Oysterband C.I.F. Interview

We’re really looking forward to seeing the mighty Oysterband when they roll into town on Sunday 11 June. They play Camberley Theatre at 7:30pm and tickets are £20.

Oyster collage square no art web

We caught up with singer and mandolin player John Jones to ask a few questions, ahead of their show.

Given the line-up changes over the years, what do you think is always at the heart of your music?

We have a deep affection for the folk tradition in our country and a radical edge to our songwriting and we love making people dance. Passion and poetry –we hope! 

Do you think there has been a change in your sound with each tweak to the name?

We were a raw ceilidh band at the beginning, very acoustic and it just got louder and more electric with time. Strangely it has moved back in recent years to a more acoustic sound but that combination of cello, violin, guitars and harmonies is still at the heart of what we do.

You’ve played 35 countries – do you have a favourite?

Playing here is still great but Canada, Denmark, Germany and Spain have been very good to us.

This is your first visit to Camberley – what can the audience expect?

It is a very special show for our 40th Celebration and we’ll take the audience through every era of our rather strange musical journey…and we’ll have fun. 

It must feel great to still be winning awards. Have you still got any unfulfilled ambitions though?

Awards from your contemporaries melt the most cynical of hearts. We made so much of our early music before the BBC Folk Awards even existed, so when they finally came our way we felt……ready.

Do you think you’ll record with June Tabor again?

Recording with June is very special and rare but never say never.

Is there a particular way that you write songs?

Lyrics often start with me or Ian, with Alan shaping the song almost by instinct. That fine and difficult balance between one person’s inspiration and its collective realisation between the three of us is where the trouble and the triumph usually lies.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration…. !! The coffee cup, the wine bottle, the English landscape, the state of the country, our rather overworked imaginations. Take your pick.

Who are you listening to at the minute – do you have favourites for the tour bus?

 James.  Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band.  Fats Domino.  (Ask us again next week.)

Thanks John – can’t wait for the show! Here’s their brilliant new song ‘ My Country Too’


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