Blyth Power special with Joseph Porter in conversation
Blyth Power are a British rock band formed in 1983 by singer and drummer Joseph Porter, formerly of Zounds and The Mob. Blyth Power's music shows strong influences from punk rock and folk music, and the band members have described their sound as a cross between The Clash, Steeleye Span and The Rubettes.
Established in 1983 and named after a railway locomotive, the one constant in an ever-shifting lineup has been drummer, vocalist, and songwriter Joseph Porter (real name Gary James Hatcher, born 21 February 1962 in Templecombe, Somerset). The band's lyrics often deal with episodes from history, ranging from the Trojan War to the Cod War — as well as aspects of English culture such as cricket, village life and trains. Porter is an avowed trainspotter, and in August 1998 the band appeared on the LWT television programme Holy Smoke! in a slot in which musicians discussed their individual religions — with trainspotting cited as his religion.
Since 1993, Blyth Power recordings have been released on their own label, Downwarde Spiral. Since 2000 they have cut back on their touring schedule due to various personal commitments, but they have organised an annual mini-festival, the Blyth Power Ashes. The festival takes place in August of each year, and combines live music with a cricket match featuring band members and their associates. From 2011 the event moved to The Plough, in Farcet Fen near Peterborough due to its ever-increasing popularity. From 2015 The Ashes takes place at The Hunters Inn in Longdon, near Tewkesbury.
Joseph Porter has also been involved with various side-projects, such as doing solo guitarist/vocalist performances and collaborating in two other bands, Red Wedding and Mad Dogs & Englishmen.