Category Archives: Mostly music

Best laid.

So, 2016 currently looks like this:

My newish album Pennies On My Eyes is due to be released at the end of February.  A completely new “solo” album is planned for the end of year.  Other than that …

The Craig Hughes Two

We kicked off 2016 with a Glasgow gig at The Howlin’ Wolf earlier this month.  We’re looking at recording an EP for release later in the year and hopefully a lot more live work.

Dog Moon Howl

We’re fresh from our first rehearsal of the year which turned into more of a songwriting session.  The new stuff’s sounding promising, lots of AC/DC, Rush and Sabbath nods.  We’re working up some covers as well.  We’re planning on releasing two EPs in 2016, mid-year and end-of-year respectively.

The blogs

Tapes For My Walkman and Tapes For My VCR continue to keep it analogue with a piece on Lemmy, Motörhead and No Sleep ’til Hammersmith HERE and one on Bowie’s Love You Till Tuesday HERE (I hadn’t noticed until just now that both of these “tribute” choices feature the word “till”.  Or that Motörhead had misspelled it) and updates will be more frequent from February onwards.  This here Channel Nowhere blog will also be updated a lot more regularly, largely because of the amount of stuff going on with the label etc.

Other projects

I’ve got my work cut out with the completion of at least one large scale writing project and a documentary thingmy in the planning stages.  There could potentially be a couple of other releases on Channel Nowhere throughout the year.  Watch this space.

Advertisements

Stuff that’s happening.

There’s been a fair amount of Channel Nowhere activity recently, what with a run of solo/duo Glasgow gigs at The Howlin’ Wolf and Dog Moon Howl gigs at The 13th Note and Ivory Black’s, while music and movie blogs Tapes For My Walkman and Tapes For My VCR have been increasingly finding their feet.   Here’s what’s coming up.

LIVE STUFF

There will be one more Dog Moon Howl appearance (with Jim Dead & The Doubters at their album launch at The 13th Note on December 4th) which unfortunately will be your last opportunity to see the band live this year.  Bassist Bryan Campbell is having a knee operation which will put him out of commission for a while.  I’m a bit fuzzy on the details but essentially I believe he’s having his existing, faulty, knees replaced with cloned gorilla elbows which will be fitted backwards so that he can walk like a mantis.  Exciting stuff, but he will need some recuperation time afterwards, during which he hopes to complete the scale model of Tokyo he is building in his garage for destruction at a later date with his mutant mantis powers.

In the meantime, DMH drummer Ally Tennick and myself will be kicking the arse out of the live thing in our alt.roots/blues identity The Craig Hughes Two, including a turn for our friends at The Vagabond Social Club on September 27th at Nice’N’Sleazies, Glasgow.  For other dates, watch this space, or head over to www.craighughes.net.

STUDIO STUFF

Mastering is the key word for this month.  Work is underway on the remastering of Pennies On My Eyes which was originally a mini-album I put out about five years ago as part of the split CD (with Sleepy Eyes Nelson) Graveyard Full of Blues.  I was never happy with the original master/mixes and, due to running-time constraints and release deadlines – not to mention my rank incompetence – there were a few tracks recorded at the time which were never completed and therefore left off of the finished product.  Well, limited availability or not, Pennies went on to gain a bit of a life of its own.  A ‘fan favourite’, it picked up good reviews, an award nomination, was a Bandcamp staff pick and so on.  As a result, I’ve gone back to the original recordings and completed work on the unfinished tracks while properly mastering the whole project, now full album length.  This will be released in October or November (the original having been unavailable for a while now).

Before that, though, I’ll be working on the mastering of that new album from Jim Dead & The Doubters which is due for a December release.  I’ve heard the mixes and it’s good stuff – grungey, country-tinged rock.

VIDEO STUFF

Last time I did one of these news updates, I mentioned regular YouTube updates which have yet to start appearing.  They will though.  Honest.  Also, towards the end of the year I’ll be laying the groundwork for a documentary project.  More of that closer to the time.


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 www.dogmoonhowl.com 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.


Yeah I know, I know …

… I’ve been remiss regarding keeping this blog updated for a few months now.  Regular updates, largely concerned with my creative endevours, will resume later this week with the first of a couple of posts on Dog Moon Howl.

