I find my weary mortal-remains once again in the architecturally-delightful metropolis of Edinburgh, which is a city that puts me in mind of a cleaner, slightly-modernised  version of Ankh-Morpork. A city which is the polar opposite of its unruly neighbour Glasgow. Scruffy charisma vs. opulent ostentatiousness. Medieval lanes vs shady back alleys. Cliques vs overly-friendly drunks. And NEDs vs… Well, NEDs with more intimidating accents. I prefer Glasgow, that’s why I live there, but Edinburgh is not without its charm. I’d probably feel more at home in Edinburgh out in the surrounding areas, the rough parts, where everyone but junkies fear to tread. That’s more my kind of scene… I prefer Glasgow to Edinburgh for the same reason I prefer jakey old man pubs to yuppie wine bars.

I’m up here to see The Howling Lords and to meet a band who have been on my radar a few times but who I haven’t experienced yet; Jack Rabbit Slams (a cool name is always a good start for any band!). They’re playing in Bannerman’s Bar as part of the The Howling Lords’ ‘Texas Medicine’ tour, for the album of the same name; a fantastic album, you can find my review of it here: https://www.newhellfireclub.co.uk/news/2018/11/5/the-howling-lords-texas-medicine-album-review-c-t-herron

After circumnavigating the streets of Edinburgh which twist like entrails in the guts of the city; over vaults and tunnels, we arrive, quite high on potent marijuana and slightly tipsy on Stormy Cloudy Apple Strongbow, at the designated den of iniquity. Not being too familiar with this bit of Edinburgh, I don’t know what to expect at the venue Bannerman’s, and so when we arrive at a cosy little bar to find four dishevelled figures crammed into a corner poking each other with their instruments and trying (not unsuccessfully) to do a folksy version of a Ziggy Stardust song to a small disinterested crowd of onlookers we assume this is the gig and settle in…

After purchasing social-lubricants (meads, which they warmed by plunging a hot poker in) and settling in to watch the performance, with no sign of those damned Stornaway Vikings anywhere, our marijuana-laced minds became relaxed in the small confines of the wee bar, listening to the jangling of confused instruments, until Felix eventually materialised out of a side portal wearing a leather hood and carrying a large crossbow…

And now, armed with a guide to lead me through the archways and hidden rooms of the building, I realise I have mistaken this establishment for being a tiny little bar when in fact it’s a sprawling complex of interlocking buildings that houses a lounge, a gig room, and even an upstairs accommodation for the bands playing, and god-knows-what-else, probably a scullery and a stable! It’s not unlike a village inn you might find in Game of Thrones, just replace the swords with mobile phones and you’re there. What I mean is, Bannerman’s has a look and feel to it like it may once have been a medieval inn, filled with swordsman and serving wenches and peasants and cutthroats.

Carrying our brimming flagons of mead, and sidestepping a few dwarves playing some sort of game that involves throwing daggers into the wall, Felix shows us to upstairs; a winding staircase that leads up to what looks like a squatter’s flat, and is really, seeing as it’s given over to musicians; you know what musicians are like! There was women and whiskey and drugs strewn everywhere, actually not so much the drugs, well not strewn anyway, so I provided my own by rolling a blunt and sitting on the windowsill to smoke it, looking out at the jagged, smoky, hodgepodge rooftops of Auld Reekie.

After my joint I was introduced to a handsome bunch of rockers, and this was Jack Rabbit Slams; cutting a fine figure they sat down on a battered couch, Sean, Archie and Rob, and I sat on the well-worn coffee table and fired up the old Dictaphone; this is what happened next:  


GONZO DIV: So how long have you been a band?

ROB (guitar/vocs): Just under three years, I started jamming with Sean first, and then it took us like an age to find a bassplayer, er for whatever reason it just took absolute ages and ages and ages, nobody seemed to play bass in the whole central belt of Scotland…

NHC: It’s really strange that, it seems to be a prevalent problem among bands!?

ROB: Aye, I dunno’, it just seemed to take like ages and ages to even get a reply, ended up Chris came and joined, but he’s actually just left us the now, nu’hin bad happened, just one o’ they things, we decided to part ways. So Archie’s jumped-in and replaced him, three weeks’ notice man, learned a full album’s worth o’ songs, fuck!

NHC: So why is it so hard to find a bassplayer Archie?

