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                       NIGHTSHIFT                                                        month.
                                                                                       Issue 199
                        Oxford’s Music Magazine                                          2012

                       D u s t
                       Oxford’s maverick MC on his
                       incredible lifetime of music making
photo: Zahra Tehrani

                       all your local music news, reviews
                       and upcoming gigs.

                          NIGHTSHIFT: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU. Phone: 01865 372255
     Nightshift: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU
   Phone: 01865 372255 email:
TRUCK FESTIVAL is set to return this summer after founders Robin and
Joe Bennett handed the event over to new management.
 Truck, which had been the centrepiece of Oxford’s live music calendar since
1998, surviving both floods and foot and mouth crises, succumbed to financial
woes last year, going into administration in September.
 However, the event has been taken over by the organisers of Y-Not Festival
in Derbyshire, which won Best Grassroots Festival 2011 at the UK Festival
Awards. The new organisers hope to take Truck back to its roots as a local
community festival.
 In a statement on the Truck website, Joe and Robin announced, ““We have
always felt a great responsibility for the integrity and sustainability of Truck
Festival, which grew so quickly and with such enthusiasm from very humble
beginnings in 1998. Via Truck’s unique catering arrangements with the Rotary
Club, tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for charities and good
causes every year, including last year, and many great bands have taken their
first steps to international prominence.                                               BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY makes visits Oxford in May when he
 “However, after a notoriously difficult summer of trading for Truck                   teams up with alt.folk band Trembling Bells. The two acts combine to
Festival, and festivals in general, we have decided it is time for us to step          play at The Bullingdon on Friday 4th May for local promoters
down from our role at the event.                                                       Pindrop Performances.
 “During the 14 years of its existence, since we started it round our kitchen           Tickets, priced £15, are on sale now at and, with Will
table, the festival has suffered various threats and disasters and taken on a life     Oldham/Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie’s legendary status in circles,
of its own. We like to think it has brought joy to a lot of people. It’s right for     it’ll sell out pretty damn fast, so off you pop and get yerself one.
this tradition with so many benefits to the community to continue; a chance
encounter with the organisers of Y-Not festival in Derbyshire has given it the
opportunity to do so.                                                                OXFORD CONTEMPORARY                     fun at Modern Art on Saturday 5th
 “We are glad to say that, rather than finish for good or be in corporate            MUSIC launches its spring               with Janek Schaefer’s Local
hands, the festival in 2012 will go back to basics under the management of           programme this month with a             Radio Orchestra and Phoenix &
the Y-Not team. We feel they are the right people to take on the event, give         series of concerts and interactive      Phaedra Holding Patterns. The
it a fresh start and rebuild it over the next few years, and we hope you’ll          performances at the North Wall in       season concludes on Friday 18th
give them your full support.”                                                        Summertown and Modern Art               May at the Holywell Music Room
 The dates for this year’s Truck Festival have been announced as the 20th - 21st     Oxford.                                 with a performance from ethereal
July at Hill Farm in Steventon.                                                       Kicking off the new season is a        Norwegian ensemble Arve
                                                                                     night of electronic music from          Henrikson & Trio Mediaeval.
DEMOS ARE STILL BEING                     Please clearly mark your demo              Simon Bookish and Leafcutter             In addition to the one-off concerts,
accepted for this year’s Oxford           PUNT and include both phone and            John at Modern Art on Saturday          Audiograft returns to Brookes
Punt. The annual showcase of new          email contact details and a brief          11th February. This is followed by      University from Tuesday 28th
local music talent takes place on         biog of the band. Only acts from           an evening of urban and ancient         February – Saturday 3rd March,
Wednesday 16th May, featuring 20          Oxfordshire may apply, you can’t           Asian fusion music with                 featuring performances, sound
acts playing across five venues.          apply if you’ve played the Punt            Sambasunda at North Wall on             installations and exhibitions
Participating venues are The              before and, due to licensing               Saturday 25th. Saturday 3rd             featuring over 25 different artists,
Cellar, The Purple Turtle, The            conditions of the venues, only acts        March sees Speech Project               which local musicians are invited to
Wheatsheaf, The Duke’s Cut                aged over 18 will be eligible.             attempting to bring the words and       become involved with.
