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Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys @ Island Bar   (April 17, 2004)



This band recently packed out the Deli, as well as playing shows in Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.

Sat, April 17 saw the Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys making the Island Bar their stable for the night. Half the band (singer & drummer) are Lamma folk, the other half was imported from Happy Valley for the evening.


"Cronky, vocals; Wonky, guitar/vocals; Stonky, bass/vocals; Honky, drums. The music is dance/ rock/ska/funk and features covers from the likes of Groove Armada, Happy Mondays, The Specials, Kylie, Adam and the Ants and many others, all played in that special Donkey Stompin' style, guaranteed to get folk up on their hooves n' groovin'."


In Wonky's own words:

On Sat, April 17, it rained. It rained a lot. For the Happy Valley Donkeys, guitarist Wonky and bassist Stonky, it meant a dark, wet journey. People in Hong Kong forget how to drive when it rains, so it took a while.

The Wanch donated an amp for the night, so that was collected and taxied to the ferry. A quick stop for a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and a short ferry ride later and the four Donkeys were reunited in the Island Bar. Of course the rained stopped as soon as the ferry docked, and if it hadn't been 8pm, then the sun would no doubt have started to shine.

The Lamma Donkeys, singer Cronky and drummer Honky, had been in the bar setting up the kit, and enjoying the Lamma hospitality, and soon all Donkeys were getting thoroughly looked after, and beered up, by the helpful and friendly bar staff.

The bar filled up, and the Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys hoofed into their first set. The Donkeys play rocked-up dance music, so it wasn't long before folk were up and dancing along. There's some photos of the gig around here somewhere - better to look at those rather than read about the gig. The band played till around 1am, then about 2am the Happy Valley Donkeys went to haggle with a sampan to get back to their stables.

Stonky had this to say about his night on Lamma:

"I have no idea what was going on 'cos all I could see all night was the back of Wonky's head".

Thanks to the bar staff for looking after the Donkeys and thanks to all that came down to the gig - you guys make it all worthwhile and the Donkeys look forward to playing Lamma again.

A little background on the Donkeys:

The Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys first met around 20 years ago when they were all working as carrot toppers on a farm outside Yeovil, West Dorset. After a while, they realised they had a shared love of music, formed a band and were soon practicing in one of the barns.

Their first gig, as The Toppers, took place in one of the fields just beyond the paddock in June 1985. Unfortunately this gig was poorly attended, with only 3 other toppers, and 8 donkeys coming to see the band. Nevertheless, The Toppers didn't give up and were soon playing around the local pubs and at the country fairs.

There was a huge falling out, and blows were exchanged, when it was discovered that the singer was 'seeing' the bass player's mum, and the bass player was spending far too much time in the donkey barn with the drummer's girlfriend, Meredith. The guitarist was also discovered planting a carrot with the farmer's daughter, so The Toppers were sacked, driven from the farm, and went their separate ways.

They met again by chance in 2003 in Hong Kong and, with their differences firmly behind them, have re-formed under the new name of the Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys. The name is there to remind them of those times back on the farm. They are now back gigging, and everyone is welcome to attend, except for Stonky's mum, Meredith, and any farmer's daughters.

The Shockin' Rockin' Donkeys promote fun live music. There's no gratuitous soloing (well, other than when Wonky gets a bit carried away), no ego (although Cronky is a bit of a prima donna, requiring fresh hay and carrots in the dressing room before and after the gig), no 'musical differences' (except when Stonky often plays a completely different song from the rest of the band) and no 12 bar blues ('cos the drums are way too tricky for Honky).

(click to enlarge)   


Publicity shot - behind the scenes

Publicity shot - back home in the barn

Band on stage

Wonky & Cronky Donkey

Leaning towards the exit?

Lead singer Cronky the Lammaite

Cronky close-up. Why such short ears?

Cronky guarding the fridge

Lammaite Honky - hiding in the corner

Lead guitar (see cover of this magazine)

Honky in the spotlight

Wonky sleeping on the job

Wonky solo

Busy bar

Crowd shot

Enthralled audience

After-gig crowd

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