ARCHIE (bass): Easy way to put it; my dad’s been playing bass for years and every time he goes to the toilet someone’ll come up to him and tell him his band’s really class, or you were really good up there, and he’d be like ‘I’m not on stage for another fifteen minutes!’ So that’s why, cos’ no-one gives a shit about the bassplayer.

NHC: Maybe it takes a special, rare breed of demented human to play bass…

ARCHIE: You don’t wanna’ be seen in the spotlight…

SEAN (drums): Everyone’s wantin’ to be a guitar-player innit’, cos’ it’s cool.

NHC: Aye, showing off! So Jack Rabbit Slams, is that a reference to Pulp Fiction?

ROB: Ha! Aye, and naw… Er, we kept tryin’ to think o’ names and er, every time you try n’ name a band every name just sounds shite. If ye’ think o’ big bands now, like The Beatles, the first one that said ‘let’s be called The Beatles’…

NHC: The Beatles is a shite name, it’s not even a good play-on-words…

ROB: I know aye, it’s a mince name, but we were hitting about with loadsa’ ideas n’that and I actually thought the restaurant in Pulp Fiction was called Jack Rabbit Slams, but it’s actually Jack Rabbit Slims…

NHC: Haha, so that play-on-words was a mistake!

ROB: Aye and I put out all the posters and realised we’d misspelled it, but it actually worked out better cos’ on Youtube there’s lotsa’ videos for Jack Rabbit Slims, but we’re the only ones that come up for Jack Rabbit Slams…

NHC: And I thought it was like a play-on-words like a heavy-rocking band with a nod to Pulp Fiction’s dance scene! So speaking of heavy-rocking, what do you describe yourselves as, cos’ I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing you yet, judging by the sound-check I heard, are you stoner rock, psychedelic metal…?

ROB: Er naw man, just like… [long pause]…

NHC: Rock & roll?


SEAN: Hard rock

ROB: Aye, high-energy rock, we’ve no really got any slow songs, sleazy rock & roll, sleazy, anytime we’ve been reviewed the word sleazy comes up. Dirty and sleazy, that’s the two words that always come up in reviews.

NHC: Grimy, grungy, unctuous. Any upcoming gigs or albums you wanna’ promote?

ROB: Aye, everything man, we’ve got an album called ‘Crackerjack’ which comes out in June, the first single will be coming out in the middle of May, we’ve got a video coming out for it, we’ve got merch; t-shirts, badges, everything, we’ve been really hard at work…

NHC: Have you got a website or is it just the social media? Stupid question really, who has a website these days!? When do you ever go on a band’s actual website!?

ROB: Aye, well we just finished the album and we were thinkin’ o’ different ways to promote it and obviously you’ve gotta’ have social media, although it should be about the tunes, not the likes and shares and that, but you can’t fight against social media, it’s impossible…

NHC: It depends how you use it, if you use it negatively, you can go on stuff you don’t like and moan about it, or you can go on stuff you actually like and promote it and spread positivity…

ROB: That’s it man, but you feel ever-so-slightly cheap having to go on Facebook and that and having to beg to promote your posts…

NHC: Ok, if I switched all your instruments to the left, would you still be able to function as a band?

ROB: Errrrm, naw! Haha!

SEAN: I can’t play bass or guitar or sing, so I’d be fucked…

ROB: Aw man the singing, holy shit…

NHC: So the band would collapse…

ROB: On the first EP we wanted Sean to do backing vocals for one chorus and er, it was…

SEAN: Autotune couldn’t even fix it

ROB: Aye, I’m no having a go at ye’ this is just genuine fact, it was fucking horrendous, cos’ he didn’t have anything to dae’ with his hands, he was just standing all nervous and we’re like “what ye’ daein’” n’ he’s like “what do I dae” and we’re like “just fucking stand and sing!” Like four notes or something like that, it just wisnae’ happenin’. I had to go and get my wee brother and get him to come through from fucking Glasgow just to record one line!

NHC: Okay, final question; the apocalypse is definitely coming, how do you think it’s gonna’ happen?

ROB: Ooft, well, it could be a zombie apocalypse…

NHC: You really think there’s gonna’ be a zombie apocalypse!?

ROB: It was actually just a ruthless plug for our video, which is zombie-themed, which’ll be coming out with the single in May.

NHC: That question was a good segue then! Sean, how do you think the world’s gonna’ end?

