(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
Northern Ireland’s NO HOT ASHES formed in 1983, but – for reasons beyond their control – it would take 34 years for their début album to be released.
The band, influenced by the likes of Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, UFO, and other classic rock/AOR (album-oriented rock) acts of that era, independently released a single in their earliest days. That 1986 single, “She Drives Me Crazy“, helped to quickly generate interest in NO HOT ASHES and in 1988, they signed to GWR Records. Even before their record deal, NO HOT ASHES were already sharing stages with acts like Girlschool, Mama’s Boys, and Magnum.
At the time of their signing, the band underwent some roster changes that saw original members Dave Irvine (guitar) and Paul Boyd (bass) joined by then-new singer Tommy Quinn on vocals, Tommy Dickson on keyboards, and Steve Strange on drums.
The band – now label mates with Motörhead, Girlschool, and Hawkwind – relocated to London to be closer to the label’s home operations, while they began work on a proper record. That album would be recorded and finished by 1989, yet unfortunately, so would NO HOT ASHES before it would ever see a release. Plagued by continual delays and other issues relating to getting the début released, the band members gradually grew disillusioned. By the end of 1990, the band had called it a day and the record was shelved and never released.
Yet, the NO HOT ASHES story does not end there, as 2013 saw NO HOT ASHES reform for a planned special, one-off tribute gig. The plan was to play a tribute gig for Belfast’s famous, but soon-closing, Rosetta Bar, a ground zero for Northern Ireland’s rock and metal scene from the early 80’s. The venue, affectionately known as The ‘Rosie, was near and dear to the members of NO HOT ASHES, having been started by their old manager Stephen Magee who’d passed away around that time.
That performance reignited the inferno of rock ‘n roll in the members of NO HOT ASHES and by 2014, they were once again sharing stages with some of the biggest names in rock. Shows with Aerosmith, UFO, Foreigner, and Scorpions were soon followed by their inclusion on numerous festivals, including Hard Rock Hell AOR, Rockingham, Frontiers Rock Festival, and Download Festival. The latter, Download, will see the band return this year for their second appearance, but more on that in a moment.
NO HOT ASHES, still very much an Eighties sounding heavy rock band, recorded some new demos that were eventually sent to Frontiers Music Srl. The label signed the band and a new era of NO HOT ASHES began with the band recording a new studio album. Unfortunately, tragedy would strike just as the record was delivered, with bassist Paul Boyd diagnosed with cancer soon thereafter.
Despite bravely battling the disease, Boyd succumbed to the illness in January of 2017. Though grieving his loss, the remaining members of NO HOT ASHES knew Paul would want them to forge ahead, which they did. Finally, in March of this year (2018), NO HOT ASHES released their self-titled album… some 34 years in the making!
Though a new bassist has joined the band, the music on the S/T album features Paul Boyd and the band has dedicated it to his memory. NO HOT ASHES have just premiered their new official video for the song “Glow“, it is streaming below. On June 8th, NO HOT ASHES will return to Download Festival for their triumphant second time.
NO HOT ASHES Line Up:
Bass – Paul Boyd (R.I.P.)
Keyboards – Tommy Dickson
Guitar – Niall Diver
Guitar – Davey Irvine
Vocals – Eamon Nancarrow
Drums – Steve Strange
1. Come Alive
2. Good To Look Back
5. I’m Back
7. Over Again
8. Jonny Redhead
10. Running Red Lights