M.I.L.F.’) and it’s all delivered with vocals which channel the late, great Bon Scott courtesy of singer Dale Hunter. If you’re a fan of Rose Tattoo, Acca Dacca and Airbourne then you should check them out


Finally, I’ve just enough room to list some of the latest additions for Glasgowbury in Eagle’s Rock, Co., Derry. Joining headliners Therapy? are Mojo GoGo, Intermission, Droids plus a shedload more and for a complete list of the acts taking place on July 21 visit