MUSICIANS played their own songs and cover versions to celebrate an open mic night’s first birthday at the James Street Tavern off Cowley Road, Oxford.

The showcase for local musicians is run by promoter Mark Aitken, otherwise known as Sparky. Mr Aitken, 43, from East Oxford, who works as a landscape gardener, also runs an open mic night at the Half Moon pub in St Clement’s Street, which is about to celebrate its 11th anniversary.

Both nights run under the Sparky’s Flying Circus banner, with musicians turning up at the James Street Tavern every Tuesday while the Half Moon night runs every Thursday.

David Craig, 46, from Yarnton, performs his own songs at the James Street Tavern.

He said: “It’s magnificent at the James Street Tavern – people come in nervous the first week and by the third week they are so confident it’s like they’re playing in their bedrooms.”

Picture: OX54860 Ric Mellis