Like A Hawk
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Like A Hawk

Belfast, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Belfast, United Kingdom
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Rock Hard Rock





It is not an everyday occurrence, but there are occasions when the main reason for going to a gig is not the actual headliner but one of the bands on the undercard. And, this was just one of those evenings, as the big attraction for both your ÜR duo and many others undoubtedly was the re-emergence of special guests The Irontown Diehards, after a protracted period out of the limelight, squirreled away in the studio preparing for the imminent release of their second album… but, we’ll come back to them in a moment…

Like A Hawk - Voodoo Belfast

“It’s Belfast and it’s Saturday night” declares Like A Hawk frontman Aaron Archibald – who must rank as one of the politest in the business – in perhaps the most obvious comment of the evening, before the Limavady quartet prove once again why they are one of the “go to” support acts on the local circuit. In a competent and confident performance, they deliver solid classic hard rock with a hefty groove, plenty of melody and catchy hooks and choruses. Closing out their set with a rather belated call to ‘Wake Me Up’, their set is deservedly well received by the slowly growing crowd.

The Irontown Diehards - Voodoo Belfast

As mentioned above, the main attraction for many present is actually the band in the “special guest” slot, who are making their return to the live arena after what seems to have been an almost interminable three-year absence. The ring rust is evident as they get off to a false start, down to drummer Eamon Lenehan using “the wrong sticks”. But, when they eventually get going it’s time to buckle in for the rock ‘n’ roll ‘Ride’, as they kick off with the lead single from the rather excellent above-mentioned new album, ‘Linchpin’, which is due to land sometime toward the end of November.

The Irontown Diehards - Voodoo Belfast

Before the gig, singer Phil Dixon had advised us that their new material was substantially different from that on their self-titled 2015 debut. Although hearing songs in the live environment before hearing the studio versions is perhaps not the most accurate of presentations, we can immediately see what the affable frontman means. With their ‘Peaky Blinders’ style image the only apparent remaining connection to their past, gone is the spit and polish of the first album, replaced with a grittier, grungier vibe to their particular brand of dense, bootleg blooze. Yes, the melodies are still there, in spades, but at the same time there is a darker and more forbidding feel intertwining itself around the overall tone.

It’s an impressive return, more than whetting the appetite for more to come… oh, and, as intimated, ‘Linchpin’ itself is a killer (we’ll be giving our more fulsome thoughts in the very near future).

The Irontown Diehards play the Limelight 2, Belfast, on Saturday 12 October.
Rosco's Riot - Voodoo Belfast

Of course, we also had the small but rather important matter of the actual headline band. Now, the last couple of times I had caught Rosco’s Riot live, they had been off kilter – but, tonight they most definitely have the fire back in their collective bellies, and even the fact they are using a stand-in guitarist (Phil Horner from local metallians Conjuring Fate) doesn’t phase them or interrupt their confident stride.

With frontman Tim Knox a commanding presence front and centre, big chuggy riffs underpin their old-fashioned classic rock sensibility as they deliver 45 minutes of concrete solid hard rock which is the product of undoubted hard graft, getting heads banging and necks stretching almost involuntarily. Imagine Motorhead and the Stooges jamming with Black Oak Arkansas and you’re sort of in the ballpark, while Horner obviously revelled in the opportunity to evoke his inner CJ-style groove.

Rosco's Riot - Voodoo Belfast

Another great night in the heart of Belfast town. With the local council’s definition of showcasing they city’s culture appearing to be a bunch of out-of-tune disco covers acts playing on the lawns of the nearby City Hall, once again the local rockers once again proved that the cobbled back streets are most definitely, and defiantly, where the real culture, and talent, can be found… - ÜberRock


It had been a while since we darkened the doors of what once was our venue of choice: no real reason other than the paucity of shows so far this year that we had actually been interested in covering. So, what better excuse to return to the hallowed confines of the Slimer than the return to action, after a seemingly interminable period away from the live scene, of Saffron Gorman and her merry band of rock ‘n’ roll troubadours? No, we can’t think of one either…

