Mopocalypse was a ‘spook-tacular’ success

Revellers got in the Hallowe'en spirit
Revellers got in the Hallowe'en spirit

It was a real ‘thriller’ when ghosts, ghouls, zombies and children of the night turned out to Montrose Music Festival’s supernatural first Hallowe’en event.

With two nights of monstrous melodies, the Montrose Music Festival (MoFest) team have yet again put the town firmly on the music map.

The Town Hall was transformed into an apocalyptic refuge as the MoFest committee put on an over 18s evening on Hallowe’en itself and then a family night on Saturday.

Despite concerns that ticket sales were not high enough, across the two nights around 450 people turned out.

David Paton, festival chairman, explained the idea behind the event. He said: “We are constantly asked to do something for our younger audience and with Hallowe’en being halfway between each main festival it seemed a logical choice to do a family style event for all ages.

“As it was our first Hallowe’en event we were concerned that it would be a hard sell, and although ticket sales were not as we had hoped we did fill the hall both nights and the feedback on both evenings has been superb.

“Based on the feedback we would probably like to make it an annual event, but this is all dependant on funds from the main festival of course.

“Montrose has always had a vivid music scene. Our local pubs and clubs put on events on a regular basis and I would like to think that MoFest has worked because of the work the publicans had already put in to make the town so enthusiastic about music.

“The only worry is that the town becomes too saturated with ‘satellite’ events that it perhaps starts to have an effect on smaller events that our publicans are hosting throughout the year.

“MoFest’s popularity will certainly keep it in its pre-summer post at the end of May each year and if demand is there, Mopocalypse will return for Hallowe’en next year.”

Mopocalypse kicked off on All Hallows Eve itself with an over 18s night.

Starting the supernatural show was Jack Sandison from Edinburgh band The Holy Ghosts, who had everyone entranced with his soulful voice and even had an impromptu on stage appearance from a member of the Red Pine Timber Company playing the mouth organ.

The Guttergodz appeared next and blew the roof of the hall with their unique rock sound and got the ever growing crowds going for the next act. Brothers Reid were up next with their toe tapping tunes, getting everyone up on the dance floor during their set.

Former front man of Sergeant, Nick Mercer, jnr., followed with more intimate solo set, which allowed the crowd to relax and enjoy some chilled out acoustic music for a while before the Red Pine Timber Company had the venue jumping for the last hour with an encore.

Warming up the crowd of around 200 people on the Saturday night family event was Montrose band Peyton Place with their catchy choruses and energetic beats.

Taking to the stage next were Loveable Rogues, who were just that. The three-piece band from London, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, said they had never been to Montrose before and had spent the day in the town, checking out local drinking haunt The Picturehouse. They sang a mixture of and their own songs and covers. And when a fan requested their hit ‘Love Sick’, the boys invited her up on stage to sing with them.

Girl band Stooshe were next up, wearing tartan for their Scottish audience. The girls got everyone moving to their well-known hits ‘Love Me’, and ‘Black Heart’, as well as performing an acoustic set of covers from Ed Sheeran to Beyonce and debuting their new single, which is out next year ‘High Hopes’.

Finishing off the night was Amelia Lily, who shot to fame on season eight of X Factor in 2011. She got everyone singing and jumping up and down to her hits ‘Shut Up (and Give Me Whatever You Got)’, ‘You Bring Me Joy’ and ‘Party Over.’ During her last song, she asked three young girls who had been dancing away at the front to join her on stage.

David said his highlight of the event was the effort the effort many of the people made with their costumes.

He said: “It was really impressive and also my highlight was seeing so many younger people enjoying the music of Stooshe, Amelia Lily and The Lovable Rogues. Amelia even had three young girls up on stage with her, and their faces spoke for themselves.”

David believes events like this benefit the local music scene, as well as bringing big acts to the area. He said: “I think its important to have a balance of bigger and smaller events in the town, perhaps there is a need, with so many events happening in town of late, that all of these groups need to work closer together to make sure they are well spread out in the calendar to ensure people can afford to attend as many as they can.”

The next event on the MoFest calendar is the team’s second Burns’ ceilidh at the end of January.

David added: “The MoFest team would just like to thank everyone who attended the events and to all the businesses that donated raffle prizes including Robert Ritchie Hi-Fi for the amazing Sony iPod speaker. Thanks to LCC Live and Lime Light once again for the production of the shows and to all the artists and backstage crews that work tirelessly to make it happen.”

David hinted that there will be headlining news for the 2015 festival coming soon.