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’


One Week To Go – Z Cars Party.

One week today and the festivities will begin for the 2nd Camberley International Festival!

We kick start everything with this very special ‘Z Cars’ party.

This promises to be a very special evening! The party is co-hosted by Ian Cullen, who played DC Joe Skinner in the iconic BBC series from 1969-75.

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‘Pieces’, an episode from 1973, will be shown in the main auditorium and followed by a Q&A session with Ian and other ‘Z Cars’ cast and crew.

Bernard Holley (PC Newcombe 1967–71), Tim Combe (Director of  ‘Z Cars’ and ‘Dr Who’) Margot Hayhoe (production assistant on ‘Z Cars’ and producer of ‘Waking the Dead’ and ‘Silent Witness’) and Ann Davies ( ‘Z Cars’Dr Who’ actress and widow of Richard Briers).

Each guest will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco or soft drink on arrival and there will be live music in the bar from Dean Dyson, who sings classics from the likes of James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Don McLean.

To attend this party, email jo.bartlett@surreyheath.gov.uk

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Literature line up complete

The Bear pub on Park Street is playing host to a sensational day and night of free entertainment on Saturday June 10th.

This year we are introducing literature to the art forms represented at the CIF.

12:30 Joe England ‘D.I.Y. Fanzines’

Allan reading PUSH 6

Local man, Joe England will be reading from and talking about his role in the fanzine scene. His literary fanzine ‘PUSH’, featuring previously unpublished working class writers and poets, ran for 23 issues until last year. Joe then went on to put out his own West Ham fanzine during the last season at Upton Park, called ‘5MANAGERS’. That magazine and two anthologies of PUSH have now been published in book form by East London Press.

The C.I.F. is incredibly lucky to have John Williams, Cardiff novelist and founder of the Laugharne Weekend in Wales, to curate this new literature section of the festival.  John will be interviewing and hosting Q&A sessions with these fabulous authors:

1pm Daniel Rachel

The Clash

Daniel Rachel’s book ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ is an exhaustive account of the Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge movements. In April it won the Penderyn Music Book Prize.

2pm James Brown


Ex ‘NME’ and ‘Loaded’ journalist talking about his book on Five A Side football ‘Above Head Height’. A must-have for anyone who has ever played and enjoyed amateur football.

‘The Fever Pitch of five-a-side’ – Tony Parsons

3pm Travis Elborough


Travis Elborough is the author of four acclaimed books, and regularly appears on Radio 4. His new book ‘A Walk In The Park’ has been described as ‘A fascinating, informative, revelatory book’ by William Boyd in The Guardian. Parks are such a familiar part of everyday life. You might be forgiven for thinking they have always been there – and that they always will.

Hosted by Ben Hinzman (AKA ‘been jam-min’)

4pm Dave Randall


Dave’s book, ‘Sound System’ is a book of raves, riots and revolution. Dave Randall (guitarist with Faithless, Sinead O’Connor and Dido pictured on stage at Glastonbury above)) looks at examples from Beethoven to Beyoncé and poses the question: how can we make music serve the interests of the many, rather than the few?