Like A Hawk at Limelight 2, Belfast, 27 April 2019

As ever with the Distortion Project’s shows, good quality undercard had been lined up, starting off with Like A Hawk. I had first come across the north coast quartet when they competed in the Metal 2 The Masses competition earlier this year, and, while they had failed to make it past the first hurdle, I had been impressed by them. This impression is reinforced this evening, as they deliver a good, solid set of grooving hard rock underpinned with an emphatic thump and a subtle stoner vibe, especially on the bottom end of the guitar sound. Their sound is a beefy as an undiluted OXO cube, topped off with a good sense of harmony and melody, coupled with an obvious sense of enjoyment. You can’t ask for much more from an opening band, really.

Dead Addiction at Limelight 2, Belfast, 27 April 2019

Next up are a young band we have watched develop over the past couple of years, Dead Addiction. They get more and more confident with every performance, not to mention tighter in every department: for example, when guitarist Ciaran Lyttle accidentally yanks out his guitar lead during ‘Choas’, only the eagle-eyed among us notice, as the band cover him and continue with the aplomb worthy of more experienced acts. They do suffer more severe technical problems later, as an issue with second guitarist Chris Van Engelen’s head threatens to shorten their set, but luckily the sound engineer is able to quickly fix things and they continue with their high-energy classic hard rock. A special shout-out must go out to vocalist Joe Murphy, who really has come on leaps and bounds and developed into a charismatic frontman, even to the extent of inviting the band’s original singer, Niall Graham, to join in one of the songs: now, that’s quality right there. As ever, they round out their allotted time with their rousing debut single, ‘Live From The Scene Of The Crime’; but there’s nothing criminal about this solid set.

Safire at Limelight 2, Belfast, 27 April 2019

As I mentioned at the top of this review, it had been a long time since Safire had seen live action, but what better way to make a comeback than with their biggest headline to date? And, judging by the amount of band shirts both on display and flying off the merch table, we’re not the only ones who have been looking forward to this comeback. The band are obviously glad to be back as well, as they’ve not only been grinning from ear to ear (well, apart from bassist Dean, who has spent most of the evening pacing the room like an expectant father and constantly checking that every last detail of the show has been put in place), but they’re on fire right from the opening note to cascade from Tim’s guitar.

Once he’s finally on the stage, Dean is a complete animal, never standing still and constantly headbanging as his beefy, bouncy bass is perfectly underpinned by the ever precise, pinpoint percussion of stand-in drummer Dave Jeffers (on loan from Baleful Creed for the evening). Stage right, Tim’s furious guitar work combines the rough and the smooth, with big crunching riffs counterpointed by marvellous melodies and steak-searing solos. He truly is one of the most under-rated players on the Northern Ireland scene.

Safire at Limelight 2, Belfast, 27 April 2019

Up front, Saffron’s voice is rich and mellifluous, with that all-important undercurrent of “fuck you” attitude that likes of Lzzy Hale have perfected so well. The likes of ‘Sunshine’, one of the new songs unveiled tonight, demonstrates her full range. The quartet race through their set, hardly pausing for breath, as they deliver a collection of songs characterized by infectious chorus and earworm hooks that linger long after the last note has died. A stunning return, on every level. But, don’t leave it so long until the next time, eh? - ÜberRock


Summer Rocks at the legendary Empire was the event to be at on The Longest Day, Friday 21 June.

Even though it doesn’t really seem like summer going by the weather recently it was going to be an evening of four rocking bands. Two that I have seen a number of times, one that even though I know their music, I have seen live only once before, and one that I had never heard of before tonight.

All put together by SO:NI, Sounds Of Northern Ireland promoter Philip McCarroll.

The opening band of the night was DEAD ADDICTION.

