News From The North Week 114

28 11 2012

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


Words: Edwin McFee      


As it’s that time of year where seeing ghoulies on every street corner is a common occurrence (steady now) this issue your humble correspondent has decided to kick off my latest missive with some news about a suitably spooktacular Hallowe’en hootenanny happening in Auntie Annie’s, Belfast on All Hallows’ Eve. Featuring a line-up full of some of the north’s most loveable misfits, the monster bash is headlined by those hell-raising head the balls Mental Deficiency and also on the bill (at the time of writing) are newly formed horror punks Little Miss Stakes, underground rap anti-hero/bikini-brief wearing deviant Roysta, sleaze rockers Filthy Angels and the Unprotected. There will be various tricks and indeed treats all night too and some Samhain-based sounds through the night courtesy of DJ Tramp Corpse and the cover charge for Shizznigh Presents Halloweeny is a mere £5.                                 

Next up, I’ve got some good news and bad news for you all. Word reaches us of the sad demise of two of the north’s most consistent bands-namely In Case Of Fire and Swanee River. In a statement issued on their Facebook site, ICOF mainman Steve said: “I’ve loved every second of being in ICOF. It’s been an amazing seven years, but the time feels right to bring it to an end. Thanks so much to every single person that bought/downloaded our music, came to a gig and spread the word about our band-it was because of you that we got to do what we love and for that I am truly thankful.”


While Swanee River posted: “Yes folks the rumours are true…Swanee River are closing business…for good. It’s a very sad time for the entire band; however there have been a number of factors contributing to this decision. Some factors were internal band tensions and others were external, though they are totally irrelevant now! In any case we are all very gutted and feel bad for our fans who have supported us continually. I personally have given everything in these last eight years, though now it is time to realise when to walk away.”

Keep your peepers peeled here for further info on what happens next for the members of both groups.


And now the good news, the mighty Here Comes The Landed Gentry have reformed. Yes readers, one of Derry’s best bands are coming out of retirement to play two charity shows (Oct 18, Sandino’s, Derry and Oct 20, the Cellar Bar, Draperstown) so if you’ve never seen the gin-soaked blues-roll boogie woogie merchants now’s your chance. Spoiler alert: they’re fucking awesome.

News From The North Week 52

26 04 2010

Here’s the NI band news from the previous issue of Hot Press. Enjoy.


Words: Edwin McFee

By the time you read this, the Beat Poets will be just back from South by Southwest and are currently gearing up to release their superb new single ‘One By One’ on April 19 via all major download sites. Last month we had a sneaky listen to the track and it’s definitely one of the boys’ best, making us even more eager to get a hold of their debut record once they put the finishing touches to it. The band have just confirmed dates at the Square Peg, Warrenpoint (April 17) and the Spring and Airbrake, Belfast (April 23) and are also playing alongside the Saw Doctors and General Fiasco at the Lark in the Park, Moira (May 1) too. For more Beat Poets action check out

Remember last fortnight we were moaning about not receiving a copy of the LaFaro album? Well, while we’re still sans their debut slab of wax, we can reveal that they’ve announced more tour dates, which is great news if you didn’t manage to snag a ticket for their launch on April 26 in the Menagerie in Belfast. The new dates are April 27 at the Menagerie and May 16 at the INF in Warrenpoint and we’re sure there’s more to follow in the coming weeks.

 Good news for anyone thinking about going to the Pigstock festival in Killinchy. While original headliners LaFaro have sadly had to pull out due to touring commitments, A Plastic Rose have stepped in to close proceedings. Taking place on May 29, the bash also features the likes of Swanee River, Pocket Billiards, Mojo Fury, the Lowly Knights, Gentry Morris and more on the bill and it looks like it’s should be a great day out. Tickets cost £20 and are available from the official website

News from the North week 45

2 12 2009

This fortnight’s Hot Press is on the stands now so here’s a reprint of the previous issue’s NI bands column!


Words: Edwin McFee

On November 30, one of NI’s most promising acts the Beat Poets release their new EP ‘The Making’ via all major download sites and their official online store ( The four track opus is currently played by U105fm and sees the four-piece from Warrenpoint showcase a softer side than we’ve seen before, opting to take their foot off gas for just a moment. The title track is a corker with the (slight) change in direction a welcome one and we heartily recommend you pick it up. The boys are also gearing up for the release of the debut album which comes out next year and features Greg (Manic Street Preachers) Haver, Dave (Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder) Way and Neal (The Answer, Fighting with Wire) Calderwood on knob twiddling duties and this writer for one can’t wait. On December 3 the band will also headline a special, one off showcase at the Spring and Airbrake in Belfast that aims to promote the best of the Newry/Warrenpoint music scene and the lineup features Ozzmium, Forgetting June, Indy Artworx, This Year’s Black and LTR and admission is only £6 so make sure you head down to support them all. Rumours of free Friar Tuck’s snack boxes and Timoney’s ice cream for those who turn up wearing Beat Poets t shirts have yet to be confirmed from the organisers at the time of going to press…

 Fancy the chance to support the high kings of indie synth pop Oppenheimer for their all ages show at the Spring and Airbrake this December 19? Well, all you have to do is email with your band’s details and some MP3’s before November 30 and you could be the lucky winner. The only stipulation Oppenheimer have put in place is that your group must be in their teens, so if you’re in your 30s we advise that you shave off those beards, buy some guy-liner and pretend you’ve had a tough life. Don’t worry, Hot Press has your back. The winner will be announced on December 1 so good luck.

Congrats to local rockers Swanee River who have bagged the much coveted support slot for the Answer’s Ulster Hall gig on December 14. The band kicked more ass than Jean Claude Van Damme at this year’s Glasgowbury so if you’re planning to go to the show make sure you get down early to see them. Tickets for the Answer’s homecoming gig are selling fast, but there are still a few left and you can get your mitts on one for £17 courtesy of Ticketmaster. We’re already dusting down our leather jacket in anticipation.