and The Junction.                         Deadline for demos is the 10th of          music of folk legends back to life at    More information on all those
 Bands or solo acts wanting to play       March, with the line-up announced          the Northwall, plus polyrhythmic        events, plus tickets, can be found
at the Punt can submit demos,             on the 15th.                               groovers Snorkel at Modern Art          at
either by emailing links to online         A limited number – 100 – all-             on Saturday 17th.
music to                                  venue Punt passes are on sale               Friday 20th April finds oud star       THIS YEAR’S CORNBURY, or            from 1st February from Truck Store         DoubleDare at the North Wall,           FESTIVAL will take place over the
sending CDs to Nightshift, PO             on Cowley Road and online at               while moving into May, there’s a        weekend of 29th June – 1st July at
Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU.   , priced £8.                double dose of interactive musical      its new home of the Great Tew

                                                                                     FIXERS will play a headline show at The O2 Academy on Thursday
                                                                                     17th May to celebrate the release of their debut album on the 14th.
                                                                                      Singer Jack Goldstein told Nightshift at the start of January, “Things are
                                                                                     good at the moment; we’re lining up a brand new version of `Iron Deer
                                                                                     Dream’ as our next single: it should be going to radio this week. Zane
                                                                                     Lowe might even play it this evening, I’m a bit out of the loop to be
                                                                                     honest! We’re cooped up in a cold, windowless rehearsal cabin in the
                                                                                     middle of nowhere at the moment and I resemble Kurt Russell in The
                                                                                     Thing, beard and all. We really want to try and make this Oxford show
                                                                                     special - I’m officially having it as my birthday party!”
                                                                                      Tickets for the Academy show are on sale now from the venue box office.
                                                                                                      the hard work and expense.
                                                                                                      The studio is around 1000sq ft and has a great
                                                                                                      sounding live room, a spacious control room
                                                                                                      with natural light and great chill out facilities.
                                                                                                       “Oxford really needed a top rate facility for
                                                                                                      bands, engineers and producers to work in.
                                                                                                      We’ve already had The Relationships, Jonquil
                                                                                                      and Dubwiser in, with Sam Williams and Mark
                                                                                                      Gardener bringing in production projects. Chad
                                                                                                      Valley’s new album is due to be mixed here over
                                                                                                      the next couple of weeks. So it’s all got off to a
                                                                                                      flying start.”
                                                                                                      For more information visit
                                                                                             or call 01865
                                                                                                      203073 to arrange a visit. Evolution is running
                                                                                                      special rates for local unsigned acts.

                                                                                                      GRAHAM COXON comes to the O2 Academy
                                                                                                      on Friday 13th April to promote his new album
                                                                                                      ‘A+E’ and is inviting fans to recommend and
                                                                                                      vote for local acts to support him. Anyone can
GUNNING FOR TAMAR release their new EP as a limited edition wrist watch next month. The               nominate a band and link a Youtube clip of them
suitably-titled ‘Wristwatch EP’ is released on local label Alcopop! on 19th March and the math-       to his site for people to vote for. Visit
rock favourites will head off on a UK tour with Jumping Ships to coincide, including a show at
The Cellar on Saturday 24th March.
 Jack Pop from the label explained how the novel concept works: “The wristwatch idea has been         GREY CHILDREN release their debut album
a long time coming, and one Gunning For Tamar were absolutely insistent on. After all, the lead       ‘Doctor Doctor’ online this month. The
track is called `Time Trophies’ and this watch is exactly that! Unfortunately we couldn’t make the    collective, formed by former-Witches frontman
watch sing the A-side so each one comes with a download code on the back to download the full         Dave Griffiths, and featuring members of Little
                                                                                                      Fish, The Evenings, Tamara & The Martyrs,
EP. I think it kinda works, and they’ve proved massively popular already.”
