The third annual Brothers of Mothershovel charity barbecue

By - Tuesday 23rd May, 2017

An unmissable event for a good cause

Image by The Brothers of Mothershovel, used with permission.

Saturday 3rd June 2017 marks the third annual Brothers of Mothershovel (BoMs) charity BBQ event held at the Oval Tavern. Nestled between the hotly-contested East Croydon/Addiscombe ward border on Oval Road, the Oval Tavern is Croydon’s foremost arts and music pub, with a formidable roster of live and recorded music throughout the week. The Oval is also a community hub, undertaking a variety of positive community events for various ages within the borough. But, lest we forget, the Oval is also home to Croydon’s most celebrated pancake day race, competed for by teams made up from other local pubs or teams otherwise formed by individual paragons of pancake prestidigitation. The Oval is led by Croydon’s petit titan of entertainment, with a strong social conscience: landlady and former Green Party candidate for Croydon Central, Esther Sutton.

Each year the BoMs choose a different charity to support. The inaugural event helped local Croydon charity ‘Crackerjack’ (headed by Richard Freeman) to raise funds to assist the care and development of children born with brain damage, whilst last year’s cause supported funding a local Croydon girl’s trip to the US for cancer treatment. But, the altruism alone of these events doesn’t really tell the full story. In short, they are tremendously entertaining occasions too, involving good, clean-to-slightly-less-clean fun such as being dowsed with water (volunteers only). Games of ‘skill and chance’ include competitions for ‘the largest nose’ (calculated by width and length) and ‘the loudest scream’ (calculated impartially by a decibel reader).

Throughout the day, various other games will be interspersed with assorted musical entertainment and supported by child-friendly pursuits, such as face-painting or story-telling by the habitually entertaining Jenny Lockyer, who counts ‘pancake tossing judge’ amongst her many titles. Rumor has it that Ms Lockyer will forgo her familiar ‘fingerstyle’, brazenly thumbing her nose at tradition and her unamplified acoustic roots, by performing with an electric guitar! Not since the days of the ‘Dylan debacle’ has acoustic music faced such a seismic shift in its perceived supremacy.

Songs can range from political satire to esoteric, irreverent tunes with whimsical lyrical flair

If that isn’t enough, there’s also a tasty BBQ to look forward to as well! The variety of entertainment on offer at the Brothers of Mothershovel charity BBQ ensures that there’s sufficient stimuli for adults also, plus whether the weather is amenable or not, contingencies are planned for both indoor and outdoor events. Concurrently, the Oval will also host a separate event: an outdoor silent-movie with musical accompaniment, followed by a jazz ensemble performance at the end of the film. This will start at approximately 8pm, when the BoMs event moves inside for the band sessions.

This year’s charity BBQ will support The Teenage Cancer Trust – festivities will commence from 12 noon. A Justgiving page has been set up.

The BoMs form a distinctive band with an original sound, described by those in the know as foot-stomping roots music, a battle of skiffle-versus-blues, featuring a cajon (a box-shaped percussion instrument from Peru) and Croydon’s premier mouth-organ specialist, Tidy Shed Boy Adam, ably assisted by a clan of talented musicians. Songs can range from political satire to esoteric, irreverent tunes with whimsical lyrical flair. The Brothers (inclusive of their female keyboard player) are visually identifiable by their penchant for wearing bowler hats – bouffant hairstyles permitting. The BoMs are regulars on Croydon’s live-band scene, performing at a number of Croydon venues and at prior Purley Festival events (speaking of which, Purley Festival is back this year).

This is the kind of event where attendance becomes a bragging right

As if that wasn’t enough of a full day, the evening’s festivities feature an additional music event that sees the reformation of two loved Croydon bands, both old and new. Trambeat, which forms the ‘new’ aspect of this local paradigm, will support old/lurid carpet-burn specialists Shagnasty which attempts to rival Bananarama’s twenty-nine year hiatus by reforming after more than two decades apart. Trambeat has a ‘northern soul’ and 1960s R&B sound. The band members have spent less than a year apart from their original formation. Added to their line-up is arguably Croydon’s favourite female singer and possessor of both silky-smooth and beautifully emotive vocals, Oval Tavern stalwart Amy Grinter. No real description of Shagnasty’s ‘style’ can truly do them any degree of justice. They are a live band, best experienced live. ‘Obstreperous’ is probably the best-placed adjective to start with an explanation of Shagnasty’s notorious ‘gusset grooves’ that cause stirrings in the unmentionables of the innocent. Older men, yes – but no less fearsome.

Saturday 3rd June promises to be one of those occasions talked about retrospectively with fondness; an immediate conduit for bonding with newly-made acquaintances, the kind of event where attendance becomes a bragging right. Definitely not one to miss – make note of the date and get involved!

Mark Aarons

Mark Aarons

Mark Aarons is a Business Connector who was seconded to Business in the Community for the purpose of creating opportunities for the community of Croydon in the arenas of employment, education and enterprise, whilst further developing the borough's community cohesion. Since this role came to an end, he's remained active in Croydon and can't get enough of the place.

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