Searching for Donkeys to support Simple Minds

The Searching for Donkeys boys after their winning performace.
The Searching for Donkeys boys after their winning performace.
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A talented group of musicians are to have their fifteen minutes of fame by sharing the stage with rock legends Simple Minds on Hogmanay.

“Searching For Donkeys” pipped 14 other contestants at a Battle of the Bands at the weekend in Aberdeen’s Blue Lamp pub.

The winners have landed the special prize of a winning slot at Stonehaven’s Open Air In The Square event to support Simple Minds.

The four-piece group - formed in Inverness in 2012- play all original, upbeat, indie-rock tunes, with a high calibre of catchy riffs.

The Searching for Donkeys boys entered the music industry by organising and running music events and gig nights. Highlight of the year before winning the Battle was playing the Free Range Stage at Belledrum festival. The excited band members Graeme Gilchrist (guitar/vocals), Gordon Ross (lead guitar), Colin Larkman (bass) and Barry MacFarlane (drums) said they were “over the moon” to win the competition.

The contest was organised by June Ross of Your Event Scotland who said she would be delighted to showcase a similar event in the future.

She said: “All the bands that performed on the night showed great talent and really got the crowd going.”

The organisers of Open Air In The Square have also announced Scots

11-piece fun group The Dangleberries are also to provide support on the night.

The Dangleberries are a pipe rock band, consisting of vocals, guitars, drums and bagpipes. The band’s rousing performances deliver a mixture of their own material, both songs and instrumentals in addition to well known and at times unexpected covers.

Their own material is mainly rock influenced but naturally written to compliment and fuse with the unique sound of the bagpipes.The Dangleberries recently celebrated 10 years of gigging which has taken them from as far south as London to as far north as Wick with many music venue and festival appearances in-between. Highlights include regular festival main stage performances at The Wickerman, Belladrum Tartan Hearts and Loopallu.

They have released three albums “A Richt Guid Horkin” a live recording made in 2007, followed by “Nae Sleep Tae Regent Street” which was released in 2009 and “Plugged In” this year.

Meantime Stonehaven is going to be swinging in the lead up to Hogmanay with a varied package of events.

On Friday, Dec 20 popular groups The Little Kicks with Evening Sprint and Hoodoo Zephyr play in Stonehaven Town Hall. The next night in the hall there is Bring a Party to a Party with live band TOTICO.

Also in the town hall on Friday, Dec 27 there is a night of Motown with Feeva . The next night Scots entertainer Alistair McDonald is in concert and on Monday, December 30 top North-east folk ensemble The Old Blind Dogs appear in the hall with the Brothers Reid.

On Hogmanay Stonehaven Folk Club will stage it’s annual ceilidh in the town hall with Cabrach ceilidh band.

The main events will be the Hogmanay Open Air In The Square concert with Simple Minds and the traditional Fireballs in the Auld Toon.

On New Year’s Day there will be a family ceilidh at the town hall from 12.30pm to 3pm; a “Dip With A Nip” at Stonehaven harbour to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and a pub quiz at Stonehaven’s Belvedere Hotel.

The OAITS organisers have e-mailed all those who have bought tickets outlining arrangements for obtaining wristbands. See

For further details contact Neil Horne on 01569 763494.