                                                                                                      Francis Pugh & The Whisky Singers and T-
 Gunning For Tamar singer Joe Wallis, meanwhile, is looking forward to the forthcoming tour:
                                                                                                      Rextacy among others, recorded the album
“If we’re not touring, we tend to feel hollow and sad, so it’s for the best we hit the road as much
                                                                                                      across eight locations in six towns over two
as we can, and we’ll be hitting some new places this time round too. Over the summer there’ll be
                                                                                                      countries last year with the aim of raising
festivals and we’re also going back to Europe armed with songs and our friendly foreign
                                                                                                      awareness of Pure-O, a little-known form of
expansionist plan. We’re currently writing and demoing new songs for our album towards the
                                                                                                      obsessive compulsive disorder.
end of the year and planning a couple surprises for 2012. We’ll keep on moving forward, that‘s
                                                                                                       To hear the album, visit
the plan. Unless we see a Tyranosaurus Rex.”

Estate. Early bird tickets for the event, which    Epstein also play.                                 ANDY KERSHAW will be sharing extracts
last year featured headline sets from James         As we’ve said many, many time before, keep        from his new autobiography No Off Switch at
Blunt, The Faces and Status Quo, are already       supporting local independent shops like Truck.     Glee Club on Hythe Bridge Street on
sold out. For more information visit               The importance of the service they provide for     Thursday 15th March. The former Billy Bragg                          the local music community cannot be                roadie turned Radio 1 DJ and BBC foreign
 TINDERBOX FESTIVAL also returns this              overstated.                                        correspondent was instrumental in popularising
summer. The leftfield and experimental music       EVOLUTION RECORDING STUDIO is a                    world music in the UK. Tickets are £15 adv.
                                                   new facility in Oxford run by former Zodiac        Visit for more details.
festival, curated by north Oxfordshire jazz-
metal crazies Red Square, takes place at           owner and veteran local musician Nick
                                                   Moorbath. The new studio features a                FOLLOWING THE SAD DEMISE OF THE
Cropredy Old Wharf on Saturday 16th June.
                                                   refurbished Trident 80B Mixing console from        OXFORD GUITAR GALLERY in November,
                                                   the legendary Sawmills recording studio, where     manager Dave Smart has started a new
TRUCK STORE celebrates its first
                                                   Oasis, The Stone Roses and Ride recorded, and      business, Smart Guitars, specialising in guitar
anniversary this month with a weekend of live
                                                   where it was stored for 15 years and is one very   and amplifier maintenance and repair, from a
in-store music.
                                                   few left in the country.                           guitar re-string to vintage restoration and re-
 The record shop, on Cowley Road, opened last
                                                    Nick talked to Nightshift about the investment    valve to custom modifications for amps as well
February as a joint venture between Rapture in                                                        as pedalboard repairs.
                                                   he’s put into the new studio and the unique
Witney and Truck Festival and has provided a                                                           Contact Dave on 07710216368 or
                                                   recording opportunity it offers:
much-needed outlet for local music and gig                                                  
                                                    “The way the desk sounds totally justifies all
tickets as well as hosting a series of in-store
shows by touring acts.
 Kicking off with an early evening performance     THE HANDSOME FAMILY are the highlights of a new
by Danny & The Champions of the World              season of Oxford shows from Empty Rooms Promotions
on Friday 10th February, Truck Store hosts a       starting this month.
full day of music on Saturday 11th featuring        The cult duo, whose last local show was at Truck
The Yarns, Kill Murray, Deer Chicago,              Festival in 2002, play at The Bullingdon on Friday 25th
Gunning For Tamar, Dreaming Spires and             May.
Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou.                           Empty Rooms, which has brought a series of cult American
 On Sunday 12th Nick Cope, Jess Hall and           and British acts to town over the past couple of years,
Spring Offensive join James Vincent                including Mary Gaulthier, Richmond Fontaine and The Willie
McMorrow in-store ahead of his show at the         Nile Band, also plays host to Danny & The Champions Of
O2 Academy that evening.                           The World (Friday 10th February); Chuck Prophet &
 The following Friday (17th) Canadian              Mission Express (Fri 13th April) and Dave Alvin & The act Ox play at Truck ahead of their    Guilty Ones (Thursday 19th April). All shows are at the Bully.
show at the Wheatsheaf the same night. The         Visit for more details.
                     a quiet word with

                     Asher Dust
photo: Sarah Lever

                                                                                                                                                 black and white, that attended.”

                                                                                                                                                 AS WITH ANY ASPIRING
                                                                                                                                                 singer, AJ hoped to break into the
                                                                                                                                                 music industry and his chance came
                                                                                                                                                 with separate deals with ZTT and
                                                                                                                                                 EMI, although in both cases, the
                                                                                                                                                 outcome was less than happy.
                                                                                                                                                  “The ZTT deal came about when I
                                                                                                                                                 was working with a local guy called
                                                                                                                                                 Stefan who was a wicked producer,
                                                                                                                                                 who created really strong electro-
                                                                                                                                                 tinged soul and reggae tracks. We
                                                                                                                                                 dropped in to Sarm West studio
                                                                                                                                                 reception area in London and left a
                                                                                                                                                 cassette of three tracks we did
                                                                                                                                                 together. Trevor Horn liked what he
                                                                                                                                                 heard and we ended up recording a
                                                                                                                                                 track there. My opinion of Mr Horn
                                                                                                                                                 was that he was obsessive, neurotic…
                                                                                                                                                 a genius. On one track we spent two
                                                                                                                                                 13-hour days listening to a drummer
                                                                                                                                                 play the kick drum as he was
                                                                                                                                                 searching for some sound that was in
                                                                                                                                                 his head. Working with him shattered
                                                                                                                                                 my confidence and was a catalyst for
                                                                                                                                                 me giving up music altogether for a
                      Asher Dust with collaborator Farjedi                                                                                       while. Plus, truth be told, Seal bloody
                                                                                                                                                 came along and was frankly cooler,
                     HE’S BEEN PERFORMING ON                   latest offering, ‘Maverick Trick’, was   truth be told, I was a bit of a show-    more talented and taller… Bastard!”
                     the Oxford music scene since the          a creative high point, the disparate,    off. I would say my parents’ huge         And the deal with EMI – how did the
                     1960s. He’s been signed to EMI and        often ill-matched ideas he regularly     record collection was more influential   experience colour your opinion on
                     ZTT and worked with Trevor Horn           throws into his peculiar mix, cohering   in shaping my desire to perform.         making music and the industry as a
                     and Paul Hardcastle. A list of artists    into a fiery, soulful fusion of          From an early age I would play           whole?
