Rochdale Gig – 12th December 2009

It goes beyond saying at this point that this was the very best gig played by the band EVER.  Difficult to write about it as well. But let’s give it a shot anyway here.

Preparation and Build-up

DonkeyBox Flyer


A few months earlier and fired with our determination to play a gig in the US, we were ready to travel up anywhere and gig really as long as we had an audience! And the most natural place for that to happen for us in England was going to be in Rochdale (near Manchester). Martin had got us a gig at his childhood/teenage years local Rock pub and we were up for this, hell yeah!!

The catch…well no catch really, we had to play a long, relaxed entertaining set lasting about 2 hours. Nothing we have done that long before, yikes! We’ve always had a fiery 35 minutes set which is well designed for the London unsigned scene. So we had to learn some covers quick…

In fact now we were just learning covers and had to delay the recording of our new EP/album because of this.

Travelling North with Road crew

Ready to go

DonkeyBox roadies ready to go

Two cars full of passengers, a drum kit, guitar amps, guitars and other random stuff. We started off from London meeting at 7am in the morning…the long drive North started to the blazing sound of “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns ‘N Roses 🙂

A lady friend we found at the petrol station in London wanted to come along North with us but only as far as Camden though. As the cars were full we continued without the extra passenger.

On the way we also decided the set list as one does.

The gig!

Well after a bit of afternoon rest and a swift set up we went on stage for our first part of the set. We played a mixture of stuff ranging from our original material to covers. The pub was small but packed and we could even get a drink from the bar while on stage. We got plenty of that and song requests too with the audience being that up close and personal 🙂

After the first half the stage was donned by Rob Martin and Dr. G for some classic rock covers that included “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix and “All Right Now” by Free. That was then followed by a one-off cover version of “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. This particular performance featured Pete Lord on vocals, making it almost a 12 year later re-union of Martin and Pete on stage with that exact song.

Round three and DonkeyBox were on stage again, this time throwing in “Hit Me One More Time” by Britney Spears and also an awesome medley of “Sympathy For the Devil/Freedom/Let Me Entertain You” featuring Martin on vocals. We then got a surprise (given that both Atul and Matt were wearing Guns ‘N Roses t-shirts)..

A request for “Sweet Child ‘O Mine”! Well, who were we to disappoint, the public gets what the public wants..and having never practiced this song in this line-up and not having performed it live for over 4 years we blagged it…and damn well too!

The final acts on stage included everyone who had performed that night finishing off with “You Really Got Me” and “Sweet Home Alabama” to which everyone was singing along.

Our thanks

Going on tour outside London involved quite a few people and we have to say our BIG thanks to:

  • Everyone who was there on the night, you made it 🙂
  • Paul Stark – Official road crew manager; for taking up our gear
  • Rob Martin, Peter Lillitos, Pete Lord; for their supporting slots
  • The totally cool landlord of the pub who was well into this live music thing!
  • The Ewart Family for putting us up and arranging the whole thing

We’ll be back there soon and with a small taste of touring we are keen to hit other cities and towns soon, watch this space 🙂


About Atul Rana

Online maths and Science tutor, co-founder of Indie Tutors, singer of alternative rock band DonkeyBox. View all posts by Atul Rana

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