Interview with No Hot Ashes

WHEN No Hot Ashes got back together for a one-off in Belfast about 18 months ago there was a palpable sense of excitement to hear the melodies and rock from the 80s glory days – a sense that those who remembered those heady days could re-connect again with the vitality of that era.

Since then NHA have emerged stronger and with definite plans to plunder that desire to reinvigorate the sound that dominated yesteryear. But that’s not to say that this is another act re-treading past glories – No Hot Ashes are gearing up for a 2015 full of promise and ready for all comers.

Recently announced as a main stage act for Ramblin’ Man Fair festival the band could not be more delighted than when we caught up with singer Eamon Nancarrow as he effused over who they will be sharing the plaudits with.

“To be honest the line-up is superb,” Eamonn said. “I mean the Scorps fer feck sake!!! Then there’s Saxon and BOC. We will have completed a British tour with FM in May so it will be great to team up with them again.

“To be honest this festival really appeals to me. It’s like a mixture of the old Donnington and Glastonbury. It will also be our first festival show with Dave Irvine back in the band and for many reasons this is a massive deal for us all. It’s great to have him back and Niall Diver is staying on so we now have twin lead guitars and are a six piece.” And the setting appeals to not just the band. “Kent is beautiful county and close enough to London so I’m looking forward to meeting up with some of my old Soho drinking buddies. There are a few nutters flying into Gatwick from Northern Ireland. So what’s not love about this festival.” Nutters from Northern Ireland…surely that’s obligatory! “The only thing I’m disappointed in is that we asked for our back stage rider to include vegetable roll, Tayto onion rings and a bottle of Maine attaboy but the organisers said we should send our request again in English.” To be fair only residents of Northern Ireland will get that reference…and perhaps a few members of the Quireboys… As to who Eamon will be looking forward to seeing at Rambin’ Man fair… “I will checking out the Scorpions for sure. I love Saxon and won’t miss them. It will be great to see Toseland we were on the same bill at last year’s Download but I didn’t get to see them as we had just come off stage,” he said. “Niall Diver loves Dream Theatre so he will be in his element when they hit the stage. I will be else where when they are on as I find them to be, how shall I put this? Emmmmm good!!! “I would love to have seen Marillion but they are playing the next day and we will be travelling to another gig which I can’t talk about just yet! Oh hark at me the rock star lol!!! No seriously it’s another festival where the line up hasn’t been finalised but you’ll be the first to hear. [We can guess that a house made of Steel may figure in that!] It is fair to say that last year (2014) saw No Hot Ashes emerge, once again as serious contenders “What a year!” said Eamon. “We supported Foreigner in Belfast and Dublin. Then there was Hard Rock Hell AOR in Wales with UFO headlining. “We played Download and Hard Rock Calling with Areosmith. Massive memories. But the best thing that happened was standing in front of the Prog Rock stage at HRH AOR when the Enid’s singer announced to all that what was missing in modern music was ‘fluff.’ I kid you not. We all looked at each other and pissed ourselves laughing!! “On a serious note playing to 5000 people in a packed Pepsi Max tent at Hard Rock Calling with the crowd rocking would be hard to ever beat. However, getting Dave back in the band fit and well tops that.” For many that would be enough to pack up the memories, and revel on the achievements. Not No Hot Ashes… “We are recording in March with the album being released in May,” said Eamon. “A launch party/gig is booked for 29 May at the Music Hall Empire [Belfast].” And, if that wasn’t enough the band are on the road with FM and Romeo’s Daughter in May… “We also have a few other things up our sleeves and as you know our drummer Steve Strange makes things happen so watch this space,” Eamon concluded. There are those that claim that hard rock and metal is dead. They’re wrong, and the spirit and desire of No Hot Ashes proves that the spirit of loud guitars, melody and damn fine songs will never die.

Interview by Jonny

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