SEAN: Probably robots isn’t it, artificial intelligence, it’s slowly happening now, slowly but surely…

ROB: Skynet!

NHC: People say we’re starting to be infiltrated by AI but they don’t realise Google is technically AI and we’ve been using that for decades!

ROB: I’m prepared man cos’ I have watched The Terminator series maire’ times than any human on Earth…

NHC: And what valuable wisdom did you glean from that? The only way to kill it is to dip it in molten steel?

ROB: I’m the real John Connor, yiz’ are all laughin’ noo but I’m the real John Connor!

NHC: You look like the real life John Connor, you’ve got a post-apocalyptic vibe! How do you think the world’s gonna’ end Archie?

ARCHIE: North Korea man.

NHC: Good answer.

ROB: Fuck, you been reading the Daily Mail again!?

NHC: Ebola spiders coming from North Korea disguised as Muslims, that’s the kinda’ headlines you get in the Daily Mail.

ROB: Aye, I want to change my answer to that actually.

NHC: Yours was the most far-fetched I think, Archie and Sean were on-the-button. It could just be the flu; “A message sent to other worlds will say it’s ‘just the flu’”

ROB: Something needs to be done, the maire’ times I watch ‘Infinity War’ the maire’ I’m on Thanos’ side, know what I mean…

The conversation took a dark, sinister, controversial turn after that, and I’m knackered from scribing, so we’ll leave it there…

Except to say, that afterwards Jack Rabbit Slams absolutely fucking blew me away from the spot I was standing on! Call it stoner rock, psychedelic metal, hardcore rock & roll, high-octane rock, bluesy-grunge, cosmic chaos, call it all those things; call it what you like, but it’s fucking impressive! Bands with leporids in their name are always good, like the seldom-seen Bastard Killed My Rabbit, The Frightened Rabbits, Echo & The Bunnymen etc. and now Jack Rabbit Slams.

One of my best live experiences of 2019 so far (and I’m writing this in June). Their sound was very much in the vein of Kyuss, Clutch or QOTSA. If you like your rock music with a bit of testicular fortitude I suggest you get out and see them. I was absolutely astonished by the drumming, which put me in mind of Travis Barker a lot. I haven’t used the word sleazy to describe the band once, and if you were to consult the thesaurus for alternatives to the word sleazy you would find that none of them are very complimentary anyway.


The Howling Lords were, of course, married finely to JRS with their own style of hard-hitting-blues-viking-rock! The two bands complimented each other well, and left my ears suitably-ringing.  Although the release of this article was delayed the timing has actually worked out well as JRS are about to drop their new video for the single from the forthcoming album, ‘Crackerjack’. And I have a feeling it’s going to be a very, very good album, maybe even a contender for local album of 2019! A real flagship album for Scotland’s heavy-rock scene no doubt. Check out the teaser for it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNxUQ_DjjJ0 and its due release is 14/06. A definite band to watch!

                                                                     Seeya’ in the world-famous Jack Rabbit Slams’ Twist Contest! 

C.T Herron (Gonzo Div.)

Rotten Core - Turning Pre-Loved Items Into New To Love Art

We had a chat with one of the amazing local artists we stock at our NHC shop, sitting within the confines of The Ice Box Arts And Music Centre about the work they do, the art the create, and what the future may hold for them. Check out the chat below then be sure to visit their Facebook page and website, as they have some amazing, and unique works of art to share with you!

Can you tell us a bit about what made you choose your specific style of artwork? Especially the use of old cd's and records as a medium?

I was always the arty kid growing up but it was through music that I really discovered the world I wanted to be a part of. Typical emo kid, spending all my Saturday-job money on cds and band t-shirts, it didn’t take me long to discover Alex Pardee, Dan Mumford, Shepard Fairey; incredible artists whose work in no way reflected the things I was being taught in my art education. Their work was fresh, bold, uninhibited and plastered all over the album covers of my favourite bands. They were exactly what I’d been looking for; where tutors told me ‘no you can’t’ their work screamed ‘do it!’ I’m not sure if I have a solid style yet but those guys definitely gave me the assurance I needed to work in my own way.

