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Fans' generosity will help the homeless
Fans attending gigs on the forthcoming Ferocious Dog tour will be taking spare food and clothes with them – to help the homeless. The six-piece folk-punk band from Warsop in Nottinghamshire will give the donations to charities and food banks.
The idea for the Food Drop came about following the suicide in 2012 of Lee Bonsall, the son of frontman Ken Bonsall. Lee was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving with the military in Afghanistan. The Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund was set up, and Ken and his wife Karen, organised soup kitchens and helped the homeless. They discovered that many were ex-servicemen, living on the streets, so they requested donations of food and clothes from fans at Ferocious Dog gigs. The Food Drop now takes place at every show.
''After watching I Daniel Blake, which is a realistic depiction of life on benefits, it really pushed me on,'' said Ken. ''I felt we were missing a trick so decided to start in Glasgow, which is a deprived city, really struggling. We had a brilliant response. I phoned up homeless charities and food banks and they came to take the food away."
Helping homeless: Ken Bonsall (centre) and Ferocious Dog (pic: Kevin Nixon)
During 2017 the band released their latest studio album, Red, and played slots at some of the UK's and Europe's favourite festivals, including the famous Colours of Ostrava festival in the Czech Republic. They ended the year with gigs in Spain, Belgium and Holland.
Their music encompasses folk, infused with rock, reggae and Celtic vibrations. Behind frontman Ken are fiddle player Dan Booth and John Leonard who plays just about everything with strings, including five-string and tenor banjo, mandolin, guitars and bouzouki. Completing the line-up are former Carter USM guitarist Les Carter, bassist John Alexander and drummer Alex Smith.
When Carter USM headlined Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage in 1992, Ken and Dan were in the audience... and now Les Carter is their band colleague. Dreams do come true!
Ferocious Dog 2018 UK tour dates:
Mar 1: The Tivoli, Buckley; Mar 2: Victoria Hall, Settle; Mar 8: O2 Institute2, Birmingham; Mar 9: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds;
Mar 10: Gorilla, Manchester;
Mar 16: The Waterfront, Norwich;
Mar 17: O2 Academy2, Oxford;
Mar 23: The Junction, Cambridge;
Mar 24: Sin City, Swansea;
Mar 29: 100 Club, London;
Apr 5: The Sugarmill, Stoke-On-Trent;
Apr 6: Saint Luke's, Glasgow;
Apr 13: Phoenix, Exeter;
Apr 14: Electric Palace, Bridport;
Apr 20: Bierkeller, Bristol;
Apr 21: The Globe, Cardiff;
Apr 27: 1865, Southampton;
Apr 28: Rock City, Nottingham.