“You’ve obviously got a lovely scene going on here” said Dan Donnelly as he started his set tonight….and he’s not wrong. The venue for tonights intimate gig was The Woolpack Music Studios in Otley – an old pub that’s been turned into an arts space by the lovely Richard (who happily supplied Lee with cups of hot water all night). The gig was a benefit organised by Josh in aid of SkatePal who supply skateboarding equipment to kids with nowt in Palestine. There was a great video shown in the background chronicling the building of skate parks, some of their skating adventures, and some of the hardship and violence that seems to be part of the everyday there.
First up was Boff Whalley with the help of Phil Moody who did a set very reminiscent of the one Chumbawamba did at WOMAD a few years back. Great to hear ‘Add Me’ and ‘Jame Hetfield’ again and as there were a few Commoners in the audience, there was quite a bit of help for the the ‘Boris Johnson’ song and ‘Peoples Armada’…..
When Dan Donnelly heard that Josh was raising money for SkatePal, he spontaneously offered to do a benefit gig for it, which lead to tonights shindig. “Growing up in Northern Ireland during the troubles, I kind of know how they feel”. He did a fabulous solo set with the odd nod to his old band (doing my favourite Wonder Stuff track – ‘Don’t Let Me Down’) and the odd cover with rousing versions of Alternative Ulster and ending with the Clash classic ‘Police on my back’. It was his self-deprecating solo stuff that really hit home “I’m at that age now where I don’t give a fuck and it’s so liberating” looping his guitar with such energy – a joy to watch.
Both acts were joined by guitarist Nick Hall of Plumhall who was quite brilliant. He jammed on a country medley with Dan with consummate ease making on the spot solos to die for. Boff told us he was going to do a touring act with his misses called ‘Orrwhalley’ which was met with a definite “NO WE’RE NOT!” from the back of the room…
Great atmosphere, great music, great cause
Bob the Chiropodist
PS As it was a snowy night with a surfing bent I felt this T-Shirt was appropriate….