Using unwanted, unusable CDs and records as a medium came about quite unintentionally but actually seems to be the perfect fit for combining my love of art and music. Like a lot of creatives, I’m a terrible hoarder and becoming more conscious about my impact on the planet and wanting to reduce waste has only made me more obsessed with holding onto things ‘that’ll be useful one day’. Years ago, I came across 1000’s of unwanted vinyl records being sold off cheaply and knew I needed to save them before they ended up in landfill. (Don’t worry, I don’t paint over anything special!) Creatively I’m happiest when I’ve got a scalpel in one hand and a spray can in the other but I’d never really brought those skills into my commercial work. I was holding onto all these puzzle pieces for years and not putting them together then last year my Broken Records just happened. They’re my favourite thing to work on and having to work quickly and spontaneously painting them is a great release after hours of meticulous, controlled design work.

What would you say to other artists wanting to throw themselves into their work, any words of encouragement, or words of warning, you would share with your younger self if you could?

Oh man, so many cliché quotes spring to mind! If it’s something you love, you really will make it happen. If someone tells you you can’t, they’re just another hurdle to pass on your journey. Don’t let anyone stand in your way- they will try.

Early-on I pushed myself to discover lots of artists, not just the few they teach you about in school and I think it’s one of the things that’s helped me most. You can learn a lot about art and about yourself by studying the work of others and at the same time, you get to look at really beautiful art!

Also think about the sort of community you want to create and be part of. I spent years being taught that everyone else was my competition and I had to be better than them, it wasn’t good advice. The creative world becomes a lot more beautiful when we come together, collaborate, share; I wish I’d known that sooner.

Being enthusiastic is great but making a living as an artist is definitely hard work and anyone thinking of taking the leap should do their research first. I’ve had a lot of struggles since launching Rotten Core but even on my darkest days there’s nothing I would change about the journey I’ve had so far. Every lousy thing that happens really does make you stronger. Oh, and always get everything in writing, that advice will save you one day!

What is next for Rotten Core then as a brand? Do you ever see yourself opening up a shop, or a dedicated art space / studio?

How long have you got? I have a new business plan every other day! I think I’m a long way off having my own shop but it’s definitely on the list. As a brand, I would love Rotten Core to be doing more to inspire and impassion people to get outside, discover how incredibly magical the natural world is and do more to live kindly. I’d like to involve more screen printing in my work and I’d love my product range to all have eco/ethical credentials by the end of the year. I have a lot of grand plans involving t-shirts which I hope will come to fruition soon. My motto is ‘make pretty things and change the world’. I’ve made some pretty things so I guess it’s time to start on the changing the world part.



Culann Chapter 2: The Launch Of The Great Ecumene - Will Johnston




A year ago or so, maybe it was longer now (forgive me for my vague recollection traveller, my mind is not what it once was) a familiar faced messenger came to the mountain where I had chosen my solace to bring news of a gathering of utmost importance. In deepest regard and highest respect I adorned the enigmatic fabled Mind Sweeper shirt once more, dusted off the red leather jacket and followed the path home in an epic pilgrimage to be reunited with The Gonzo Division & Culann at one of Glasgow's original alternative music venues – The 13th Note. This marked the return of brethren who had parted ways over several years, however, what ensued that night became a mythic tale of forgotten folklore in local circles, strewn among mist and heather in winds no man has yet ruined, casting shadows among stories like woodland fog in sunshine in air so fresh your lungs would feel they were finally free of the burden of holding you to life.


If you will, please allow me stranger, to shine a light on some recollections in mind from that encounter and the meaning associated with this rare forging of kinship between us...


Culann have a strong following of adoring loyal fans and for those who are in the dark, walk towards the light and you might find The Gonzo Division in the pit, right before the band. These guys won The Best Alt Rock Band in Scotland for a reason. They are of a musicianship and kinship rarely seen and have worked hard to get where they are and to keep pushing their music. Get behind them and let's all push and see how far this boat goes out coz I feel like this one is going to dwarf 'The Jahre Viking'...


 I was particularly inspired by the words of 'Evonium', chiefly, the final verse with it's indelible starkness and poignantly definitive connection with me after everything I had been through, clarity after many years of blurred vision and misguidance, now finding that direction, that focus and determination and courage to define the path ahead with a deeper sense of empathy...

Now I understand, it’s all because I’m from Evonium. Now it’s in my hands...

            The greatness past, fuels greatness not yet done that’s still to come...


