Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Donkeys - What I Want

  When the subject of pop punk crops up, many turn up their noses and say Blink 182 and their like aren't punk. I have some sympathy with this view as I'm not overly keen myself on a fair proportion of over produced "punk" that seems to have had any rough edges smoothed out and in my opinion seems sterilised and unexciting. Having said that, I certainly won't write off all pop punk as when it's good, boy is it good.

  One counter argument to come back at the pop punk naysayers with is that there's always been pop punk. I grew up on the likes of The Buzzcocks, The Undertones, The Boys, The Ramones etc so to say that pop punk ain't punk is quite frankly ludicrous.

  Anyway, the purpose of that intro was to give me an opportunity to say that one band from back in the day who would, in an ideal world, be spoken of when the topic of quality old school pop punk rears it's head are The Donkeys. Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, they were together between 1978-82 and whilst maybe missing the cutting edge, of some of their punk contemporaries I don't think anyone could argue about their ability to pen a catchy tune.

  Featuring future Chumbawamba member Neil Ferguson (vocals/guitar), Dave Owen (bass/vocals), Tony Ferguson (rhythm guitar/vocals) and Mark Welham (drums), they released 5 singles, a couple of which were much beloved by my younger self. First up was What I Want/Four Letters which was a 7" that should have been a massive hit (I think it stalled at number 90 in the UK charts). This was followed by No Way (decent enough but a step down from their debut), and then what was probably their most successful song, Don't Go. Single number 4, Let's Float, wasn't (in my opinion) all that good and finally by the time of Listen To Your Radio they'd pretty much ditched any punk leanings (they'd also re named themselves The Donkees). A couple of compilation albums followed many years later (Monkey Business/Television Anarchy) but otherwise the stable door was shut and the band were put out to pasture.

  I could have posted Four Letters or Don't Go but in the end I've gone with What I Want. Enjoy......


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