In September 2013 No Hot Ashes reformed for two reasons.
One was to play a tribute gig for the Rosetta Bar the venue for NI’s rock and metal scene from the early 80’s, which had recently closed. The other was to remember old friends no longer with them. The Belfast haunt also hosted Cinders, a rock club that No Hot Ashes and their old manager Stephen Magee started way back in the 80’s. Stephen was a mad genius that passed way before his time. The Rosie as it was affectionately called was a venue very dear to The Ashes hearts.
The night of the reunion was a great craic and here is NHA in full flow with ‘Summer Rain’…
As you can see they enjoyed it so much… they carried on playing and since the beginning of 2014 they’ve supported Aerosmith, Foreigner, FM and UFO. Playing Hard Rock Hell AOR, Donnington, Download and London Calling.
Some of the band’s history and adventures have been recorded in a book by singer Eamon Nancarrow – Holywood Star: the life and times of a rock and roll misadventurer’. It is a rib tickler of a read that will also give you a good insight into what it was like growing up in the tough surroundings of Northern Ireland, while trying to look like David Coverdale.
For those interested in the NHA line-up, the specific dates below are the best we can currently muster (You have to understand, it’s been a while…)
No Hot Ashes 1984 to the Present Day
The original line up first got together in 1983 when Rolo Gillespie visited Davey Irvine in the Belfast music shop Modern Music (Matchetts) in Newtownards and asked if he wanted to play guitar in a band he was putting together.
They would be playing some ‘Status Quo’ and some ‘Haircut One Hundred’. Quite a varied set list really!
Davey met Paul Boyd (Bass), Stephen Campbell (drums) and Eamon Nancarrow (vocals) in Comber High School youth club and started playing songs by UFO, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake and the band was born and a direction was set.
This line-up played only one gig but word had travelled fast and a sold out show in Comber brought people from Belfast and Bangor, including many other musicians and band members who had heard the buzz and wanted to see what the fuss was all about. They were not let down. The boys put on a show that had offers of management and bigger things.
1984-86 – Breaking Belfast
Founding member Rolo left the band to pursue a non musical career and the band became a 4 piece. The above line-up, now managed by Steve Magee, recorded the debut single ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ and one of their highlights was supporting Steve Marriot and his Packet of Three at La Mon.
The band also started the Cinders Club at the Rosetta which provided an opportunity for bands from all over the world to play to a dedicated rock crowd in a dedicated Rock club in Belfast. The Rosetta took over from where the Labour Club in Waring St (and The Pound before it) left off.
Shortly after this Eamon left to move to London followed closely by Stephen Campbell. Eamon Nancarrow’s time in Not Hot Ashes is described in his biography “Holywood Star: the life and times of a rock and roll misadventurer.”
1986-89 Deals & Wheels
Tommy Quinn (vocals), Tommy Dickson (Keys) and Steve Strange (drums) joined and this line up signed to GWR Records in early 1988 joining Motorhead, Girlschool and Hawkwind on the roster of talent.
They recorded No Hot Ashes’ debut album in 1988 but due circumstances beyond their control the album never actually got released. This line-up supported Mama’s Boys and Magnum among others and almost supported Bonnie Tyler but the story goes she got stung on the backside by a wasp and had to cancel.
Shortly after recording the album and returning to Belfast, Paul chose to leave the band and after a few auditions was replaced by ex ‘Lyin’ Rampant’ bass player, George Pringle from Edinburgh, Scotland.
1989-90 Bright Lights
By this stage the band had moved to London to be closer to the record company and the Green Man pub in Stanmore
But life took over, and with problems in getting the album released, one by one the band members moved back home, first Tommy Quinn, then Tommy Dickson, then George Pringle, leaving Davey and Steve in London.
By late 1990 it was obvious the band had called it a day and Davey Irvine moved back to Belfast while Steve, who by this stage was working for GWR records, remained in London and built a successful music career.
The rest, as they say, is for the wicked…