Tag Archives: film-making

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.


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.


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.


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.


A Worthwhile Week-Or-So

It’s been a good week-or-so, kicking off with finding another nice wee mention of the Hard Times Volume 1 EP online (thanks to Beat Surrender) –  http://bit.ly/T3sSnb.  Happily, as the week progressed, so too did interest in the EP and my other releases most obviously on Bandcamp, where paid-for downloads and CD purchases are more-or-less keeping up with “help-yersels”, which is encouraging.  Response to the EP has been very enthusiastic, which I’m pleased about.  I’m most surprised/delighted at the positive response to Cave Full Of Woman Bones, a track I thought would at best divide my existing audience.  Even the video has made an impact – amazing what you can knock up with an iPhone, an iPod touch and iMovie on a trusty old iMac.  iDon’tknow.  iAskyou.

The interest in the back catalogue has received a couple of helpful kicks-up-the-arse recently too:  On the 22nd of last month, Mark Steel gave me a mention on Steve Lamaq’s Round Table show on BBC Radio 6 Music. He’d picked up a copy of the album in Stirling and had this to say: “Just a couple of times in the album you can detect that he’s got a Scottish accent but otherwise you would think, well this guy’s from somewhere down in Virginia or something and it was brilliant. I played it many, many times.”  Totally out of the blue that was, and as a fan of Mr. Steel, I’ll admit to feeling a bit smug with myself until the electric meter ran out and a mouse ran past, mockingly.

Is the concept of mockery something a simple mouse could express through the act of running?  iExpectnot.

Also last month, My Side Of The Veil from the Pennies On My Eyes mini-album was listed as a Staff Pick on Bandcamp‘s front page last month: “Tempted to pick Cave Full of Woman Bones, but going with this bluesy lament from beyond the grave.” Cheers, then,  to Kevin from Bandcamp!

Back to this past week-or-so: on Friday, I played a quick set at The Vagabond Social Club’s Winter Festivus celebration  downstairs at The State Bar, Glasgow.  It was a fun night spent in good company; later, my rampant insomnia led me to post the following update in that regard on Facebook: “What a splendid Vagabond Social Club that was. Cheers to the committee for having me along; I know that the terms of my rider can seem a bit excessive, so thanks for going the extra mile to source a pickled spider monkey so far out of season. The look of mild disappointment on its wee face cheered me up no end, while making me feel curiously powerful. But that’s what it’s all about, Xmas, eh.”  I should point out that no actual spider monkeys, pickled or otherwise, changed hands.  Not after last time.

Friday also saw a welcome dribble of cash via my PRS statement/payout.  Sadly, not what it might be but, heigh-ho.  There’s definitely something wrong with the whole set-up of “works” on my account, but it’s going to have to wait until the new year before I get in about it.

The weekend was spent poring over old demos to dig up potential ideas for various projects (mostly solo album no.2 and Dog Moon Howl’s live set/album no.1).  It’s amazing the amount of stuff I’ve cranked out to tape (rather, its modern equivalent) without having the slightest recollection of it.  I’m also waiting for the digital transfer of the VHS viewing copy of a documentary I produced/directed a million years ago, Can We Be Brainfood? (on the subject of starting a band), with a view to remastering it.  If it’s worth it.  Which it might not be.  Regardless, I put it in to a shop on Friday and was told to pick up the DVD on Saturday.  I was told on Saturday it would be ready today (Monday).  I was told today it would be ready tomorrow.  So, who knows ..?

I’m pleased to say that the week-or-so ended with the news that Hard Times: Volume 1 has been named Best Blues EP of the Year by Canada’s Blues Underground Network in their Year End Review for 2012.  Check it out here – http://bit.ly/12whIeP.  I’m properly chuffed with that, as you might imagine.

A new video from Dog Moon Howl. Finally.

I spent eight hours on Wednesday editing together a montage video for the Dog Moon Howl track Your New King but Virgin Media’s broadband service has been almost comically abysmal leading to six abandoned YouTube upload attempts.  Rock’n’roll: the real glamour industry.  Come to think of it, this tune was a bugger to record as well.

Anyway, I finally got the damnable thing up today.  Here it is:

I’ve been doing stuff.

So, it’s been a busy time of late.  I’ve just done two weeks on a low (micro) budget feature film shoot as technical director.  I was working with a good bunch of people, cast and crew, but the shoot was at times somewhat more fraught than it needed to be.  Ah well, I suppose these things happen.  Anyway I’ve been working since then on ‘audio sketches’ for the soundtrack, which will be a mix of Celtic and blues themes.  Working on the production is useful when it comes to the music as it means I have a fairly clear idea of the tone of the finished piece, and can therefore come up with something that fits.  That’s the theory anyway!

In addition to that I’ve been working on some other bits and bobs.  I ran into technical problems when trying to prepare an old video project for online release, which unfortunately means a month or so of delays.  A pain in the arse but there you have it.  ‘Can We Be Brainfood?’ is an old documentary I directed back in The Day about a band I was putting together.  For technical reasons I was having to work with an old VHS viewing copy (the original was shot on a mix of SVHS and 8mm, format hounds) but that’s moot now as it turns out I can’t digitize the footage.  The upside is that, as a result, I’ll end up with the original SVHS final edit as my source, but will have to send it off for transfer.  Either way, I’ll still have to do a lot of work on the sound to try and make it presentable.

Another time consuming aspect to the past few weeks has been song-writing.  This isn’t something I usually sit down to do (“right, must write a song, a slow one perhaps, something pithy”).  However I find that if I start trying to work on one piece, as I did last week, then I’m suddenly a fucking factory for miserable-alt.blues .

The live thing is gearing back up now too – after my my two-month live hiatus, I’ll be playing as a guest of Man Gone Missing at his album launch on August 26th at The Halt Bar in Glasgow.  Jim Dead will be opening the night which will be free entry (unusually for a gig I’m promoting, I know, but nobody is being ripped off).  There’s a December date booked for Edinburgh as well (December 6th @ The Royal Oak), and I plan on filling the gaps between the two over the next wee while.  Watch this space, or better yet, the Gigs page over at www.craighughes.net.