Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew, and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

In spanning the centuries, I have witnessed everything from little Wolfgang delighting courtesans in Viennese ballrooms to snotty Punks gobbing their appreciation on their three chord peers in Camden dives. DIY introverts in bedrooms with vintage gear and little clue spreading their art to the world.

Music is the most direct and accessible form of communication – ask a person when they listened to PMQs, visited an art gallery, a museum or a library and most people will struggle to answer; ask when they last listened to a song, and they will tell you immediately. Music is more than sounds; it’s almost a portal to as higher consciousness.

Introduce us to you and your musical history


R John Webb is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist packed full of character and talent. In the 2010s he appeared as the ‘southern gospel preacher’ front man character of Punk Blues band Rhino & Ranters. Since the release of their album ‘The Hanging Room’, Webb has been somewhat of an enigmatic cult figure in the scene, striking fast with his insanely energetic live shows and then promptly disappearing back into the underworld, leaving his audiences dazed and confused in his wake. He and his band were even considered Birmingham’s most accomplished and exciting live bands with a series of sold-out shows and impressive gigs to thousands at the Kings Heath Street Festival. 

This time around, R John Webb’s back with colourful persona ‘Dandy The Vandal’, a Ziggy-like creation that is symbolic of the modern thirst for celebrity, messiah figures, conspiracy theories and banality. His single announcing the arrival of this character has garnered over 20K streams, building anticipation for this brand-new album, out now to enjoy. Brimming with creativity and flair, R John Webb is on his way to a lot more recognition as he continues his electrifying music journey.


Bowie, T-Rex, Roxy Music, The Specials, The Cramps, Robert Johnson, John Coltrane

R John Webb:

Dandy The Vandal is a fully established rock mythos and persona who emerged during lockdown : part glam god à la Marc Bolan, Ziggy Stardust, part popstar, part troubadour,  Dandy hones his Rock ’n’ Roll sound to a keen edge in this taut collection of songs and unleashes an unapologetic swagger customary of Rock Lords and Space Adventurers alike. This is rock focused on the crumbling nature of post-Brexit Britain, the weirdness of lockdown and an intergalactic need for a rollicking good time.

Name me your 3 favourite Albums.

Right now: 

Roxy Music, Roxy Music; 

The Madcap Laughs, Syd Barrett; 

Aladdin Sane, David Bowie. 

Ask me again tomorrow and it will be completely different.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

I was obsessed with the Beatles as a child. Weird obsessed. But I think the one song that made me want to devote my life to poverty and obscurity was ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ by Sir Bob of Dylan. Music then seemed pregnant with potentiality- I went deeply into Psychedelic Music, Jazz, Punk- anything I could lay my ears on. The world seemed endless and full of possibilities.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?

Well, after 20 years in the business, I feel I am just about ready to give it a shot.

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

I not only look at the Music places to share my work. I think about the extensions of my ideas. For example, Dandy is a Dandy- a lover of style- so I share my work with vintage clothes shops, shoe companies, style bloggers etc. Think about the things that can be associated with your act and look at those.

Tell us two truths and a lie about you.

I am a fully trained classical Linoleum player.

I am an identical twin.

When I was 18, I was able to successfully take a flying f*ck at a rolling doughnut.

I play by the rules.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

The world is run by giant megalomaniacs. If it were not Spotify, it would be another Saturn devouring his child. Artists are never the diners at the table of commerce, only the dinner.

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

In 2008 the Hadron Collider was opened and within the following 12 years created a particle force known as 5G (5 Gravimetry), which altered the fabric of time and space and created a phenomenon known as fibro nostalgia. This is a regressive form that causes civilisations to relapse mentally into previous generations. From 2020 it was realised that, in the UK, the population‘s hive mind had regressed back to the negative attitudes of 1970s – seeing a re-emergence of traits such misogyny, racism, nationalism, patriotism, hooliganism and the likes of Mrs Brown’s boys. These began to rear their ugly heads again due to the five gravimetric conditions.

Unscrupulous powers of authority, aware of this  5G generational mind shift and its effect on the population, have used this to maintain their grip on control by channeling into the jingoism and small-mindedness of these 1970s attitudes.

When the authorities realised the potential of 5G, they set out to ensure that no one could be spared and carried out mass ‘vaccinations’ to inject them to ensure entire servitude from the population. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

I didn’t buy anything I didn’t need but I took the splinters of this broken land and used them to build a boat. To ride the waves, not rule them.

