Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunshine on a Sunny Day: Mofest 2012

Sunshine on a Sunny Day:  MoFest 2012 (Day 1)

Montrose Music Festival, MoFest, is our local music festival, held over three days, which not only showcases local talent, but attracts bands and musicians from across the country to come and perform in a beautifully organised event.  It pulls the whole community together, eliciting performances from Rock and Pop, Jazz and Blues, Country and Folk as well as Pipe bands, Dancers and our resident celebrities Jo Wishart and Tom Murray who are our MC’s for the weekend – in fact, there’s something for everyone!  This year, we had an opening concert on Friday night by Eddi Reader to set the tone – the only event with an admission fee!

This year’s event takes place this weekend and the sun and the crowds have turned out in force.  On Saturday, the town’s Piazza was closed to vehicles and traffic and was transformed into a concert arena – a stage for the musicians and an area for the dancers – and the streets were lined with vendors catering to the culinary requirements of the audience.  Face painters on hand to decorate the faces and bodies of the young and not so young, and hairdressers just to ensure that everyone looked their best. And for those not interested in the main stage, various performers were entertaining in the pubs and hotels around the town – pretty much every musical taste was covered.  You could hear music in Montrose from 10.30am right through to 1.00am on Sunday!

  (The crowd in the Piazza)

The sun, making an appearance for the fifth year in a row, ensured that everyone turned out in their best summer finery, T shirts and shorts the order of the day – even I was inspired to buy a hat! – and the brightness of the weather was reflected in the mood of the crowd.

The performances on stage began in a rousing manner with the Carnoustie Pipe Band, followed by a young group, Charlie, who had won their well deserved spot in a talent competition.  Local boy Stooshy next, entertaining us with some covers from the Beatles and the Foo Fighters. 

 Stooshy (photo by Karen Blackburn)
Evolution dance group performed some street dance, highlighting the talent of their members, followed by the popular local band F & 3Gs.  Their set of rock covers had us dancing in our seats.  Another dance group, Gordon School of Dance, entertained with a show of traditional Scottish and Irish dancing, and then following an impromptue flashmob courtesy of Evolution dance group, Peyton Place, our local boy band!

Peyton Place (Photo by Karen Blackburn)

 Aviator sunglasses to the fore, we were treated to a number of their own songs – ‘Sherlock’ being a particular favourite.  The third, and final, dance group of the day were from Esk Academy of Dance.  Again, dancers with a range of ages performed – including the little elves.   

Esk Academy of Dance (Photo by Karen Blackburn)

 But the highlight for me was the Can-Can – difficult to resist the temptation of joining in with the high kicks!  The Coaltown Daisies, a folk duo from Fife were next up and their performance was sufficient to encourage me to seek them out for one of their longer sets in a local pub later in the evening.

Back to local talent, Lauren, Emily and Meghan, three Montrose sisters – clearly popular with the crowd – performed cover songs, their individual voices complementing one another over the set.  Then for the fans of Rock, The Mandrakes – not quite my cup of tea!  At this point heat and hunger took over and in pursuit of an ice cream we missed the next few performers – sorry folks!  but returned in time to catch Last Orders.  Described as “a four piece Rock tribute band - no tape,s no backing tracks, just great live rock music”, I was a bit wary.  Metal T-shirts, long hair (well the lead singer anyway) and lots of amps and speakers, I wasn’t holding out much hope.

 Last Orders (Photo by Karen Blackburn)

They kicked off with some Guns’n’Roses and Bon Jovi covers, and then the highlight of the day for me – Abba – heavy rock style!  Followed closely by Lady Gaga – a performance which produced some impromptu dancing by a member of the audience!  Absolutely cracking!  Definitely want to see them again!

This year, for the first time, awesome daughter number three, while not old enough to join us in the pub, is old enough to stay home and look after herself.  So Tech Guy and I could head off to check out some of the bands in more detail, Coaltown Daisies and Last Orders being the bands of choice for tonight, neither of which disappointed and I would definitely seek them out again in future festivals.  The Daisies showed us an extended repertoire of their own music and threw in a couple of covers, while Last Orders continued the theme of rock covers.  Much dancing and audience participation were the order of the evening and a repeat of Mama Mia was warmly welcomed.

Home at midnight, narrowly missing the ‘turn back into a pumpkin’ problem and off to bed before more of the same tomorrow – this time around the pubs again, checking out the new and not so new bands (and keeping out of the sun today)!

If you would like any more information about the bands taking part today - and where you can see them, please visit Montrose Music Festival -  The Montrose Music Festival's Official site.

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