Tag Archives: live music

Introducing … The Crow Bone Chorus.

The Crow Bone Chorus

With our first rehearsal under our belts (and a good one at that) , I’m happy to say that my erstwhile band mates in Dog Moon Howl, Bryan Campbell and Ally Tennick, are joining me in a new project: Craig Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus.  We’ll soon be bringing new music to a venue near you, by which I mean a venue near us, as well as selections from my studio releases and more besides. The plan is now to record and release my next album, which I’ve mentioned here before, under the Craig Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus banner.  The album is unlikely to be underway before early 2018 but we should be playing our first gigs before the end of this year.

Croe Bone Chorus logo

The Craig Hughes Two

The Craig Hughes Two is about to be resurrected on the live scene after a year’s layoff for heavy rocking purposes.  We’ll be gigging again from Sept/Oct with our new mini-album to flog.

I’ll be posting regular “work in progress” updates here from now on, so do watch this space.

 

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Wheels in motion.

Big changes on the horizon, wheels in motion for new music, gigs and all that jazz (well, “all that alt.blues and roots”, if you prefer).  Starts on kind of a downer and builds from there, yeah?

Here’s the word from Dog Moon Howl …

… cheerio.

After five years of rehearsing, songwriting, recording and intermittent gigging, we feel it’s time for Dog Moon Howl to wind things down.  We’re opting for the popular showbiz euphemism “extended hiatus”.

Unfortunately, for unrelated reasons we’ve had to pull out of the October gig at Nice’N’Sleazy, so as it stands we’ll no longer be active after our upcoming support slot with Lionize at the ABC2 on August 1st. We may take the very occasional gig if we get the right offer but we won’t be chasing live work or working on new material for the foreseeable future.

There’s no bad blood involved, not even musical differences.  In fact we’ll be continuing to work together, though on a very different project.  More news on that soon.

Anybody who wants a last hurrah with the band can head over to dogmoonhowl.bandcamp.com for half price tickets to the ABC2 show.  In the meantime, thanks to those of you (family, friends, bands, bloggers and broadcasters) who’ve supported us over the years.


HALF PRICE ticket offer for Dog Moon Howl/Lionize @ ABC2, Glasgow, Aug 1st

Ticket info as promised … now available from the Dog Moon Howl Bandcamp store:

HALF PRICE tickets to our ABC2, Glasgow show supporting Lionize with Mantis Taboggan + The Last Gasp on Aug 1st.  Tickets are half face value with no hidden bullshit.

Tickets will be left at the door for you (we’ll email the details) or we can post them if you prefer , UK only, for an extra quid (per order, however many tickets).

Direct link:  HALF PRICE TICKET OFFER


Must try harder.

Between an EP launch, gig booking, writing and guitar-repairing, keeping this blog updated has been something of an oversight.   Must try harder.

So, the Dog Moon Howl EP launch came and went – and even though it was a Sunday gig (not traditionally the best suited evening to rock), it was a grand night, a good time was had by all and so on.  This despite a piss poor showing on the Friday from Parcel Force who decided they couldn’t be arsed delivering a box of CDs because was a nice day or whatever, and my main guitar having a breakdown on the day of the gig.  So, the EP’s out.  Dog Moon Howl at Bandcamp – fill yer boots (also available from iTunes, Amazon blah blah blah).

Since then, I’ve been doing a bit of writing and that, including updates to the Ritual Objects blog.  I’ve been revisiting a modern favourite album of mine, Amanda Palmer’s Theatre is Evil (check out the write up HERE) and if you’re partial to some musings on movies/VHS obscurities, I have a look at The Dark Power HERE.

We’re booking new live dates at the moment for both The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl (contact us on bookings@channelnowhere.com for gig enquiries) and we’ve already got a couple of choice Dog Moon Howl dates in Glasgow for your diaries:

On Mon 01 Aug we’re at The ABC 2 for a return engagement with the mighty Lionize.  Also playing will be Mantis Taboggan and The Last Gasp. We’ll have tickets for sale at crazy-knock-down-blow-out-how-do-they-do-it discounts very soon. Watch this space.

Sun 08 Oct sees us back at Nice’N’Sleazy with Serpent Kings, as part of their UK tour (+ Warhead + TBC).

There’ll be more gig announcements soon as The Craig Hughes Two gears up to release our live-in-the-studio mini album, Off the Cuff.  I’ll keep you updated.


Like a Great, Wheezing, Lazarus. Only More So and with a Heroic Beard.

Just as the year started kicking off work-wise, I was stricken with the flu. Highlights included four solid days of migraines and a false dawn a couple of days ago whereupon I delivered a guitar for sale to the city centre and just about ended myself.  Symptoms have now died down to a mere wracking cough and occasional back wrenching sneeze, so it’s back to business.

I’m happy to tell you that the new Dog Moon Howl EP is called These Days and will be released (CD/download) during the month of March, which this year follows hot on the heels of February.  The actual date is not yet set, but we’re planning an end-of-the-month launch gig in Glasgow, so, you know, expect it around the end of the month.  Ish.  More news on this soon, including a teaser track to be brought to you via the magic of YouTube.