We now stood once again united with half of Ayrshire in Audio Glasgow to bear witness to the launch of The Great Ecumene. This was the official release of the 2nd album nearly 6 years on from Culann's debut self title which marked the official beginnings of The Gonzo Division as it is now. When Culann play live I disappear in my mind to other worldly places, it is an esteemed privilege for me to be a conduit in writing and promotional affairs between the band and the people who follow them. Harmony of this persuasion in terms of timing, involvement, achievements and in terms of abundance is scarce, a rarity of a somewhat epic magnitude. Rather than deconstruct the band's live performance in a textbook template – mechanically standard journalistic fashion, I will instead instead allow you to enter my mind and take an introspective view of the experience itself through my eyes...



Stirring in the soul's vibrations as the music's harmonies envelope the mind with an ancient sense of valour, courage, beautifully intricate art, hard graft and heavy industry. Changing times meet fleeting ebbing tides where fine lines merge rolling green hills atop heather covered moorlands, sinkholes and crags in mist and rain, and sun and wind. Fishermen piloting trawlers out to sea by the Firth with a cloud of Gulls in tow. Mountains towering into the skies like the black teeth of a gigantic beast's mouth. Rivers surging through glens and gorges to piers and jetties and iron stone mounted moorings all tarnished by time. The settling clarity of the sea air and thoughts of generations of families of sea faring explorers, clansmen and kinsmen and strangers alike. Open hearted, open minded and open armed people despite being battled hardened, weather beaten and fighting for survival on the edge of the world. In all the inns and taverns, pubs and free houses along the coast - while all of our brothers and sisters found their hearts in homes across the lands and spread and mingled and changed - the shore bound dwellers remained, and somehow retained a raw imprint of their forefathers. Still of an ilk of silk and chalk story tellers, singers, musicians and jokers, soldiers and farmers, tradesmen and women all as cast iron in stature as they ever were. It is a place steeped in history and folklore and one of which being the story of the lost city of Evonium... No one can say for sure where Evonium was truly located but A.J Morton's thoughts on Irvine in Ayrshire really fits the bill and given that the name itself Irvine has changed many times from Erewyn, Ervin and Erevine which also has it's ties to Erin, Eire from early Irish Pirates who had made crossings between Ireland and Scotland finally settling opting for a strong agricultural link between both lands. The people of Ayrshire have endured much throughout its two thousand or so year old history, which is vastly enamoured with some of the greatest minds the world has known. From The Bard – Rabbie Burns our world famous Poet, to Robert The Bruce – King of Scots, to Nicola Sturgeon – First Minister of Scotland, to John Dunlop – inventor of the pneumatic tyre, to John MacAdam – inventor of Tarmac roads, to John Boyd Orr – Winner of the Nobel Prize, to Alexander Fleming – inventor of Penicillin, to PJ Kelly, Sean Kelly, Greg Irish, Calum Davis & Ross McCluskie who founded Ayrshire's Finest Export – Culann...


 We are as much a part of that heritage as they are. We are all here creating and sharing, exploring, learning, defending and pushing boundaries - as far as we can push the boat out. We have fought long and hard in the freezing cold, we fought on through the blistering heat, torrential monsoons over mud and rock pouring blood, sweat and tears into our own battles amidst this collective ongoing war we must all participate in. Each in our own experiences, struggling to survive and coming to terms with great loss - both of family and close friends, near fatal experiences and serious ill health, and bad fortune. Relationships were struck up in mirth as others ended in misanthropy. Then as if by magik new life breathed into our own, and new friendships were forged in fire and our names are forever more etched in stone as we fight on, carving a path through the years. Fights that lead uphill in the snow and gale forced wind, unable to see or hear, unarmed and disabled in our plight, weakened by lack of rest and sustenance...


Yet here we are friend. Strangers no more. Right here, right now. You and me, us and them, all together... in this one unique, fragile moment. If you close your eyes for a second, you won't be fast enough to catch the essence of it. If you stop to take a breath you will fall behind and never be quite quick enough to catch a glimpse of it again in this lifetime. If you stood on my shoulders, and I stood on my brother's, and he stood on my father's, and he stood on his father's and we all let go of all the hate in our hearts just to rise up high enough to have a chance - you still wouldn't be able to see over it, but if we all laid our hate down like a road we could reach around the world until one day we wound up back home.