Photo by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart
A band that I have seen on a number of occasions at various venues over a period of time. This band just keeps improving. Over the time from when I first saw them, Joe Murphy has came a long way and looks much more comfortable up on stage fronting the band than he did about a year ago. Thats not to say that he wasn’t good then, but he has improved in the lines of stage presence and looks more the part of a front man.

Backed by a band that are tight, and from what I saw and heard, never put a foot wrong the whole set. Awesome drumming by Stephen Engelen. Nice bass lines from Danny Haughey. Great riffs from guitarist Chris Van Engelen. And some blistering solos by Ciaran Lyttle, who really shines in this band.

If you get the opportunity to catch this band live, and you are a fan of local bands like the mighty MAVERICK. Then be sure to check these guys out. You won’t be disappointed.

Up next on the bill was LIKE A HAWK.

Photo by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart
Hailing from Limavady, they are relatively new to the scene. After some line up changes they ended last year with a bang by reaching the final of the Bulleit Bourbon Battle of the bands, after playing only once with their current members.

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly blown away when they took to the stage and performed their first two songs. To me, it wasn’t really anything special. But when they started into the third song of their set, something just seemed to click. What followed was some great rocking tunes and some great banter from the boys between songs. Telling the audience before a song that they had to tune their guitars down so they would sound more ominous.

Front man Aaron Archibald introducing his brother Ryan on drums as his “wee lesbian brother”. To performing a song about erectile dysfunction. They even joked at the end of their set that you could find them on Tinder along with all the usual social media sites.

LIKE A HAWK were the only band on the line up that I had not only never heard before, but also had never even heard of. But I certainly hope that I get the chance to see them again.

Up next was the penultimate band on the line up.

The female fronted SAFIRE.

Photo by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart
Led by an absolute powerhouse on vocals in Saffron Gorman. A powerful voice with great range and control, and an amazing stage presence that commands your attention.

She is backed by former DONUM DEI bassist Dean Kane, who adds a lot of energy to the band. Guitarist Tim Torrens, who in my eyes, and ears, is one of the best shredders round. Regular drummer Cozy McCauley is currently on hiatus but taking his spot behind the kit was Baleful Creed’s David Jeffers.

I personally found the band to sound better and tighter with the addition of Jeffers on drums, but I might be a little biased here considering I’m a big fan of Baleful Creed.

SAFIRE played a great set, with the only downside being the absence of “Fallen Angel”, which to me, and I’m sure others, is one of their stand out songs.

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for, the mighty STORMZONE.

What really is their to say here? One of the biggest rock acts to come from our wee island. Fronted by, hands down, one of the best on the local scene.

Harv Harbinson is a total package, if you will. A great voice with charisma and a stage presence that’s hard to beat. Behind him, a band to match, and a return of the Three Kings Line-up. Davy “Basher” Bates who recently returned to drumming duties, as well as the also recent return of David Shields on guitar.

The flawless grooves on bass guitar from Graham McNulty, and the blistering lead guitarist that is Steve Moore with his ever present signature flying V Jackson’s.

Photo by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart by David Stewart
STORMZONE played a blistering set of old and new which never let up. From the commercially sounding “Another Rainy Night” (one of my personal favourites), to the classic “Three Kings” (another favourite), and finishing with the Whoooaaaas of the crowd participating “Death Dealer.

Harv even commented towards the end of the night at two women who were on their phones for most of the set and standing in the corner next to the stage, that the band were almost finished and that they can come off using Tinder. One of the women replied up to him that she was married, to which Harv quickly came back with, “sure everyone on Tinder is married”, which gave the audience a good laugh.

All in all, a great night, a well sized crowd with a great line-up with over three and a half hours of music at a legendary venue, and all for just £6.00. What more could you ask? - Happy Metal Geek

"Bloodstock – Metal 2 The Masses – Heat 3 – Voodoo – Belfast"

Tonight see’s no less than five big hitter banging it out for a place in the Semi Final’s of this year’s Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Heat. It’s a Rock-tastic affair with all these bands sharing a love of the good old-fashioned Rock ‘N’ Roll. The Distortion Project once again plays host and Voodoo Belfast the hallowed ground on which battle commences.