                     he’s collaborated with would fill this    conscious rapping, dancehall, funky      records and stand in front of the         “I met a rich, spoilt brat – nice guy
                     entire page. He’s played the Oxford       electro and trippy atmospherics, his     mirror pretending to be singing in       though – at a university gig; he knew
                     Punt at least twice and been              voice rich and rough-hewn, easily        front of a live audience.                someone at EMI, took one of my
                     Nightshift’s Demo of the Month and        equal to the likes of Seal or Terence     “Both my parents are born again         tapes along and managed to get me a
                     Demo Dumper. He’s played in some          Trent D’arby.                            Christians now, so they believe I’m      lot of studio time. The tracks were
                     of Oxford’s finest bands and yet           Additionally AJ provides the            making the Devil’s music. Ha ha!         utter shite pop soul drivel. However, I
                     Andrew Jones, aka Asher Dust,             highlight of Tiger Mendoza’s new         Bothered? Fuck no!”                      was offered a deal, recorded a ten
                     usually known simply as AJ, remains       ‘LIBRE’ EP with his abrasive vocal                                                track album of this drivel and then
                     one of this city’s most undervalued       performance on ‘Lovesick Vandal’.     AFTER THIS EARLY                            was promptly dropped. The entire
                     and enigmatic musical talents.                                                  introduction to performing, AJ played       experience did put me off and made
                                                               THERE ARE MANY, MANY MORE with the Addis Ababa Soundsystem                        me mistrustful of everything
                     WHILE REVIEWING THE MOST                  releases and projects in the pipeline through the 1970s and 80s. What was         connected to the music industry. I had
                     recent Asher Dust EP – Demo of the        for 2012, but for those of you        the scene like back then?                   an inept and dodgy manager and I
                     Month in January’s issue – it struck us   unfamiliar with the Asher Dust story,  “Addis Ababa is a local reggae sound       met so many folk whose egos far
                     we’d never actually featured the man      let’s go back to the 60s when he was  system that still plays out                 outweighed their talent it was
                     on the front cover and felt obliged to    barely old enough for school…         occasionally. We selected roots             shocking. Still, I also made a lot of
                     immediately rectify the situation,         “My father’s sound was called Sir    reggae, dub and lovers rock and             mistakes. In my desperation to make
                     though not before giving ourselves a      Jones HiFi. He used to hold parties   exclusive dubplates. I would record         it I wrote a lot of insipid rubbish and
                     right royal kicking for being so          every Saturday night above his        vocals over dubplates along with            would constantly jump on whatever
                     remiss.                                   Tailor’s shop on St. Clement’s. He    brilliant local reggae MC Mackabush.        musical bandwagon was trotting into
                      Because not only is AJ a singularly      would sometimes let me come and       The local reggae scene was very             town with more often than not
                     maverick star, his story is one that      stand on a speaker box and sing a     strong back then, there were several        disastrous consequences. The biggest
                     demands to be heard. It’s a musical       song called `This World’ by Roy &     local reggae sound systems like Addis,      thing that I learned from these, what
                     story that began when he was a mere       Millie. He also promoted reggae       Black Harmony, Macka. Every week            appeared at the time to be golden
                     five years old, singing with his dad’s    nights at Oxford Town Hall; I         there was a blues session or a dance at     ticket opportunities for success
                     reggae soundsystem, and has taken         remember Desmond Dekker, Bruce        the Barns Court Youth Club, Roots           actually meant nothing in terms of
                     more twists and turns, peaks and          Ruffin, The Pioneers and Laural       Club, Littlemore Hall. Many big             national success.”
                     troughs, than almost any other local      Aitken all performed there... Sir     sounds like King Tubby, Jah Tubby,           AJ also found himself working with
                     act, not to mention one taking in         Jones HiFi was one of the first sound Coxsone, Jungleman, Quaker City             80s hitmaker Paul Hardcastle, of
                     myriad musical genres, from reggae        systems in Oxford. The very first was played in Oxford. The sound system          whom he has few happy memories.
                     dub and r’n’b to soul, hip hop, trip      run by the late (Mackating frontman) culture was very important socially           “Ha ha! In the studio, if I dared to
                     hop, electro and some stuff we were       Slimma’s father.”                     for the African Caribbean community,        suggest an idea or question his
                     never able to put our finger on.           How did the experience shape your    especially as many of the clubs at          judgement he would point to his discs
                                                               desire to make your own music?        that time were not particularly             on the wall for his trillion sales of
                     EVEN AMID SUCH A VARIED                    “I remember always wanting to        welcoming towards black people. It          `Nineteen’ or `Rainforest’ and remark
                     and variable musical journey, AJ’s        perform and loving the attention and, was still a diverse mix of people,          `When you have one of those, I will
listen to your opinion; until then,       in an attempt to please A&R.             and experimental electronica.. And        full Asher Dust album; what can we
leave it to the expert.’ Smug little      Anyway, I settled into domestic          Dubwiser’s album showcases pop            expect from that?
