Richard Chidwick



By Richard Chidwick


MC Sparky’s Spontaneous Showcase and Spotlight Jam hosted this second monthly exhibition of the latest emerging and established talent, with the nights developing something close to a cult status on the Oxford Music Scene!

With bands including Porker, Reverend Black and the transcendental Ras Brother John getting the considerably large pub audience onto the dance floor.

Ras Brother John played first with his laid back and whimsical chatting over the mic. He is generally backed by dub rhythm and beats putting the audience at ease before the second band of the night, Poker played.

Ras Brother John said: “My battle to overcome Cancer has only really been made possible due to my performances at these open mic nights and gigs in Oxford – I’ve just been invited to go on tour in America with them – I can’t actually believe it!”

Porker as they say themselves are ‘Seasoned musicians,’ and gave an excellent performance on the night. The band have been together for around 15 years, and you could tell this instantly as they are were very tight musically, with lead singer and bassist Joe Goyder ripping through tracks from off their album.

Joe Goyder said: “I think at the start we wanted to be an indie band, but there comes a point in life where you realise that three chord rock and roll is what you’re good at, that your fans love three chord rock and roll, and that maybe, just maybe, three chord rock and roll is what the world needs to be happy. So three chord rock and roll is what we do!”

Joe added: “We really enjoyed it – Sparky’s Flying circus is a superb place to play, we thought the crowd seemed really into it – it was a great night.”

The third band of the night were Reverend Black who delivered some excellent cover tracks, including Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones.

Speaking to them before their act, the band told me they enjoyed the Oxford atmosphere, and although each member of the band had played professionally with other bands, this was their first performance as a group. But you would never have guessed!

Speaking after the gig lead singer Richard Brotherton said: “We had a blast at the gig. It was our first gig together as a new band and despite the fact that we had a couple of technical problems (the drum kit was shifting about on the hard floor and my guitar amp died during the last song!) we really enjoyed ourselves. The James Street Tavern is a great venue which has a crowd that really appreciates good live music.”

Articles by Richard Chidwick

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