NEWS: Acid Cannibals @ Trillians | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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After last month’s stunning MUGSTAR show, the psychonauts behind Infinity Mirror Records have done it again by booking Acid Cannibals, the glisteningly new two-piece radge unit from Glasgow. Featuring Robert Marley (Droves) on drums and James T McKay (The Cosmic Dead) on guitar and vocals, their just released debut EP Why Not Every Night? is an absolute beast, four tracks of furious riffs and in your face drums that make you want to yell your lungs out and form a one-person circle pit in your living room and get a load of gnarly tattoos.

I asked Mckay how it all came together. “I was recovering from a broken heart and Robert told me that his situation had just went down the same and needed a place to stay, emergency style. I extended the invite to stay with me, as our old flatmate had gone AWOL. So inwards he moved. We ate a lot of Linda McCartney sausages and together we helped each other enjoy life again. The Cosmic Dead looked like it was about to experience some downtime so I took some of the riffs that had been turned down by them and I played them to the boy Marley. We banged out the material for the first EP in a couple of days and recorded it with Glasgow’s Steve Albini, Luigi Pasquini of Outblinker, Trembling Bells, Cosmic Dead, Kabobo etc fame and recorded each song in two takes. We chose the fastest takes.”

McKay is keen to stress why being a duo is refreshing: “Why it’s important: the smallest possible distance between having an idea and getting things down is between two heads. Add more heads and it could take years to release anything/write anything/do anything. Our songs were written in a couple of weeks. Our EP was recorded in a couple of hours. Our tour was booked in a couple of days. Our shirts were designed in a couple of minutes. It’s not hard to make a band if you have the ideas and the drive to execute them. Life is tragically short and we need to both cherish the moments we have together and work towards creating joy for each other. If this doesn’t taste good to you then do whatever you want, but at least try to make people happy, it’s a wonderful thing!”

McKay’s official description of Acid Cannibals is a beautiful thing: “A two-piece rock’n’roll punk rock explosion. A masterclass in in taking positive energy and snowballing it, mouth to mouth, between two best friends. Vegan warriors 4 ever.” 


It’s fair to say McKay has had a rough time of late – he’s refreshingly open about the aforementioned heartbreak, an enforced move from the centre of the city to the badlands of Glasgow’s southside, his ongoing mental health issues – which is why it was particularly awful that he started 2018 by nearly cutting his fingers off.

“I stabbed utter fuck out of a chopping board in a rage with a one-piece knife, my fingers slipped right down the blade and I severed two nerves. Opened the tips right up, on my picking hand. Blood pissed all over the wall and I screamed horrific things. I’ve never really seen inside myself and I can’t watch gory films. The little tentacles of bubbly fat were disgusting and I hope I never see that again. The flesh from within my fleshy walls was outside of me and jiggling around, it wasn’t how the night was meant to go. I screamed because for 18 years, using my hands to play an instrument was how I communicated with the world. Yes, of course I talked and talked plenty of total rubbish. But with my hands on an instrument I’ve always felt I’ve articulated points that I could never touch on with words, as crude as it is… 18 years flashed before my eyes with the sprays of blood. Brutality in a nutshell. It was my own fault. Thankfully, my bandmate in Acid Cannibals was there to help drive me to A&E (thank you, beautiful NHS), my girlfriend was there to help hold me as I went into shock and hysterics in the bar.”

It seems typical of McKay that despite everything, he’s accentuating the positive. “The accident was a reminder that we can’t take things for granted. The first ten days were a nightmare, not knowing if my fingers were going to heal or not, the crisis of identity, knowing that it was all my fault, not wanting to be a burden, not being able to work to full capacity… the stuff nightmares are made from. I went in for the big check-up, to see if I would need nerve reconnection surgery and they told me that they had rejoined and that with care, training and positive attitude that they would be healed in no time! The nurse even told me that the plant based diet was a contributing factor. Amazing! I quit booze for 8 weeks, followed the physio and did everything I could to recover. Super high doses of Vitamin D and E have helped. The CBD oil is a contributing factor to stabilising my moods. I’m in a better place now, Acid Cannibals is all about the positive vibes and moving forwards and finding within ourselves the energy and attitude to boldly stand and proudly declare that even though we have battles and negative forces in the universe (and the South Side of Glasgow) that wish to weigh us down, we can practice love and exercise our hearts and make life alright.”

Acid Cannibals play Trillians on Wednesday 14th March with support from Hot Sex For Boys and No Teeth. 

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