Currently, I’m finalising plans for more solo releases via Channel Nowhere, looking at a much, much busier live year in 2015 for both myself/The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl and there’ll be guitar design shenanigans with Zentone Guitars. There’ll be some writing as well, and on that front I’ve recently started a music review blog called Tapes For My Walkman you might like to check out.

More soon.  Honest.


Switchback No More

When I went full-time with this music malarkey, some six years ago now, I released an EP, not much more than a demo, called Broke, Lonely and Guilty.  Much to my surprise, it got a wee bit of attention – a couple of reviews, some local radio airplay and the likes.  This led (after, I believe, a good word being put in by The Dirt) to my being invited on to a local community radio station for my first ever interview/live-on-air session.  The station was Sunny Govan FM and the show was The Switchback, presented by Paul Clarkson.

Picture me, in a black cab, guitar by my side.  “You playing tonight?”  asks the driver.  It’s a night-time session and it’s already dark, the show starting at 10pm.  I’m running late.

“Aye, I’m on the radio,” says I, with no small measure of pride.  The driver is suitably impressed and, armed with the address (which I have written on my hand), he heads confidently Govan-wards.  However, once in the general vicinity, we drive around in circles for what seems like forever.  We are drawn to a couple of porta-cabins.  We pass them a few times, both of us certain that can’t be the place. “There should be some kind of big aerial mast” the driver says, and we duly crane our necks in every direction. Eventually, the driver gets out and asks for directions at one of the cabins.  He comes back to the cab shrugging his shoulders.  “Aye, this is it,” he says. “Just asked the guy – the aerial’s up the high flats.”

And so began the first of several nights I spent at Sunny Govan, which eventually moved to its current comparatively palatial headquarters in an actual building.  There was a greater element of washing mugs and making coffee than I’d entirely expected and Paul was a good guy (there are many good folks in the grass-roots music scenes but a fair few fannies as well) so I was put at ease straight away.  The end result was a relaxed session, the recording of which I released as a limited edition promo EP for the launch night of my first album a year or so later.  I’ve experienced a few other community radio setups since and Paul, despite his propensity for modesty in this regard, has a knack for getting a decent sound from the room using just a single mic – in sharp contrast to some of those others.

The Switchback was a great supporter of the Scottish and international grassroots americana/country/blues/folk scenes.  Pretty much the entire regular live roster of the old That Devil Music night I used to run and very many more all played sessions and received airplay there.  Paul played tracks from, I think, every release I’ve put out over this past five years as well as the work I’ve done with Jim Dead.  Where other early local media support had dried up, The Switchback was one of the main sources of airplay of my most recent album, Losers and Bastards, and it was much appreciated.

Inevitably, geography and real life took their toll and in the spirit of all good things coming to an end, The Switchback aired its last show on May 15th.  It was a good one, with much in the way of anecdotal reminiscence from Mr. Clarkson.  Some kind words about me there too, and an airing for a cool old session version of The TR7s Have All Gone To Heaven.  This post is really just intended as a wee “thank you” to Paul Clarkson whilst wishing him all the best for the future – your efforts on the show were always appreciated man and the grassroots scene will be poorer without your input.

Here’s the link to an MP3 of the final Switchback show – more than worth your time, trust me (I’m a guitarist).


This and that.

Been a while, so here’s an update:

Recorded the Dog Moon Howl album in January at The Boathouse in Alloa, started mixing it and then came down with the mother of all eye infections which was supposed to clear up in a fortnight but went on for over two months, becoming increasingly debilitating due to seriously affecting my vision.  Seems to have left me with some permanent problems in that regard, too.  Oh well.

Anyway, had to cancel gigs and the likes but since then have played a solo set at The Vagabond Social Club in Glasgow and a duo set at Record Store Day in Stirling (@ Europa Music), both of which went down rather well thank you very much.  Finished the mixes on the DMH album, getting the masters completed just now, and starting work on the cover art to boot.  Looking at a June release.

Actively booking for the band, the duo and myself so more live dates to be confirmed soon.  Playing (solo) @ Slouch, Glasgow on Wednesday.  Getting into a whole guitar design/business thing as well, Zentone Guitars, more news as-and-when.

Right, that’s your lot.  Blogging, eh?  Fucking doddle.


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).