A RADIO show celebrating the best of the Oxfordshire music scene is celebrating its third birthday with a night of tunes by local artists, tonight.

The Melting Pot show on community station Get Radio has been championing the county’s musical talent since its launch in the spring of 2020. The show, presented by Rich Craven and sidekick David ‘Deadly’ Crabtree celebrates its third year on the airwaves with a special gig at the Jericho Tavern featuring three of the area’s hottest acts – Emma Hunter, Mid Air and Barricane.

The acts were chosen by listeners to the show who were asked to vote for their favourite  songs by local acts in the programme’s now annual ‘Festive 20’ poll at the end of last year.

So how did the Melting Pot come about?

“Well in early 2020 a new radio station launched across Oxfordshire called Get Radio, they advertised for some young, hip and groovy presenters. Unfortunately Rich, who doesn’t even have a face for radio, approached them and amazingly they gave him a show,” says Deadly – who acquired his nickname for his football goal-scoring prowess.

“When Rich informed me that ‘we have a radio show’ , I asked, ‘What do you mean we?’.

“Several pints of Guinness later, I reluctantly agreed to come on board as co-host and producer. Amazingly, three years later, we are not only still alive, we are still on the Get Radio airwaves.”

Oxford Mail: Melting PotFaces for radio: Melting Pot’s presenters David ‘Deadly’ Crabtree and Rich Craven

Deadly and Rich have been around the local music on and off for a number of years as musicians – Deadly most notably as a member of The Rock of Travolta and roadie for the legendary John Otway. They have also acted as promoters, DJs and now radio presenters.

So how would they describe the show?

“Organised chaos,” laughs Deadly.

“It’s sometimes surreal and always good humoured. We’re both passionate about our local music scene. We’ve had some challenging times over the years, losing key venues and going through the Covid era, but through it all Oxfordshire has – and continues to produce – some truly astonishing music.

Oxford Mail: Truck Festival 222. Picture by Tim HughesEmma Hunter at Truck Festival. Picture by Tim Hughes

“One of the best things about the show is the new music we’re sent and the wonderful guests we have been blessed to have on the show.”

Any that spring to mind?

“There have been many from Oxfordshire and further afield,” he says.

“We’ve been lucky to chat with the likes of Philip Selway from Radiohead, Mick Quinn from Supergrass, Oli Steadman from Stornoway, Jon Boden from Bellowhead, and Andy and Nigel from The Unbelievable Truth. But we’ve also had many new up and coming acts such as The Kokroachez, Chiika, The Bobo, and Killer Kowalski to name just a few.

“We’ve also had legends from outside Oxford come on for a chat such as The Ruts DC, The Chameleons, Mark Chadwick from The Levellers, Frank Turner, The Utah Saints, Mark from Then Jerico and of course John Otway.. how could we not?

Oxford Mail: Superstar DJ: Deadly at the decks

“We’re proud of the show and the fact we have this opportunity to play so much great music, we also respect and appreciate the work Dave Gilyeat does with the BBC, Fergus at Windrush, your good self at the Oxford Mail, Ronan at Nightshift, the team at Oxfordshire Music Scene and the promoters who work tirelessly to fill the venues.

“It’s nice that there are a number of us flying the flag for local music.”

Asked who the pair would love to get on the show as a special guest revealed a more surprising answer.

“Well one person springs to mind,” he says.

“He’s been working tirelessly promoting the Oxford music scene for years, but he’s really shy and was the inspiration for one of the seven dwarves... that would be Tim Hughes! He’s got a hell of a story to tell. Hopefully one day when he stops being so grumpy – or just bashful – he’ll agree to come on!”

So what can we expect from this third birthday party?

“The line up was pretty much chosen by our listeners who voted in our Festive 20 (think John Peel’s Festive 50, but on a local level). The entire top 20 showed not only what great and diverse music there is being produced here in Oxfordshire, but also what great taste our listeners have – unlike Rich’s taste in loud shirts.

Not only are Emma Hunter, Mid Air and Barricane three of the best local bands around, they’re also really lovely people.

“We hope the evening, will be a fun celebration of the fact that we’re not only three years old, but somehow still going and hopefully bringing something a little different on the radio to the good people of Oxfordshire and beyond.”

  • Melting Pot airs every other Thursday (with a curated mix the weeks in between) and is available on getradio.co.uk and on DAB across Oxfordshire
  • The Melting Pot third birthday gig is tonight (Friday, April 26) are available fromwegotickets.co.uk or on the door
  • Contact Rich and Deadly at the show on meltingpot@getradio.co.uk