We’re ready to make music in Motherwell yet again in 2018

Bellshill band Toxic Radios performing at King Tut's
Bellshill band Toxic Radios performing at King Tut's

Motherwell Makes Music returns for a second year with more than 30 bands performing in the town from March 16 to 18.

Organised by Derek Watson, bassist with Motherwell group The Banter Thiefs, the event has attracted bands from all over the country.

But this year, it even has an international flavour.

Derek said: “It’s been going well. I think, with it being the second year, there is a lot more interest caused by the buzz of the first event and we had so many bands asking to perform.

“A few were a little too late in applying but we’ve managed to squeeze as many as we can onto the bill.

“It’s great that we have bands from all over Scotland coming to Motherwell.

“For the first time, we also have an act from outwith the British Isles as Verirpuli-45 from Finland will be at JD’s on the Saturday.

“I actually met them when The Banter Thiefs were invited to play in Finland.

“There was this punk band who we got talking to; they were really nice guys and they told us they’d never performed outside their own country so I told them about the festival and said they’d be very welcome.

“I honestly thought it would just be a token gesture – I didn’t expect they would actually come over – but next thing I know they got in touch to say they had booked the flights!

“Unfortunately, their drummer can’t make it but Scott Summers of Mesmerene has offered to step in after playing with his own band at JD’s, so he’ll have a busy weekend.

“All their songs are in Finnish so it’ll be interesting to see the reaction to them, but all the bands on with them are a little rockier so they should fit in.

“Music is a universal language, you don’t necessarily need to undertsand the words. I thought they very good.”

Derek admits there’s been challenges to putting on this year’s event, not least concern his own band might not be at full-strength when they perform at JD’s on the Friday night, with drummer Darren O’Rourke ready to become a dad.

He said: “Darren’s girlfriend is actually due to give birth the weekend of Motherwell Makes Music so it might be that he’s at Wishaw General while the rest of us are on stage.

“With a bit of luck the new arrival will stay put until dad gets through the gig or already be here to enjoy it, although if need be maybe we can get Scott Summers to pull triple duty!

“While we have had no issues getting acts to perform there have been challenges, particualrly with venues. Starka is closed for refurbushment and the Electric Bar and Club 100 were too busy to accommodate us.

“We were worried we might lose the Cooper Suite at Fir Park, with Motherwell hosting Celtic on the Sunday but, happily, it’s fine and we also have JD’s which has been really enthusiastic so we will be there on all three days.

“The match being on the Sunday might work in our favour as there will be a big crowd at Fir Park.

“With JD’s being so close, it may actually help us and we’ll probably have music on before and after the game.”

This year’s event is a mix of acts who performed last year as well as some newcomers, including Bellshill group Toxic Radios who missed out last year so were determined to ensure they were involved this time round, at the Cooper Suite on the Friday night.

Toxic Radios were formed in August 2006 by singer/guitarist Daniel Quinn, lead guitarist Alex Gartland, drummer Jamie Goodwin and bassist/singer Danielle Diver. They mix the sound of indie favourites from the 2000s, such as The Strokes, The Vaccines and The Killers, with jagged, Scottish rock.

Daniel said: “Being still relatively new, we weren’t as organised a year ago so were just too late in applying.

“This year as soon as we saw in the Times and Speaker there was an opprtunity to get involved we got our name down.

“We’ve been getting a really good reaction to our music in Glasgow, so good in fact it insprired us to release a debut EP in November.

“It’ll be good to be playing at ‘home’ for the first time.

“I think it is great that Motherwelll now has an event like this instead of always having to go further afield to both hear and play great live music.

“We aren’t familiar with the acts we’re on with expect Weekend Debt but we look forward to hearing and meeting them all.”

Toxic Radios’ debut EP, Face The Tide, is available now on all major platforms.

The full list of acts who have been announced so far are:

Friday, March 16 (JD’s Bar) – Declan Welsh and the Decadent West, The Banter Thiefs, The Dunts, Mesmerene, The Nickajack Men, The Bleeders, Kieran Fisher.

Friday, March 16 (Cooper Suite at Fir Park) - Luna The Professor, Weekend Debt, Homeward James, Atlas Run, PYRO, Toxic Radios, Jonny Jack.

Saturday, March 17 (JD’s Bar) – Miami Monroe, The Reason, The Ranzas, Verripuli-45, Death by Scenery, Mark Johnson (DJ).

Saturday, March 17 (Cooper Suite at Fir Park) – Indigo Velvet, Caulder, The Rahs, The Austins, Neonwaves, MAXI (DJ).

Sunday, March 18 (JD’s Bar) – Foggy City Orphan, Loki, The Just Joan’s, Mark Sharp and the Bicycle Thieves, Tommy McGuire, Luke La Volpe, Billy Mitchell, Amanda Bogle, Bex Currie, Connor Fyfe, Lewis Irons.

Entry is £6 for each gig or £11 for the weekend.

Tickets are available here and keep up to date, including the full list of stage times, on Facebook