What was the worst experience on stage?

Looking down and realising my socks did not match my cravat. That and the National Front storming a gig and breaking our guitars.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about? 

I am a regenerated time-lord from a long line of of Rock n Roll Prophets. I’m teetotal. 

What makes you stand out as an artist?

An immaculate sense of style

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

It is essentially a concept album in the grand style of those 70s bands. It is understatedly called ‘The Ingenious Gentleman Dandy The Vandal and The Godforsaken Sweethearts’. It was recorded in the backroom of my house during lockdown. It is a concept about the spirited time-travelling 1970s rock God, ‘Dandy The Vandal’ who  has come to the 21st century to warn us of the fate of Britain in these turbulent times. 

It kicks off with the psychedelic and suspenseful organ-centric track ‘Toast Gown’ that signals the arrival of Dandy and prepares you for the ride.  

There’s a range of eras of rock, from the Garage Rock track ‘We Are The Subterraneans’, to the Doo-Wop Rock ’n’ Roll song ‘Coup Coup Collider’. Not to mention Funk, Cod-Reggae, stadium anthems with unfathomable refrains and heartbreaking ballads.

It is an album with humour, distinct instrumentation and cleverly organised tracks designed to get you hooked. 

If I may quote: ‘Webb’s warm and soulful voice has an inviting quality, and shines particularly in tracks like ‘Feel The Madness’ and cosy outro song ‘The Moment You Love Me”; a track to show off Webb’s effortless songwriting skills. The project is a witty and creative demonstration of Rock highlights over the last century, and reveals a witty musician in R John Webb. If you’re looking for a perfectly imperfect nostalgic listen, this album is the one for you.’

“Cool, contemporary, anachronistic zeitgeist”, Time Out

“One of Birmingham’s most accomplished & exciting live bands with a series of sold-out shows over the past couple of years and impressive gigs to thousands at the Kings Heath Street Festival” 

Adam Regan, Owner, Hare and Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham

“Big love for this super talented artist”

James Atkin, EMF

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

I think the lockdown took me back to my childhood and youth -for the reasons I described earlier. I started listening to the songs I heard when I was young- starting with the nineties bands and slowly going further back to the albums that my parents had around the house when I was little- Bowie’s Aladdin Sane jumps out in particular as I was fascinated by the strange creature on the cover and the weirdness of the songs. This sparked the idea of the world regressing back to less enlightened times- The 1970s. I was hearing bizarre conspiracy theories fearing technology and progress. As a nation we had isolated ourselves from Europe-  bringing with it xenophobia and racism. We had a corrupt, self serving leader that made casual racist  and sexist remarks and passed them off as jokes.-it reminded me of those sitcoms that were made in the 70s and spilled over well into the 80s. But the 70s was also an era of change, of radical and revolutionary activism. It saw the rise of Feminism, Working Class Intellectualism, Environmentalism and Street Protest. I began to think of the character of Dandy as a catalyst for change and hope. I was reminded of the Punks and the Rastas of my childhood, the Miners going out to strike and the weird and wonderful world that existed outside of the front door. Lockdown reminded me of childhood wonder.

The result is an experiment in time travel: through sounds of the past, it captures the tensions of the present.

When so many rules were being enforced, I decided to make something against rules in general – taking the kitsch and giving it a punk, space-age irreverence, like a beautiful car crash with pop surrealism. Very camp but very funky: always on it, melodic but effortlessly free. 

An album of its time for another time. The backdrop of Today’s Britain runs through it but it’s not explicit.  It’s a dialogue between the 1970s and the 21st Century. Not fashionable, not (overtly) political.

What was the recording process like?

Hellish. The whole album was recorded in a bedroom during the lockdown. Limited equipment. Limited technical know-how. Trapped. I lost three neighbours  and a grip on reality as a result. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Don’t live in a terraced house. Respect your neighbours. That anything is possible if you can focus your mind. My partner is the most beautiful, patient, understanding person.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

There will always be things I would want to change but I think this album is a product of that time, very much an album of the lockdown so maybe the limitations of it aren’t necessarily a bad thing. I’d like to think that it documents the craziness of that period. The comedy show that was/is mainstream politics, the paranoia and conspiracies- the travelling back into ourselves and being almost like children again, not allowed out and forced to create our own entertainment. The confusion and vulnerability and lack of knowing what to do- this bit is particularly evident on the album!

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

It’s alright, folks. Don’t be angry- we’re all just making our way. None of us really know what’s going on.