English singer-songwriter John Otway hailed a “very special moment” as he was surprised with a tribute performance at this year’s May Morning.

Mr Otway, 70, who has been a mainstay of the May Morning celebrations for over 40 years, played a live set in a marquee at the Bear Inn in Alfred Street from 7am.

After his performance, as he enjoyed a pint at the side of the stage, he was paid a surprise tribute by the band Barricane.

READ MORE: Thousands descend on Oxford for May Morning

The alternative, indie-folk rock band, which is led by two female vocalists, played the song Ever so Blue, which was released by Mr Otway and Wild Willy Barrett in 2011.

“It’s a very special moment,” said Mr Otway. “Very few people have ever done that. Probably for very good reason.

Oxford Mail: Barricane is an alternative, indie-folk rock band which is led by two female vocalist,

"It's amazing to hear one of your songs sung back to you."

READ MORE: Choir sings from different tower on May Morning in 1976

This year’s May Morning saw its highest turnout for six years with about 16,000 people descending on the city for the treasured tradition.

Mr Otway first performed at the event in 1981 at a venue in St Clements but has changed locations over the years.

He said: “It’s good fun. It’s the one gig of the year where you can actually have a beer at six in the morning and then you’re on stage.”

Live music continued into the afternoon at the Bear Inn - with other performers including Noisy Neighbours, Murray Torkildsen, Tin Can, Al Jenkins, Mid-Air, Emma Hunter, and the Deadbeat Apostles.