They’re back for Angus


As band break-ups and reunions go, Swamp Donkey’s has been quicker than most. 

The Arrowtown favourites played what was to be their final gig last month. 

But they’ve now agreed to perform at least once more together – to raise funds for four-year-old lung cancer sufferer Angus Beaton. 

And it could mean the band continues into the future. 

Singer Leanne Malcolm, TV3 reporter, says: “It’s such a worthy cause and we all really wanted to help. 

“Two or three people in the band have connections with the family. When asked if we would consider playing the fundraiser, of course everyone said yes straight away. 

“We all thought it would be a lovely thing to do to support them.” 

Arrowtowner Angus was diagnosed in April and has undergone chemotherapy in Christchurch. 

The community has rallied around to help him, his parents Gordon and Fritha, and sister Kate, six. More than $14,000 has already been raised. 

The Lynch Mob and other local bands and performers will play the fundraising concert at Arrowtown Hall on Saturday, which includes a silent auction and dinner. 

New experienced drummer Andrew Turner has joined the Swamp Donkey lineup, which consists of singers Malcolm and Nicole McLean, lead guitarist Mark Williams and rhythm guitarist Craig McIlroy. 

They’ll be joined by singer Charlotte Graf and keyboardist Rae Williams, Mark’s wife. 

Turner says: “Hopefully they’ll carry on – they have lots of promise and it’s difficult to get a big band together. 

“We’ll see how it goes but it’s nice to do something for a local family.” 

The band, whose Swamp Donkey moniker was pulled out of a hat, has been together three years and play more than 40 songs. 

At the fundraiser, they’ll play a set of rock ‘n’ roll classics – like Creedence Clearwater’s Bad Moon Rising and Roadhouse Blues by The Doors. They’ll also throw in more contemporary songs like Duffy’s Mercy. 

Malcolm says: “We’re a lot more professional and quite tight now. 

“We started late but have worked really hard, practising for hours a week. I think we have something quite special in the band. 

“It’s a time-consuming thing and a big commitment, especially with travel and set-up. Everyone has pressures but I love it and hopefully we’ll continue.” 

The fundraising concert will be held at Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall this Saturday. Doors open 6.30pm. Tickets are $25.