twat. Needless to say I walked away.”     living, parenthood and put any           smarts and roots militancy in equal        “Hmmm… ghetto electro-pop wid a
 Given such a litany of bad               thoughts of creating music again on      measure. I think one of my strengths,     lickle hip hop. Ha! Seriously, at the
experiences, who were the best            the shelf.                               if I can humbly say, is my ability to     moment it’s sounding strong,
people AJ worked with around this          “Hearing The Streets’ first album       jump on different genres but still        production-wise, musically and
period of his life?                       made me realise that even though I       maintain my own style.”                   lyrically. At the moment the album
 “Stefan, who I mentioned earlier,        was from the UK and a below average       After a succession of demos over the     features just me and Farjedi on
and Danny MSD Whittaker, who is a         rapper, I could still get my point       years that have ranged from inspired      production and multi - instrumental
local reggae and dub producer, were by    across in a kind of spoken word,         to incomprehensible, the new Asher        duties, plus a brilliant horn player
far the best people I worked with. I      conversational way. Mike Skinner’s       Dust EP sounds like his most              called Vicky Flint on trumpet duty,
have to mention Trevor Horn,              slightly ramshackle production also      accomplished work to date. Does AJ        however I’m not ruling out having
though, for his attention to detail and   gave me the confidence to work on        feel he’s hit a particularly creative     the likes of Jonas from Dubwiser
refusal to compromise. Stefan and         my slightly off-kilter rhythmic ideas.   purple patch of late?                     coming along to bless the project
MSD’s influence on me was showing         The Demon Boyz were my favourite          “I’m not sure really. I am proud of it   with his talent, and maybe one or two
me how to use the Tascam 4 track          UK hip hop act, but I always felt        and it’s certainly better produced than   others.”
and a reel-to-reel machine. I was         their MC skills were way beyond me.      some of my past efforts, so yeah, I
inspired how they could create such       The Streets seemed like a level that I   am pleased with how it turned out. I      AND SO, LOOKING BACK ON
brilliant music with very basic           could at least aspire to.”               was surprised and happy to get Demo       such a long and varied musical life so
recording equipment, a drum machine                                                Of The Month: I believe that’s three      far, how much does AJ think the local
and a keyboard. One of my regrets is    SINCE RETURNING TO MAKING                  Demo Of The Months and two Demo           music scene had changed in the time
that many of my earliest musical        music a decade ago AJ has never            Dumpings now…with a few mid table         he’s been involved with it? Few local
experiments on the Tascam never         looked back, the decision to make          placings.                                 artists can have such extensive
saw the light of day: they were very    music for his own pleasure rather           “I think the stuff I am working on       experience of the music business,
basic but innovative.”                  than as an attempt to achieve              now is stronger and also the new          both locally and beyond.
                                        commercial success giving him the          tracks forthcoming on BG records are       “Technology has almost totally
NIGHTSHIFT’S EARLIEST FIRST- freedom to both be himself and                        also, in my opinion, a lot stronger.      changed the game. Anyone who
hand experience of AJ was in his        experiment.                                I’m really pleased with the EP            knows their way around a computer
involvement in a series of early-90s     One of the ways in which this has         though. I also love working with          with a bit of imagination can come up
bands in Oxford, including The Circle best manifested itself is his relentless     Zahra: hardworking, mad as pants and      with incredible productions. I think
– a collective formed with members      stream of collaborative efforts which      bloody talented.”                         the quality and diversity of bands
of local live trance faves The Egg –    allow AJ to explore so many different       You’ve also been working with Zahra      coming out of Oxford is encouraging
eclectic trip-hop group Nortica and     stylistic streams, stamping his            at the Ark-T project for young            and its great to see the local metal
rap collective Big Speakers, who all    instantly recognisable mark on             musicians. Do you think your              scene growing again. The likes of
left their own mark on the local        diverse projects. In fact the list of      experiences can help steer them in        Skeletor and Buried in Smoke are
scene.                                  collaborators is quite dizzying when       the right direction?                      putting on great metal shindigs.
