THERE comes a time when it is past midnight: beer and mini-Jagers (79 in local Russell's Shop4U...nice way to spend a tenner!) are being consumed and you can't be bothered setting iTunes to shuffle again. What is one to do when effectively grounded owing to health - or lack thereof - and doggie minding?

It used to be the case that the latest CDs would be rammed unwillingly into the player, but they're really for the car or when you can scare the shit out of the neighbours and terrify the Christian family across the street.

Past midnight there must be some way to score a fix of hard rock and metal when tip tapping on the keyboard. After all Wednesday nights are sorted with Carrie Davenport's Pure Rock Fury on Blast 106FM doling out two hours of mayhem in her own inimitable style.

The rest of the week...well thanks to Seatzie's tip off to us at Metal Mansion, and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 's dedication salvation is at hand thanks to Rock Radio NI. The concept is simple - a web based radio station which regularly plays rock and metal, and backs local bands and is available online, through wi-fi radio and other outlets. What is more if you are a fan with some time on your hands you can create your own playlist and become an online rock and metal DJ.

We're going to grasp the technical side of it when the Carlsberg runs out (sometime next week) and we get a Jager free evening (at 79p a mini bottle that's not altogether likely anytime soon!). Might even try and pull together a playlist....

But what the spirit of Carrie and Phil shows to us is that the hard rock and metal scene has massive potential.

And I'm not talking about some mythical breakthrough to the mainstream.

There is a healthy live scene. James's Distortion Project has kept the flame alive for more than a decade, and local gig venues are proliferating, from the hallowed land on OrmeauAvenue, to the Pavillion and the Diamond Rock Club in North Antrim.

Musically the scene is in rude good health, from beserker metal, through to hard rock and all the way to black metal, hardcore, classic metal and even a wee bit of thrash. The quality of the bands is growing and developing all the time.

FFS there's even a healthy rock and metal DJ scene [hat tip to Monk and the Paradise City crew!]

With this groundswell of support, interest and local dedication at some time there must be a coming together: a collective will that can bring the scene some collective earnings, that can be ploughed back into providing more and more ways to expose the scene.

And in a theme touched on previously on this blog, there is a lot of talent that merges around the scene (I have always said that headbanging stimulates brain cell growth!). Linking it all up is a challenge beyond mere mortals, but just for a few moments ponder what Norn Iron heavy fuggin' metal could achieve.

Bands who can be backed to generate the revenue to record and produce new material; live outlets; a community of support that can support the bands with everything from t-shirt designs through to PR, writing and album and poster design...

Okay, that's the maybe the Jager talking, but a collaborative approach just might begin to bring a burgeoning scene together...

Ahh feck! Re-read that and realised I was a misty eyed hippy dreamer for a moment! Action required: temporarily pause Rock Radio NI and slam some Slayer on!

Ahhh, that feels better know.

Calmness has infused the cells, more beer has been consumed. It's safe to switch back to Rock Radio NI and enjoy some new tunes, some old favourites and relax...

Your thoughts or random slagging off welcome as always either here or by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ...

Authors: Jonny

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