from The Guardian, Interview: Mark Gwynne Jones
“We called our experiments Psychicbread…
a conspiracy to fuse poetry, film and music. For us the name meant food for the soul, food for the head. It was the stuff that kept us up ’til dawn talking…. and stalking the streets absorbing the atmospheres and secret life of the city at night.
“Our work was an attempt to distil our wonderings and visions: the hints and whispers that something more was happening just below the surface. The poems and film-poems Plasticman, It’s Only Water, Alien Love, Possession, Alien Rave! and most recently The Message are all experiments in tragic-comedy, magic-realism and, most of all, our collective stupidity.” (from The Guardian, Interview: Mark Gwynne Jones)
‘Those who have experienced Mark and the Psychicbread will not need a description. For those that haven’t, it is unlikely my talents will suffice …Mark has a huge vocal range and mesmerising stage presence. His poetry is powerful, intelligent and witty. He observes the world wryly from strange angles. A born performer, he is a man of intellectual substance… A polemicist he would nevertheless engage even his targets with his charm and humour.
Sometimes the words performance and poetry sit uncomfortably together but with Mark the two are entirely compatible… If you’ve not seen him, work out how to.’ (John Wilson, Buxton Festival Fringe Review)
‘I always stipulate that whoever is on with me hasn’t got to be any good. This one got past me… I don’t know how, but heads will roll!’ John Cooper Clarke
‘Mark Gwynne Jones should be ruined with fame and money before he shows the rest of us up for the bunch of sissies we are. But if you don’t want the truth, don’t call a poet. At least not a real one.’ (The Independent, Martin Newell)
‘The brilliant Mark Gwynne Jones. Passionate…captivating and slightly mad, mind altering poetry.’ (Edinburgh Three Weeks)
‘As a teenager Mark Gwynne Jones was crippled by anxiety. Now, thanks to a combination of meditation and TS Eliot, he has become one of the most accomplished performance poets in the land. ….an inspired wordsmith …his wide-eyed delivery drawing the audience into a world where things are not quite what they seem.’ (Antonia Windsor writing for The Guardian)
‘…mesmerizing and thought-provoking… the audience were captivated. Mark’s world view deconstructs the everyday, examining our suppressed urges, materialist tendencies and packaged lives. His theatrical delivery and poetic word-play occasionally hints at Dylan Thomas, Roger McGough and at time Edgar Allen Poe, but in the end, is all his own.
Overall, this was a very rewarding, exotic…experience, not to be missed.’ (Sarah Jones, Director, Oxford Fringe Festival)
‘Mark Gwynnne Jones and the Psychicbread played to a packed Dutch’s bar …people flocked to be dazzled by this incredible performer and his 6 piece band. A mesmeric evening of exotic rhythm and surreal verse… More than enjoyable from start to finish – entertainment as it should be, worth every penny!’ (Adrian Tissier, Buxton Festival Fringe Review)
‘Shakespeare wouldn’t approve, he’d just be jealous’ (Mixmag)
‘When I first arrived at the Martin Harris Centre I had no idea what to expect, but having been to quite a few poetry and spoken word nights I had a vague sense of dread. Imagine my surprise then, when my weary ears and jaded eyes came across the delight that is Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread, he was funny and entertaining and kept the audience rapt for nearly two hours.
So much poetry can verge on self-indulgent naval gazing but some of the best poetry is simple and witty, without any pretence… Poetry which makes you laugh as well as think…
The only question left on my lips at the end of a wholly entertaining two hours was why wasn’t Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread included on the Manchester Literature Festival programme? Anyone who brings poetry alive the way they do deserves to be on a programme pertaining to promote the joys of literature.’ (Emma Roy-Williams, People’s Media)
‘Route has found a gem in Mark Gwynne Jones (…or at least a very exciting poet). His latest collection of contagious, gritty and sometimes startlingly sensitive poetry is based around observations of the strange alien qualities inherent but unnoticed in the world around us. The range of voices and experiences here is baffling. Ranging from the bored voice of the humdrum, the hysterical rants of enlightened madmen, the oppresive voice of the authorities, to the techno beats of youth culture and drugs. For well under ten pounds, Jones can transport us anywhere. He delivers his fantastical tales with frantic energy and a surreal sense of humour that works equally well in audio, film and written form. The films themselves have that raw, scratchy quality of a live gig. Particularly humorous is the image of Jones flailing around a supermarket, shrieking about plastic and our disposable culture, much to the confusion of the unsuspecting shoppers. He was wearing a bright yellow plastic mackintosh at the time. Ultimatley this is crazy poetry, crazy value, and it’d be crazy not to give it a whirl.’ (Vicki Holman, Artscene)
‘Maintains high levels of wry, eyebrow-raising wit… you’ll struggle not to smile.’ (The Scotsman)
‘Astonishing… You’ll love this show!’ The Daily Mail
‘My problem now is to review a performance that is quite indescribable in a way that can convey the fun, ferocity and flight of fancy that was Mark Gwynne Jones and PsychicBread. …the evening swung the audience round in dizzying circles that made you laugh, pause for thought then laugh again. You never quite knew what was coming next, what was true story or fantasy… and what sound would emerge from PsychicBread’s next configuration of instruments to explode over the audience like wild and exciting fireworks.’ Caroline Frith