8:30 kick off time once again and first up is Wild Heat, the Belfast band have a love for all this 80’s Rock and it comes across in a strong start to the competition with a tight performance and high energy performance on stage. The guys are giving it loads and the crowd are responding in kind, punchy tracks and strong vocals make for a quality performance all round. The guys wrap things up with a banging tune and are well received by the Voodoo faithful who acknowledge a fine start to the evening.

Check them out here:

Up next is Delusional Silence, with an early Iron Maiden vibe with a taste of Psychedelic Rock via Judas Priest they get stuck right in. Their music is intriguing with flamboyant guitar work, So much so their lead guitarist feeling it launches himself into the crowd to enjoy the craic. The was obviously a sizeable crowd here for DS and they were giving it loads with each song played. A pretty tasty set lifted the room once again, both bands have made their mark. Check them out here:

Divides Unfold take the middle slot of tonight’s competition, right away you know these guys have their shit together. A far more cohesive sound and tighter all round feel immediately separate them from running pack. A really dynamic and vibrant sound, with plenty of commercial appeal, yet hefty enough to make the hairs stand on the back of your neck. Great vocal delivery and with a frontman confident enough to put down his axe and stand centre stage and still pull it off for their second number, you know they have the quality within to make their mark on this competition. Check them out here:

Periapt take the stage next. They offer a pretty hefty sound that wavers between Sludge / Doom and Prog at times and with a female bassist slamming stage right. Nice to see in a male dominated competition so far, Periapt offer and intriguing sounding set but possibly not as tight as some of the previous bands during transitions and breakdowns in the songs. A band with real potential the crowd dug their sound and pushed them on to give it their all. Check them out here:

Like A Hawk wrap up tonights’ competition, taking the stage at 11:30 it’s been a wait for the guys to do their thang and a few shandies were enjoyed throught the evening.

These guys had a real old school Rock ‘N’ Roll feel that they revelled in, a tight performance and feel good factor was evident on stage. The guys who were finalists in the Bulleit Bourbon Battle of the Bands offered a solid performance that went down well with the modest crowd now left in the room. Would it be enough?

Check them out here:

As it was turned out Divides Unfold, Delusional Silence and Wild Heat took the 3 slots for the Semi Finals. Well done to all who took part and of course James Loveday and the Distortion Project / Voodoo Belfast for hosting another great night.

Heat 4 takes place Friday March 15th at Voodoo once again. - Rock 'N' Load


Still working on that hot first release.



Like A Hawk are an exciting 4 piece rock outfit established in the small town of Limavady in the North West of Northern Ireland. Formed by brothers Aaron & Ryan during their music studies at college, the band began writing the chunky, loud and lively guitar driven music that the siblings had grown up on. With Aaron's strong rock vocals and classic riff repertoire, and Ryan's fast paced, hard-hitting beat keeping, the band soon established a strong, original live set including everything from standard Classic Rock songs to Hard Rock power ballads alongside the occasional 70's rock cover.

After several line-up changes and whilst putting together demos for their upcoming E.P release, the brothers were soon joined by Johnny 'Cheddar' Mullan on guitar and backing vocals and Ciaran Buchanan on bass. Not only did the new duo help secure a steadfast and firm backbone to the already pounding rock machine, but they brought endless new opportunity to expand and diversify the overall sound of the band.

Like A Hawk ended 2018 on a high note, reaching the final of the annual Bulleit Bourbon Battle of the Bands after playing only once with the new line-up. The band are currently in the mastering stages of their debut release, a 5 Track Mini-Album full of riffs, good times and volume, with their debut single, ‘Wake Me Up’ coming on February 20th, 2020!

Like A Hawk is:Aaron Archibald - Lead Vocals/GuitarJohnny 'Cheddar' Mullan - Guitar/Backing VocalsCiaran Buchanan - Bass GuitarRyan Archibald - Drums/Backing VocalsEmail:

Band Members