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Monsterfest organiser Mark Allison fires the starting Gun on second weekend of rock at the Ironworks, Inverness after inaugural festival last year brought The Dead Daisies and Dan Reed Network to city


By Kyle Walker


WHAT’S that coming over the hills – is it a Monsterfest?

The independent Inverness indoor rock festival returns to the Ironworks this weekend for a second year of shredded guitar riffs and shredded eardrums after last year’s inaugural weekender, as some of the country’s loudest bands descend on the venue.

Last year's festival saw a weekend of rock 'n' roll hit Inverness's largest venue, as headliners The Dead Daisies and Dan Reed Network brought the noise.

This year taking place over the Friday night and all day Saturday, the weekend will feature 14 groups of hard-rocking hellraisers taking to the Ironworks stage.

Throw in an extra four acts at the festival’s fringe opener on the Thursday night as well as an acoustic session at the Penta Hotel on the Sunday night, and you’ve got a lot of organising to take care of.

Or, as the event’s organiser Mark Allison jokingly puts it on Monday when asked about how his weekend had gone, “What weekend? They all blur into one at the moment!

“Yeah, it’s been pretty hectic,” he continued. “Like I say, I’ve got the day job as well so it’s keeping me busy at the same time – gosh, I’m busy!”

With this being Monsterfest number two, Mark has drawn on a lot of lessons from organising the first one.

Gun have been announced as headliners for the second Monsterfest.
Gun have been announced as headliners for the second Monsterfest.

“It’s been a bit more straightforward doing it this time, because obviously we had one behind us. I mean, the difficulty thing was that the first year, you probably saw we tried to get an eclectic bunch of bands.

“A few people were saying it was a metal fest and to be honest I think we only had about one band that was an out and out metal band. We were trying to get a mix up between alternative rock and classic rock and just trying to mix it up.

“Again this year we’re trying to do the same thing, which I think we’ve managed to do.”

This year sees Friday night closers Massive Wagons and Saturday night headliners Gun joined by bands across the rock spectrum – including classic shredders OD Saxon and Romeo’s Daughter, along with up-and-comers Anchor Lane and Those Damn Crows and north of Scotland rockers King Kobalt and Broadsea.

“We’ve got your classic hard rock with OD Saxon which will touch back to...well, I was a big Saxon fan back in the early 80s,” Mark explained. “And then you’ve got Massive Wagons which are the new wave of classic rock and are really hot just now, because they’re selling out all over the country.

“And then you’ve got on the Saturday – well, Gun’s obviously a staple one, because Gun have got a great history with the Highlands since the early 90s or late 80s.

“And then again, Those Damn Crows, they’re like Massive Wagons. They’re a big up-and-coming band. Those Damn Crows and Massive Wagons are probably the two hottest tickets in the country just now in that genre.

“Because if you look at all the festivals and gigs throughout the last two years, that’s the two names that really start popping up all the time.”

Monsterfest 2019 takes place at the Ironworks on Friday night from 6.30pm and Saturday from 2pm. Tickets cost £55 for the full weekend. The Monster Fringe takes place on Thursday night at the same venue from 7pm (tickets £6), while the MonsterChill Acoustic Sessions takes place at the Penta Hotel on Sunday from noon (free entry). For full details go to www.monsterfest.rocks



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