Donald entered the live music industry as a guitarist in two rock bands: First Priority and The Crows. They were signed to two record and publishing companies MCA and EMI, and toured all over the UK, supporting the likes of The Clash, PIL and The Damned.
Since the opening of the very first but short-lived Cathouse Rock Club in 1989 in Bathgate, Donald was heavily involved in numerous clubs, bars and restaurants. Glasgow’s Cathouse Rock Club opened on Brown Street, in 1990 before upsizing to Union Street shortly after. The Garage, Scotland’s biggest nightclub opened in 1994 on Sauchiehall Street. Both have hosted thousands of gigs from the likes of Prince, One Direction, FLC , Coldplay , Pretenders, QOTSA, EODM, Ocean Colour Scene and Anthrax and both still feature prominently in the global live music circuit.
Hold Fast Entertainment has won multiple awards from the Scottish Licence Trade News (SLTN) Awards and DRAM, winning an SLTN award each consecutive year from 2001-2005. In 2015, Donald was humbled to win the SLTN UK Industry Achievement Award in recognition for his services to the licence industry.
Always a loud and proud Macleod and never one to shy away from important issues that need addressed, especially with regards to licencing policy and the promotion of the night time economy, he was a columnist for The Mirror, The Sun, The Sunday Post and The Herald Scotland, as well as passionately devoting an inordinate amount of his time and energy to charities and good causes.
In 2020, Donald was appointed an MBE for services in Music and Charity. He has been an integral part and driving force of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland, previously being both the co-chair of the Board of Management and Chairman of Fundraising. He continues to play a key role as Chairman of the charity’s Scottish Fundraising & Events Committee. Responsible for delivering the hugely successful Scottish Music Awards (SMAs), which since the beginning 22 years ago, has celebrated the works and achievements of many of Scotland’s talented array of musicians, artists and bands. Names such the Simple Minds, Emeli Sandi, Biffy Clyro, Amy Macdonald, Dougie Maclean, Paolo Nutini, raising an incredible amount in the process to support and maintain vital music therapy services in Scotland. He has helped to oversee a significant growth in music therapy provision and is pivotal in attracting funding for Nordoff Robbins work through fundraising events and corporate partnerships. He champions the work of the charity through his significant network of contacts in the music industry, business world and on the political platform.