Category Archives: music video

Best Laid Part II

Brief update: there will be something of a flurry of Channel Nowhere activity over the next couple of weeks, so you can look forward (or not) to the release of the remastered Pennies On My Eyes on March 11th and a couple of gig announcements for both The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl.  Promos will go out for Pennies just prior to the release date and a lyric video for new track No-One Cares If You Die will be up soon on YouTube.

Told you it was brief.


Dog Moon Howl: The Story So Far

I’ve been meaning to write a post on Dog Moon Howl for a long time now and although various snippets have made it into my WordPress ramblings I’ve never quite gotten round to it.  So, here’s a potted history of the band.

Dog Moon Howl was formed in late 2011.  I’d been trying to put together a heavy psych/stoner rock type band for a while when my old mucker Bryan, who’d been living in Ireland, moved back to sunny Scotland.  Bryan also wanted to put a band together, would I be up for it, aye.  We’d been kinda-sorta in three bands together in the 90s, most conspicuously a three piece called Smotherparty.  We advertised for a drummer with an ad quoting a comprehensive list of influences including – but not limited to – Black Sabbath, The Groundhogs, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Funkadelic, SAHB, Primus, Blue Cheer, Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Status Quo, Motorhead, RHCP, The Cult, Rush, Kyuss, AC/DC, King Crimson, Queen and Hawkwind.  Who should express an interest other than Smotherparty’s old drummist, Ally, who we hadn’t seen since that band split and who was now living in Edinburgh.

Sorted.  Ally on drums, Bryan on bass/co-lead vocal, me on guitar/co-lead vocal.

We rehearsed a fair old bit, played our first gig at the end of 2011 and a few more throughout 2012 and 2013.  Somewhere in there we released a demo EP called Strip-Lit Hell, produced by Tommy Duffin of Headless Kross at 16 Ohm in Glasgow.  Much to our surprise, the EP picked up great reviews online.

Some of you reading this will have arrived at the blog via my music which you’ll therefore know to be rootsy alt.blues.  Mostly acoustic slide guitar, the rockier moments gnarly and loose, soloing kept in check where it happens at all, mostly song-based stuff.  The occasional banjo.  Well, Dog Moon Howl is largely the opposite of all that.  As a band we all get different things out of it, of course, but for me it’s more-often-than-not an excuse to crank up the electric and have at it.  Very much a lead guitar-based, heavy rock approach with long songs allowing plenty of scope for extended soloing and the likes.  So, you know.  Be warned.

Early this year, we decamped to Alloa to record our first full-length with Alec Pollock of Chasar co-producing at his studio, The Boathouse.  Delays in post-production, combined with/partly due to my coming down with a debilitating eye-infection, left us largely out of action until the album’s launch at the end of June, since when we’ve been playing around and about to promote it.  Again, we’ve picked up some great reviews for the album.

So that’s you about up-to-date.  If you want more information on the band check out or better yet, buy the CD here.  There’ll be a blog about the band’s plans for 2015 coming soon – in the meantime here’s the first video from the album, Blues Like a Hammer.

Dog Moon Howl update (and a live Craig Hughes Two video).

Work on Dog Moon Howl’s first album is in the mixing stages.  Currently sitting at nine tracks, produced by Alec Pollock of Chasar at his studio in Alloa, it threatens to be rather good.  Release and promotion details will start to get hammered into shape in the next few weeks (current thinking is a May release but that’s far from set in stone) – in the meantime, we have a gig on the books for Saturday, March 22nd with Glitterball Vegas and Traquair at The 13th Note in Glasgow.

I’m currently hitting up festivals and the likes for bookings (solo/duo and DMH) and the first solo booking of the year is for Foakies @ The Royal Oak in Edinburgh on June 2nd. Tying all this together, here’s a video of me and Ally Tennick (DMH drummist) playing as The Craig Hughes Two late last year, from the smartphone of Bryan Campbell (DMH basser).

A quick peek at The Craig Hughes Two …

Here’s a video of me and Ally Tennick giving it plenty at last month’s Vagabond Social Club in Glasgow.

Good lord, my jeans are enormous. Such trouserly capaciousness – rare in the arena of public performance since the 19th century.

Except, you know, MC Hammer. And that one live Van Halen video just after Sammy Hagar joined. And, like, panto, when it’s Ali Baba or Sinbad or that. And Blackadder III.

New Album: Losers and Bastards

M’new album, Losers and Bastards (oh well, there goes Radio 2), will be released (CD/download) on Friday 30th August.  Full details nearer the time but keep checking here and for more news, artwork previews and so on.  There will also be a related blog post here in the next week or so.

In the meantime, by way of a taster for the album, here’s the new decidedly lo-fi video for the song Last Orders (When I Die).

A good gig and a nifty preamp and that.