I am always home. Ayrshire flows in my veins and in my heart and fuels me to live for greater things. To share more, learn more, educate and inspire. Connect and nurture, network and fight for, motivate and cultivate and flow all of this back into this life using strength, respect, knowledge, love, honour, experience and wisdom. I began my own journey in the creative arts when I was very young, what feels like many life times ago. I feel like I have been many different people and have changed much since those days. Embarking on a mission to become involved in the music scene was something that felt very justified and important but I never thought for one minute things would have worked the ways in which they did. The roller coaster has been a harsh reminder of the frailty of life, and at times has been more exhilarating than anything in my wildest dreams. I have met thousands of people who I would call friends on this journey through music, and somehow lost a few who felt like they would be here forever. In their wake I dedicate my time here, in some justification juxtaposed to their infelicitous departures, that I make more appropriate usage of my existence and seek new experience at every opportunity.


 Time is the most precious gift any of us will ever be granted and yet we constantly lose it, all the time, time is disappearing. Hold onto the people who are important to you, spend your time wisely on the right people in biased amounts, favouring those closest and give them the best of you. Don't just give them you after work and in the morning before work, give them your day off, give them some holidays when you are fully charged and make them feel loved and appreciated, but most importantly, and I mean this is the top drawer of the filing cabinet for serious shit, which you must adhere to no matter what... above all else... come rain, or shine... Take them to see Culann live, raw, untainted and organic and let them know what it means to be truly alive.

“Happiness is only real when shared” - Christopher Johnson McCandless

It is only when we do these things together with other like minded people that we feel that essence and understand the importance of being there in that moment to experience live music as one. It starts out we feel unconnected to others, distant and anxious, like we are all just separate people experiencing the band subjectively but when the music envelopes us at that volume when it starts to make you feel like moving it changes how we feel and how we think and we all connect under one banner...



You have to understand the complexed majestic essence of what makes Culann one of Scotland's greatest alternative bands in recent years and Ayrshire's Finest Export. It is mandatory that you grant yourself the opportunity to experience them live. Stand alongside ready to fight for the freedom that you long for as they rise to power on the energy that you bring with you. One hand washes the other hand, a strong hand lifts a weak hand, two hands keep time and many hands make light work. You have to be hungry to fight for what you believe in and for what you desire the most in this life, and fighting alone is not an option. No one ever won a war on their own, it was only when enough people banded together and fought back against their oppressors that any chance of freedom just to exist was defined. Well we are fighting our owns wars and squabbling over the smallest insignificance when we should all join forces and aid a more noble cause. If we all get together and just offer our presence, and our time there is a very real chance that we can all be part of music history as we all help push Culann into the lime light where they deserve to be...


Now they stand in wait, silhouettes against the pale grey skies above the moor, the banner held aloft, torn edges but still in one piece, flailing on the breeze. Five local heroes armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weaponry worthy of Kings who call themselves Culann, ask nothing more than your support. At their side stands a unition of some of the most talented and handsome bastards Scotland has ever produced (in England, and probably some bits in China)... Born of the pit, castrated by society's easily offended, pointed at by stereotypical hoity toity upper-class wannabe wank-sack globules, cast out by those who are too scared of creative free thinking individuals... New Hellfire Club's darkest abhorrence... a hoard of Necromancers, defilers of corpses and damn fine promotional front liners - The Gonzo Division...  We ask nothing more than you stand with us in support...

Rabbie Burns tried to join us once, but that was pure ages ago man and we hadn't really got our shit together at that time, but I would now like to offer you the chance to read this poem he sent us which he aptly entitled...

            'Scots Wa Hae Wi Culann Bled'

         Scots, whom Culann has often led

Welcome to your gory bed

Or to victory

         Now is the day, and now is the hour

See the front of battle lower

See approach proud Edward's power

Chains and slavery

         Who will be a traitor knave?

Who will fill a coward's grave?

Who's so base as be a slave? -

Let him turn, and flee!

         Who for Culann, King and Law,

The Gonzo Division's sword will strongly draw,

Freeman stand or freeman fall,

Let him follow Culann!

         By oppression's woes and pains,

By your sons in servile chains,

We will drain our dearest veins

But Culann shall be free!

         Lay the proud usurpers low!

Tyrants fall in every foe!

Liberty is in every show!

Let us buy the new album or die!


