The Roaring Donkey may just be a little back street boozer in Swindon’s Old Town but I think as far as bookings go it manages to punch above its weight. Whilst rival pubs mid week sessions are more likely to be a local cover band playing a passable version of Mr Brightside (this generations Mustang Sally) I’m quite pleased with the acts I manage to secure, many of them from what I call the Turner-Brookfield axis, that is generally solo musicians plying the same fired up acoustic and often on the same circuit as the aforementioned Frank and Gaz. We have had Neil Morris, Nick Parker, Dan O’Dell (aka Heartwork) and this time it was the turn of Joe and John to entertain the hordes.
The geography of the situation is also worth noting as whilst rival pubs are filling their stage with musicians from the same postcode, Joe is from Morecombe and Jon from Hamburg (a fact belied by his almost perfect English pronunciation and a North West twang from frequent visits to friends in Lancaster.)
Not the busiest of nights, but original music in swindon on a school night is not the easiest of sells, but a great show all-round from both chaps. You can tell it has been a good night when you spend all of the money you get for putting the gig on, on merchandise and so I walked them down to their hotel clutching some shiny new vinyl and a couple of CDs. John was, until recently an English literature and History teacher, two subjects close to my heart and so I’m sure next time they are in town a night of books, wine and discussion is definitely on the cards.