Howlin’ Widow Blues Rock / Co. Antrim

HOWLIN’ WIDOW are a band “into the spirit and attitude of bands like BLUE CHEER, PENTAGRAM, BLACK SABBATH and THE STOOGES”. Formed in 2007 as a four piece, and remaining so until March 2009 when Jason opted to step back from vocals and concentrate on guitar. Shortly after this Tom Clarke announced the break-up of BAD BOAT (2002-2009) and was invited to sit in on HOWLIN’ WIDOW rehearsals. Soon after he joined full-time as vocalist and lyricist in the band. With the line-up now complete and new songs written the band decided it was time to get in the studio.

In May 2009 they recorded the ‘Railway Demos’ at Railway Studios, Lisburn. Although the band was happy with the overall sound and performance the decision was made to leave the recordings unreleased and as demos. The band made their live debut in July 2009 and gigged several times during the course of 2009, a highlight being the support for TROUBLE and HONEY FOR CHRIST in Oct of that year.

In April 2010 the band recorded three more tracks at My First Recorder in Belfast, which were released as the ‘Howlin’ Widow EP’ in June of that year. Two pressings exist for this EP. All of the 1st pressing were given away free at the DISTORTION PROJECT’s 10th Anniversary in May 2010. Limited to 100 copies it came in a clear wallet without artwork. The 2nd pressing, also limited to 100 copies came with artwork, a different running order and was printed on vinyl replica CDs and sleeves. This version also benefited from improved mastering.

HOWLIN’ WIDOW played more gigs in 2010. Shows included support slots for GARCIA PLAYS KYUSS, LORD VICAR (both in Dublin and Belfast) and DIAMOND HEAD. December 2010 saw the band recording again. Two new songs, ‘Exorcised Accidental’ and ‘Son Shine’, but on 11th June 2011 Jason Hendry left the band and was briefly replaced by Neil McIlfatrick (HUNGER’S MOTHER). Soon after Tony Murray also parted ways and the band who have since disbanded.

After the band went their separate ways, Gary Spence set up Freak Flag Recordings in 2012. A small independent record label based in Belfast, set up to release music that is influenced by, but not limited to Heavy Psych & Blues, Rock & Roll, Punk, Garage Rock, Stoner and Doom on Vinyl.

Kicking things off with swansong offerings from two of Northern Ireland’s finest Stoner/Blues/Rock bands. BAD BOAT’s final ‘Lonely Doom EP’, first released as a limited run of 100 CD’s back in 2009 finally gets the vinyl treatment it was originally intended for. And the previously unreleased 2010 final recordings from the excellent HOWLIN’ WIDOW…‘Exorcised Accidental b/w Son Shine’.





Blues Rock, Doom Metal, Heavy Rock, Rock, Stoner Doom

Year Formed




Members (Current)

  • Tom Clarke - Vocals
  • Neill McIlfatrick - Guitar
  • Gary Spence - Guitar
  • Dave Boyd - Bass
  • Tony Murray - Drums

Members (Former)

  • Tony Murray - Drums
  • Chris Burns - Bass
  • Jason Hendry - Guitar