Robert The Bruce (who resided in Ayrshire when in hiding) once famously stated as he led his men into battle to fight for the sovereignty of Scotland in Wallace's name... “You have bled with Wallace, now bleed with me”... Well when I punched my fist into the air at 13th Note during a bout of mosh pit mayhem as Culann played Jerusalem at 90 decibels I mangled my hand on the ceiling, taking a pound of plaster with me and trailing a pint of my own blood across the city that night in a en epic adventure that would leave a lasting impression on everyone who bore witness... I say to you now, join us in Aegis on our honourable quest for Salvation as we traverse The Great Ecumene united in All Reverie under one banner, to where Sunken Ships lead us back to Evonium in the hope that it's once proud name might be restored from legend...


I urge you to brand a piece of their lineage for yourself, the long awaited 2nd declaration inscribed in granite stone by the hands of the army of Clansmen united behind them. An Argentavis Magnificens sized beastly-feast of a well-greased masterpiece - 'The Great Ecumene'... 

If you would care to peruse an in-depth review of this colossal achievement of unparalleled musicianship please refer to the article produced by my brother from another mother and Gonzolite mastermind C.T Herron available via the NHC Music ltd website...




iCombat comes to Glasgow and Zed Events are bringing it!

So last week a small, but merry band of NHC / Icebox crew descended on the underhalls of the Arches on Argyle street to check out the surroundings for Zed Events’ new laser horror/combat experience opening on May 11th - and we have to tell you right now that it looks pretty bloody fantastic, ticking all of our interactive gaming boxes in one fell swoop! My only concern was seeing our own sound engineer gripping his assault rifle and eyeing me up with a hungry look that screamed ‘SOON’ in his eyes is not something I am going to forget anytime in the near future.

That look will haunt my dreams until May the 11th, when we both get to don full combat gear, lock and load our weapons, and run screaming into the darkness and the smoke under Glasgow like wild banshees, battling to the death over that one time I told him the music was a bit too loud and he had to turn it down.

Think laser quest without the geeky teenagers and with weapons that feel like actual weapons, think interactive horror games where sometimes the enemy can’t actually be killed, and the best you can do is to evade and subdue. Think about all the games you play sitting in your pants at home eating cheetos and drinking Monster energy, and then actually playing them, but for realsies.

May the 11th, see you there. I’ll be the frightened Ice Box owner being persued by the excitable sound tech.



"Like A Ringing Phone" by Stara Zagora - Reviewed By Me, Big G

"Like A Ringing Phone" by Stara Zagora - Reviewed By Me, Big G

Guess who's back with a brand new track? If you said Rammstein, Amon Amarth, or Sabaton then you'd be technically correct. However if you already read the title and guessed Stara Zagora then you'd be actually, contextually, and correctually correct. And I don't mean Stara Zagora the sixth largest city in Bulgaria, home to Vesselina Kasarova the opera singer. I mean Stara Zagora, the brainchild of Ayrshire bearded wonder Sean McGeoch. It's due to be released on all the usual platforms this Monday the 22nd of April. So after you're all done getting over the resurrection of some guy fae 2000 year ago (who as far as I ken never made any music worth talking about) let's get ready tae talk about the return of Stara Zagora.

Hayseed Dixie - Reviewed By Me, Big G

Hayseed Dixie - Reviewed By Me, Big G

There are a lot of people out there who are quite happy to go and see a band just the once. The same way they might not re-watch a series or read a favourite book a second time. And I'm alright with that but when a band I like swing back into town I'll try to go every time I can. As such on the 29th of March I went to see Hayseed Dixie for the fourth time at Glasgow's QMU.



I have in my hands a compilation of songs from a band that are reflected perfectly in the cover design. A collage of politics and punk, brightly-coloured and eye-catching, quotes from legendary musicians like Strummer and Guthrie, but most strikingly, emblazoned across the front in large letters, is the idiom “Stop making stupid people famous”. Something I can absolutely agree with 100%, in a world of Jedwards and Biebers multiplying like bacteria on a yoghurt that’s been left out in the baking sun, we need a band like the Media Whores! I’m not saying kill all the stupid people, but let’s remove the warning labels and let the problem take care of itself.



play out their character’s ultimate doom in ‘What Way’. Juxtaposed by an almost pop beat, but that acutely menacing instrumentalism from the orchestra is never far away to add the prognostic portentous undertones. Empress delivers her final slice, the penultimate slice, with a thoughtful reflective winding-down track, where she pays tribute to her musical heroes and brings her character to a buoyant conclusion.