November 19th 2016

Montrose Music Festival, 28th May 2016

Montrose Music Festival

The headline act for this part of the weekend was Jools Holland, however I didn’t attend that gig. Instead, I headed into town on the Saturday morning to see what was going on at the main High Street stage.

This time around, I only managed to see a few acts, all of which were excellent: Kith and Kin, the Arcades, and the Main Street Blues (gotta love some bluesy music). There was a variety of food on offer too in the market section of the High Street- I made a beeline for the crepe stand (…as per usual).

I didn’t see any pub gigs this year either (I had tickets to the opera up in Aberdeen so couldn’t stick around). Roll on Bryan Adams come August though.

September 20th 2015

Madness, Montrose Music Festival, East Links, 5th July 2015


After the cancellation of the Foo Fighters show, this was my last booked gig of the year so I was really looking forward to it. The show was a belated part of our local music festival and was held on the same land where Status Quo played last year. Before I go any further, the Montrose Music Festival committee should be commended for getting Madness to play in Montrose. They’re a huge band, have a number of classic songs, along with a large fanbase.

My mum and I stood looking onto the centre of the stage, many rows back. Nice and empty, a good spot or so we thought. The first support act was a band called The Lottery Winners, an indie-pop band from Lancashire. I enjoyed their set- plenty of audience interaction and they looked properly excited to be playing in front of such a large crowd. Next up was By The Rivers, a reggae/ska band. Again, they were great.

Then, the main event, Madness. They started off by showing clips from various sporting events on-screen. These clips involved England and solicited a number of boos from the audience. The band started playing and there was a surge of people who barged in. I should note they had lanyards on indicating they’d come from the VIP section. A group of what I can only describe as football casuals barged in beside me. Their behaviour was disgusting and I believe they started making some awful racist comments (I didn’t hear these myself). This prompted the woman in-front of me to tell them to cut it out (she was very calm about it).

2 songs in and it all got too much. I was crushed so much I panicked and my mum removed me from the crowd and took me to the side. She was 1) concerned about my hip getting hit (I’m disabled)- it felt like there was going to be a fight and 2) she was concerned about crush injuries. Security were called to try and sort out the situation in the middle of the crowd.

The outside of the crowd was a totally different atmosphere- people happily skanking away. We noticed multiple people come out of the crowd in tears and/or grasping their heads- beer had been served in cans and these were being thrown at people. At most of the gigs I’ve been to: AECC, Murrayfield, Hampden, drink is served in plastic glasses. Even water.

I was looking forward to hearing some classic Madness songs and it just wasn’t the same having to watch from the sidelines. The band played for 1.5 hours playing all their hits. Unfortunately the start of the gig had put a real downer on the show for me- the crowd let Montrose and the band down.

I’m not sure if I’ll return to the East Links next year. Woke-up the day after with little bruises down my arms where the football casuals had crushed me. A gig is supposed to be fun.

Here’s the approximate setlist-

Grand Slam
The Prince
My Girl
My Girl 2
Take It or Leave It
The Sun and the Rain
Mumbo Jumbo
Dust Devil
Return of the Los Palmas 7
Believe Me
Bed and Breakfast Man
Shut Up
Girl Why Don’t You?
Living on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
One Step Beyond
House of Fun
Wings of a Dove
Baggy Trousers
Our House
It Must Be Love

Night Boat to Cairo

June 11th 2015

Montrose Music Festival, 23rd May 2015

music festival

During the music festival, Montrose High Street is closed off to cars. This year, in addition to the main stage, there was also a market street area, serving food and drinks (crepes, cocktails, hog roasts, sushi, noodles, coffee, bubble tea…I could go on). You should know that I made a beeline for a Nutella Crepe!

On to the bands and performers I saw. Here goes…

  • Around 7- a Forfar-based rock band- did a cracking AC/DC cover! Witnessed an old lady head-banging in her chair during the performance.
  • Red Pine Timber Co- country-sounding rock and roll band from Perth. They reminded me of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band during The Rising era. Need to see them again.
  • Cheryl Brown- only caught the end of her set (because I required some coffee). Great voice.
  • If All Else Fails- they weren’t performing this time. They were presenting a cheque to Crohn’s and Colitis UK- through their fundraising efforts, they have raised £1600 from sales of the single released about Lewis. Buy it now!
  • Jenna Morrow- dressed as Elsa from Frozen and performed Let It Go. She did a great job and a small child tried to rush the stage to see her which was pretty entertaining.
  • The Holy Ghosts- you’ve probably heard me rave about these guys. I’ve seen them at the last 2 music festivals (supporting both Toploader and Status Quo) and I think they’re brilliant. Proper rock and roll.

I rounded off my day at the festival by heading down to Busby’s with some friends to see the Buffalo Soldiers perform. We first saw them back in 2012 at Sharky’s. That was quite a gig- the combination of the hot summer evening, funky reggae music and the sight of people enjoying themselves (there were a number of old men climbing on tables and dancing) made it a great night. Busby’s was more of the same. Reggae music just screams sunshine. This time we saw the entire 2 hour set and danced around in the packed venue. Great atmosphere and I’m hoping to catch these guys again sometime soon.

June 11th 2015

Ash, Montrose Music Festival, Town Hall, 22nd May 2015


When it’s May in Montrose, Angus, it means it’s time for the annual music festival. There’s traditionally a headline act on the Friday evening and this time, the gig was performed by Ash. Here’s my quick review of the show.

If All Else Fails
If All Else Fails are a Montrose-based metal group who released their first album Introspective last year. The band have faced a tough time of late- last September, their bassist Lewis was rushed into hospital owing to complications from Crohn’s Disease and ended up fighting for his life on multiple occasions (see this article by the Review). This gig marked the band’s return to the stage.

The band did a fantastic job in getting the crowd going ahead of the main act with their fast-paced metal tunes. They performed their charity single “For You, Brother”- all proceeds from sales of the single go to Crohn’s and Colitis UK. If you want to support the cause, you can buy the song on iTunes (it’s only 99p!).

The Amorettes
Next up was the second support act, The Amorettes, an all female rock band. I’d heard good things about them and had recently bought their Game On album. Again, I thought they were great- more like classic rock and roll!

The main act! Admittedly, I only knew a few of Ash’s songs before I went to the gig- that didn’t stop me enjoying it though! They performed a number of songs from their new album, Kablammo! which features the classic Ash sound. Of course, old classics that we know and love were performed too- Burn Baby Burn, Girl from Mars, etc. I particularly enjoyed Return Of White Rabbit- it had a very funky vibe. Bonus points for the cover of Teenage Kicks!

I think Ash performed for around 2 hours (finishing around 11.25pm) and it was a storming set. The band looked like they were really enjoying themselves too 🙂 Would love to see them again!

June 1st 2014

Montrose Music Festival, High Street, 24th May 2014

High Street Montrose

After a great show by Status Quo the previous day, we headed to the High Street stage as part of the Montrose Music Festival. A large portion of the street was closed, with food vans and stalls (great atmosphere).

I was rather tired from the night before so I only managed to catch a couple of bands. The first one I saw was Estrella. They’re an 70’s/80’s inspired rock band, reminding me of Van Halen. I enjoyed their short set and ended up ordering their album when I got home. The second band I listened to was Millsyeck, hailing from Dundee. They’re also a rock band who performed a great cover of Sweet Child ‘O Mine.

It’s a pity I was so knackered on the Saturday- I wish I could have taken in a few more bands!