Once that’s all sorted, The Craig Hughes Two will be releasing our mini-album, Off the Cuff, culled from a live-in-the-studio session we recorded late last year.  With a running time just shy of a half hour, the tracks are a mixture of live regulars from m’back catalogue, now performed with significantly different duo-arrangements, and a couple of cover versions.  We’re just waiting to get the licensing sorted out for the covers so we can decide on a release date – it will be available on CD and download; tape release TBC.  A further update will follow once everything’s in place.

Things to have fallen significantly behind during this past near-fortnight of influenza induced inertia include blog updates and gig bookings, so I’ll be on those again properly as of later today.  Expect some updates over at Ritual Objects of Sight and Sound and to the gig pages of www.craighughes.net and www.dogmoonhowl.com presently.


Checking in.

Look at that, my goodness. 2017 already.

One way or another, this is going to be a very busy year, for me at least.  There are new EPs from both Dog Moon Howl and The Craig Hughes Two due for release over the next few months (details to be finalised for the Dog Moon Howl one at our first rehearsal of the year next weekend).  A series of self promoted gigs, possibly marking the return of the old That Devil Music night.  A limited edition run of “hand stamped” CDs and a similar tape run of my back catalogue.  Regular updates over at the Ritual Objects blog (and this one).  Some other stuff.

I hope you’ll find something in there that appeals.  Keep checking back.


Two Drinks From the Bar.

I was recently invited to play a new festival, having registered my interest a few months ago. This 2000 capacity event has been partially crowd-funded via Indiegogo and is charging up to £85 for a three day ticket. Their offer to have me play a Saturday evening set? Weekend tickets for myself, a meal and two drinks.

As this is a festival in its first year and I’d like to think the organisers’ hearts are in the right place, I’ll put their side of the following exchange down to inexperience, thoughtlessness and naiveté. We’ll see, but in the meantime I’ll avoid “naming and shaming” here. I hope you might find this post of interest simply because This Goes On – and it really bloody shouldn’t.

From the original “offer” email:

We are completely non profit and volunteer run, aiming to create a great event for its own sake. In year 1 we are greatly reliant on the goodwill of talented artists who are willing to support the festival by appearing for a lower fee than they would usually expect. We have been impressed by the generosity demonstrated by artists so far and hope that you will be happy to support us on the same basis, helping us to get … off to a great start in 2015. A full agreement will follow, but in the meantime please could you confirm if you are happy to accept the following offer:

Performance on Saturday evening
Weekend camping tickets for yourself
1 meal and 2 drinks from the bar on the day of the performance

They go on to ask for standard digital promo materials before signing off. The person who sent the email bears the title “Legal & Commerical Services Director”, which seems awfully businesslike considering the above event description.

I was tempted to take the obvious route of breaking down the costs and time involved in a full time music career but couldn’t help think that the Legal & Commerical Services Director of a music festival must already know all that. In the end I replied thusly:

Thanks for your email.  While I was pleased to be invited to perform at ****, I am disappointed that, while you suggest that performers already on the bill are playing for a reduced fee – which I would certainly have considered – you then make an offer of tickets, a meal and two drinks in lieu of payment.  As someone who makes his living (such as it is) from music, I find that offer wholly and obviously unacceptable.

Access to the event is hardly an aspect of payment.  As you were asking me to play the Saturday evening, I would have expected – as a necessity – a couple of Saturday passes.  “A couple” , as I, like many solo acts, travel with someone else who is there not only to drive me to and from the gig but also to help with kit, merchandise and so on.  And, no, I don’t expect them to do this for free.  As to the offer of “1 meal and 2 drinks from the bar” – that’s the sort of fare many promoters or venues might lay on for acts in addition to their fee.  I don’t ask for it, it’s not always offered but it’s a welcome kindness when it happens.  Never in lieu of payment, though.

My fee for playing a solo set at a small festival would normally be £80, so I’m hardly asking the Earth to start with, and am usually prepared to offer some “wiggle room”.  For the right event, under the right circumstances, I have worked for a reduced fee, door-split, or simply expenses and even, yes, for free.  However, it’s not enough to be told that you’re running this festival on a “non profit” basis and “creating an event for its own sake”.  You are, after all, charging up to £85 for weekend tickets.  Surely payment of musicians is one of the fundamental projected expenses a music festival has to account for when setting the ticket prices in the first place?

Here’s a thought.  Perhaps, if it’s okay for you not to pay performers, it should be okay for the audience not to pay for tickets?  In the spirit of your offer, they could hand in a donation of food-and-drink on arrival and then get on with enjoying all that free music.  You know, just for its own sake.

Seriously, I do wish you success with ****, and hope that you can build on that success by sharing it with all of the musicians who might perform there in the future.  They’ll have bills to pay too.

In fairness – and the main reason I decided not to name the festival here – their reply was prompt, apologising for any offence caused and stating: We’ll definitely take into account what you’re saying when planning next year’s event.

I really hope they do but as I mentioned earlier, the purpose of this blog is not to draw attention to this particular event but to this practice of entitled assumption when it comes to stiffing musicians on pay. I’ve encountered similar attitudes from small-event/pub promoters, where it’s offensive enough, but on this scale it’s downright galling. Of course we all know that even the mighty Glastonbury pulls this shit – mind, I’d tell them to fuck off too. And I’d name them in the inevitable blog post.