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Ferocious Dog: Our band stands for helping the less fortunate’

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 April 2017

Ferocious Dog. Picture: Kevin Nixon

Ferocious Dog. Picture: Kevin Nixon

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The punk-slash-folk group plays at The Garage in Highbury on April 8, collecting food and clothes for those in need

Punk infused with folk, seething political lyrics and an excellent cause: these are the key points of Nottingham-based band Ferocious Dog. They will play at The Garage in Highbury on April 8, collecting food and clothes for those in need.

It all started when Lee, the son of lead singer Ken Bonsall and the brother of violinist Daniel Booth, committed suicide in 2012. Lee was struggling with PTSD after having served in Afghanistan and witnessed the death of one of his comrades. Ken and his wife Karen set up the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund in his name, in an attempt to turn their rage into something positive.

“We found out that a lot of veterans were living on the streets, so we started to help them by setting up food kitchens,” Ken Bonsall explains. “Once you get into that, you don’t do that just for veterans, but also for the homeless.

“We organised a food drop in Nottingham last year. On this tour, we felt that we were missing a trick. We were about to play all across the UK and we thought we could have helped so many people in those cities.”

That is why Bonsall started to phone the local food banks. “We’ve just been in touch with the Islington Food Bank for the food drop in London,” Ken says.

It will be their first time at The Garage. “We’re looking forward to it,” Bonsall says enthusiastically. “We’ve played a few times in the capital so far, I think we played in Islington the first time we’ve ever played in London.”

Ferocious Dog’s food drop is about to cross borders, as well. They have several gigs scheduled in the Netherlands and are in touch with local charities to help the homeless there.

Their “family”, as the band calls their fans, has been very supportive.

“I just popped the question, asking them whether they were willing to bring something, no matter if it was just toothpaste or a toothbrush. Doing that together makes a great contribution.”

Art can give an invaluable contribution, too. Bonsall reveals that he came up with the idea of turning every gig into a food drop after watching I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach.

“Art can make a massive difference. A lot of my songs are about the things I see concerning the working class due to my background as a coal miner,” Bonsall says. “People who get into Ferocious Dog understand that everything revolving around what the band stands for is helping the less fortunate.”

Ferocious Dog play at The Garage in Highbury on Saturday, April 8. Tickets £16.50, thegarage.london

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