David Favis-Mortlock & Joanna Davies

Our Loft

The Worcester Brawles

This was a Banbury-based folk-dance band. It originally was just Mark Powell, who played several instruments, and his then-wife Viola Powell on vocals, guitar, and dulcimer. Guitarist Pete Kenna joined them, and then I joined too, playing fiddle, mandolin, recorder, tin whistles etc.

This all came about because of an advert ("Fiddle Player Seeks Working Band") which I placed in Melody Maker magazine in early 1977, while I was living in Worcester and working as a computer operator. Mark replied, I went to Banbury in May 1977 and passed the audition. Then we did a gig immediately afterwards!

If I hadn't joined Mark and Viola's band in Banbury, then I might have moved to Yorkshire since I rather liked a single which Tim Moon and the Yorkshire Miracle sent in response to my ad. But it was Mark Powell's Fairport Convention connection that clinched the choice for me. He knew some of them slightly. That was good enough for me!

So the Worcester Brawles became my first band in Banbury, the first of several. Actually I found the name to be slightly bizarre, given that I'd just moved from Worcester.

But we didn't last long as a group. The Worcester Brawles did only a few gigs together before Pete and I went on to form the Rollright Stones.

Mark Powell played in several other bands then became the recording engineer at Dave Pegg's Woodworm Studios. Which is where — a few years later — Mark met Jo, while recording JoCa. Much later (in 2010), he co-founded the successful 'mediaeval world music' (now 'symphonic folk metal') band Serpentyne. Mark is still a good friend to me and Jo. I've learned a lot about music from him. Thanks, Mark!

Next: the Rollright Stones