Motherwell Makes Music last month showed what local bands could do if they were given a platform to shine.
And the mastermind behind that three day event is hoping the inaugural festival’s success will encourage more venues to book local bands.
Bass player with The Banter Thiefs, Derek Watson has more strings to his bow than just music.
For his day job as an events co-ordinator means he is perfectly capable of staging a successful festival.
And he told the Times and Speaker this week that it won’t be the last you’ll hear of Motherwell Makes Music.
Derek (27), said: “It was a big sucess – the turnout was brilliant and all the gigs were packed out.
“So we’re hoping to make it an annual event on the local calendar.
“It’s not something we could do every couple months though and there’s no dedicated music venue in Lanarkshire, which means people have to travel to see local bands perform.
“It would be great if we could encourage local pubs – of which there are no shortage – to host more gigs or open mic nights.”
Motherwell Makes Music does appear to have made some impact though.
Derek has already spoken to two venues who are keen to showcase local talent, namely The Electric Bar and Starka.
He said: “It’s great that these bars are looking to support local musicians.
“The Electric Bar is looking to do an open mic night on a Friday, while Starka is hoping to do a regular chill out Sunday acoustic open mic night.”
However, Derek is hoping it is just the start of more regular slots opening up for local bands.
“Some local pubs do have regular slots but book cover bands for them,” he said.
“There are a lot of up and coming bands in the town but they all have to travel to Glasgow and Edinburgh for gigs, as do their local fans.
“It would be great for people to be able to see the bands here, in their home town, rather than having to travel elsewhere.”
Fans of The Banter Thiefs won’t have to travel too far to see their next gig.
For singer and guitarist Keith Condie, bass player Derek, guitarist Aaron Smith and drummer Darren O’Rourke will be playing closer to home this month.
The lads are on the bill at a gig in The Clydesdale Inn on Saturday, April 15, alongside a host of Lanarkshire talent.
It was organised by Dovecot Artist Management owner Dougie Scott (21) from Lanark, who has signed his wee brother Grant Scott’s Indie rock band Weekend Debt.
The teenagers, who went down a storm at Motherwell Makes Music, will headline The Clydesdale Inn gig.
Derek said: “The lads are only 17 and 18 but are really, really talented.
“Everyone who saw them in Motherwell was blown away by them.
“Dougie asked me then if we’d like to play with them in Lanark and we were more than happy to say yes.
“We’ve never played a gig in Lanark – again, there’s not really a dedicated venue for it in the town.
“But it’s always good to play somewhere new and get our music out there to a different audience.”
It’s a perfect fit for The Banter Thiefs, as they too are Indie rockers who play all of their own songs.
The band regularly rehearse at the One Eyed Dog studios in the town.
And it’s here that Derek forged strong links with other local bands including Caulder, A Sudden Burst of Colour and Mesmerene.
With their backing and support, Dougie organised Motherwell Makes Music.
He added: “It wouldn’t have happened without them – it was a network of local bands that helped ensure the three day festival was such a big success.
“And with Dougie’s work in Lanark too, the music scene in Lanarkshire really seems to be taking off.
“Now all we need are more local venues to get on board. It would be great to get their support and backing for more local gigs.
“There’s a lot happening in Lanarkshire but, without a dedicated venue, bands have got little option but to travel elsewhere.
“It’s good to get your name out there but it would be great to play some really local gigs too.”
The Banter Thiefs will play at The Clydesdale Inn in Lanark on Saturday, April 15. Doors open at 7pm.
Tickets are priced just £5 and are available from the venue or any of the bands.
It is open to over 16s until 10pm but strictly over 18s from 10pm onwards.
From the pitch to the band
A shared love of Motherwell Football Club brought The Banter Thiefs together.
They have been going strong for around eight years but the current line-up formed just six months ago.
Keith Condie is the lead singer and guitarist, Derek Watson is bass player, Aaron Smith’s on guitar and Darren O’Rourke is the drummer.
While MFC brought them together, the lads already knew each other from their days at Dalziel High School. Darren and Keith were in the year above Derek in high school and they all shared a love of the same music.
So they decided to set up their own Indie rock band and haven’t looked back since.
Earlier this year, they performed at a sell out gig with Sergeant at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.
And the lads are also booked to perform on the main stage at the Stereofunk Festival 2017 in Strathclyde Country Park on Sunday, April 30.
The first festival of the summer is back on the May Day bank holiday for its biggest outing yet. The line up includes TTF, N Trance, Ian Van Dahl, GBX, Dream Frequency, Sosumi ‘Live Pa’, Lil Rockit, Zander Nation, Jim Gellatly, Vladimir and Indigo Velvet. For more information, visit www.stereofunkevents.com.