We catch up with Searching for Donkeys as part of a series of interviews with acts that are playing the Ironworks Summer Showcases.
Searching for Donkeys are a four piece Inverness based band who have been around the scene for the last year including spots at Glachbeg, Greenhouse, Market Bar, Hootananny and of course The Eagle. They consist of Graeme Gilchrist (Guitar/Vocals), Gordon Ross (Lead Guitar), Colin Larkman (Bass) and Barry MacFarlane (Drums).
As a band name Searching for Donkeys always stands out, where did the name come from?
As I remember, Gord was talking to a pal of ours about how we had been looking for a name for the band for a long time – his sentence started ,”we’ve been searching for donkeys”.
On your Facebook page you have the description “Fantastic, Melodic, Indie listening with a dirty twang edge”, where do you think your influences for the sound f the band come from?
I’ve always listened to fairly mainstream, melodic music – REM, Blur, Coldplay, Turin Brakes, Elbow. Or a bit quirky like Pavement, Gomez, Weezer, Sebadoh, or chilled out like Zero 7 or Aqualung. That gives us a good formula for writing hookey, accessible music. Gord’s lead guitar sound seems to be informed by more recent influences – Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Band of Skulls, Bombay Bicycle Club – every song we write seems to be based on a single riff, phrase or hook. As for rhythm guitar being acoustic over electric… it’s what had.
You have been switching between acoustic and electric sets recently, what are the challenges of doing this and which do you prefer?
Well me and Col don’t mind as we don’t need to change anything. Baz prefers full kit to the cajon of course, but Gord has to re-shape his sound entirely which can be a bit frustrating, given that so many of our tunes have some kind of riff or key phrase on the lead guitar.
What is the song that you guys most look forward to playing in your set and why?
‘Yoko’s Leg’ at the moment, ’cause it’s our most recent tune. And ’cause it’s awesome. But then we thought that of ‘Kitty’s Favour’ too, and every new song before that. Wonder if anyone else feels the same way.
You must be delighted with the call up to Belladrum, how important are festival gigs and high profile events like the showcase. to you?
Very! It’s an amazing opportunity for us to play our tunes to a bigger audience, we love our music and it will be fantastic to get the chance to play to a bigger crowd and playing at Belladrum and the Ironworks Showcase is giving us the chance for wider audience to enjoy our songs.
What other Showcase gigs are you looking forward to seeing?
Cannae wait to play alongside Dylan. The guy’s coming on leaps and bounds, and he’s a good lad. Naked Red, Lionel, The Ragazzi too – guy’s we’ve got to know over the last year, all playing cracking songs. And I haven’t heard Jo Sillars play in a while, or Dougie Burns, or Topher. There’s such a good line up of talent, but obviously we’re mostly looking forward to playing ourselves.
What’s next for Searching for Donkeys?
Ironworks next, then we’re looking forward to a few Glasgow gigs, starting with Box and Maggie Mays. After a few more summer gigs it’ll be about time to do some more recording. Take it as it comes.
Searching for Donkey will be playing the Ironworks on the 4th of July and will be joined by Ashley & the Cosmonauts and Dylan Tierney,
Tickets are available via The Ironworks or from the acts direct