I’ve been writing/arranging at an alarming rate for album #2, with the occasional sideline into Dog Moon Howl territory, so playing a gig with Jim Dead the other day was something of a welcome diversion.  You may or may not know that I’ve co-produced the last couple of releases by Jim, the album Ten Fires a couple of years ago and the recent I’m Not Lost EP.  I also played lead guitar and did a bit of backing vocals.  However, although we’ve played a fair few gigs on the same bill, we’d only ever actually played live together once, at the Ten Fires launch in the full-band guise of Jim Dead & The Doubters (with Tommy and James Duffin on drums and bass respectively).  With the I’m Not Lost sessions being a more stripped-down affair than Ten Fires – just Jim on acoustic guitar/vocals and me on electric guitars/backing vocals – it made sense that we could develop a live set from that without the logistical headaches of trying to do another full-band thing and so, after a quick run-through of the material at Jim’s gaff on Thursday, we were ‘ready’ to do a half-hour of material from the two above-mentioned projects for The Vagabond Social Club at The State Bar in Glasgow on Friday night.  It all went very well indeed and the audience reaction was encouraging – which bodes well for our next outing in Pivo Pivo – Glasgow again – next month (21st).

Guitar gearhead interlude: one interesting outcome of the gig was that I got to use a bit of kit I’ve had lying around for over a decade in a way that would have a lot of ‘traditionalist’ guitar players knotting their boxers in consternation.  For reasons too mundane to detail here, I couldn’t guarantee bringing an amp to the gig, so I took along my old Marshall DRP-1.  This is a gig-bag-friendly direct recording preamp, an old analogue unit intended to duplicate the sound and vibe of a Marshall stack, complete with speaker emulation.  Not a valve in sight and it predates digital modelling by quite some time.  As a recording unit, it has come in handy in the past and is very effective but I never really thought of running it straight to the desk at a gig until the other night – which is exactly what we did.  Not only did it work, but it worked bloody well, to the extent that several compliments for the guitar sound were forthcoming post-set.  From a playing perspective, no, it wasn’t as good as a decent amp – certainly not as responsive – but I’ll be bearing it in mind as a very handy wee backup in future.


Anyway, I’m back in about album #2 now, at least until Dog Moon Howl rehearsal this coming weekend (and gig the following Friday) …

Here’s a track from I’m Not Lost

Album # 2 …

In my five years of full-time musicianeering, I’ve released two EPs, a mini-album and one full-length album.  All ultimately well-received and all picking up momentum now, as much as three-and-a-half years after their initial release (apart from the first EP, now deleted).  In amongst all that I’ve also dabbled in soundtrack work, produced and appeared on other folk’s stuff and released a demo EP with the band Dog Moon Howl.  Not a bad work-rate but there’s no getting past the fact that full-length album # 2 is due.  So …

The studio, 16 Ohm, is booked for sessions in May.  I’ve been writing, arranging and demoing new material this past few weeks and I currently have ten songs ready to go, three nearly there and plans for an instrumental as yet un-started.  The album’s going to be a mix – very roughly: one-third solo acoustic, one-third mostly-acoustic with percussion-and-that, one-third full band. Ish.  I’ll be working on this one, as with Pissed Off, Bitter and Willing to Share and the recent Hard Times: Volume 1 EP, with Tommy Duffin.  Other guest muso-types to be confirmed.

As with the Hard Times EP, I’m planning on getting a lot of the artwork, design etc. seen to in advance of the sessions, so that the album release can be turned around quite quickly off the back of the recording sessions.  I’m hopeful for a June release – certainly no later than July.

In the meantime, I’ll be writing regular blogs about the process.  Now, I know there’s a school of thought/marketing/whatever that has the creation of an album as a completely open book.  Tracks streamed in demo and rough-mix form, track-lists and running orders released far in advance, that sort of thing.  However, as much as that approach can be very effective, as a punter I prefer to hear an album “fresh” – as a result, I’ll not be posting much, or possibly any music in advance of the initial “single” release (no, not really releasing a single but there’ll be a lead-off track with a video).  Having said that, there might be a few wee “mini-doc” clips that show some limited work-in-progress and the occasional live clip (see below).

Rather than just a dry recording diary (there’ll be some of that, mind), I’ll use this series of blog entries to look at my other releases and at what issues and choices re: different releasing options, packaging and so on there are for an independent musician running a micro-label.  Interspersed throughout will be pieces on my band Dog Moon Howl.  I’ve been threatening to blog on more than just our occasional YouTube appearance for a while and, as we’re looking at recording our first album in September, it’s about time.

So, look out for regular updates here from now on.  In the meantime, here’s a video of the first ever live performance of Happy Man Cries (filmed, incidentally, by my Dog Moon Howl bandmates Ally Tennick and Bryan Campbell) – minus its last verse which was still to be written at the time.  A compete version will be on album # 2.