 “The Circle was a nightmare time       written down: from local reggae             “My involvement is more to do with       Personally haven’t felt part of the
for me, partly because of my own        legends Dubwiser to electronic dub         mentoring young people and I do           local scene. Getting gigs became such
personal problems, but also because I   producer Meef Chaloin, who DJ              songwriting and composition               a nightmare that it prompted my
found the talented but controlling      Count Skylarkin recommended to us          workshops. I feel my experiences          decision to quit performing live. It’s
twins, Ned and Maff, very difficult to back in 2010 and with whom AJ is            enable me to offer advice and             not a gripe, it is what it is. Until BG
work with. The Circle were musically already a recording a second album,           encouragement in terms of the             Records came along I hadn’t felt part
frustrating: too much jazz-funk         and on to more unexpected bands like       pitfalls of the music industry and in     of a local scene since my sound
wankery. However, It was fun to play Tiger Menoza and Baby Gravy, whose            encouraging young people to believe       system days with Addis Ababa.
live and we did write a couple of       drummer Zahra Tehrani produced             in their ability and to work hard. My      “I still think there is a reluctance to
blinding tunes. Spider, Jonas, Malcolm ‘Maverick Trick’. Elsewhere take            sadness is that for some, at the first    support local urban music talent; if it
Atkins and Dave on bass were totally your pick from DJ Chefal, Jack                whiff of potential `stardom’ comes a      was not for Zahra at Ark T and BG
cool and talented too.                  Sparrow, Von D, J Kenzo, Jonny             see-ya-later response. All I can say is   Records, and Kid Fury’s Wordplay
 “Nortica were the most forward         Dollar, Bluesy, Monsieur Greg and          don’t spend money that’s not in your      nights, there would be little hope for
thinking creatively and had the most Mark Boy. How does he find the                bank account!”                            local urban acts to shine. This has
potential to do something special.      time?                                                                                created an understandable reluctance
There was too much emotional             “The internet! Back in the day,           TO FURTHER ENHANCE HIS                    on the part of young hip hop or r’n’b
drama, insecurity and weird band        there is no way I would have found         own and others’ projects, AJ recently     acts to approach promoters. My own
dynamics going on but the sound we      the time. But now, pretty much all         set up his own record label, Moving       experience has been far from positive
created together was brilliant.         that happens is that someone will          Hand.                                     with some local promoters, when I
 “Big Speakers was frustrating but fun: send me a track, I will write a song,       “Myself and Ads – aka Farjedi – have     have tried to get a gig, stating that
good people, very talented and I felt   record my vocals into my PC and            been writing on and off for about         they don’t wanna book hip hop or
brought something different to the      email my vocals. The majority of           seven years. However, we never            grime acts because there will be
hip hop table. A one-off comeback       collaborators I haven’t met yet. I         seemed to get around to completing        trouble etc. Because of course my
gig maybe happening with some new       would say my most challenging was          tracks. We realised we had amassed a      Asher Dust project is really fucking
recordings.”                            the track with Tiger Mendoza,              really strong set of songs and half-      hardcore gangsta rap! Still, I really
                                        mainly because I found it hard to          finished ideas. With the industry as it   believe the local scene musically is
AFTER THE DEMISE OF BIG                 come up with a melody that suited          is, we didn’t want to waste time          diverse and bursting with good quality
Speakers, AJ, perhaps understandably, the crazy break beat riddim.”                trying to secure a deal in this current   talent from all genres and age ranges.
took the decision to quit music          Your contributions to Dubwiser’s          climate, so we created Moving Hand        Nightshift has improved its coverage
completely. However, after hearing      album and the Tiger Mendoza EP in          to release our tracks as digital          of all things urban and along with the
The Streets’ debut album, ‘Original     particular stand out; what are your        downloads and limited edition vinyl.      Musicinoxford site and Truck Store
Pirate Material’, he relented,          feelings about those?                      Our First release should be out in        there is plenty of support for local
rejuvenated by the possibilities it      “Jonas From Dubwiser has been very        March. Its Farjedi & Asher Dust -         talent.”
offered.                                supportive over the years, always          `Keep You’ / `Looking For The
 “After my nightmare time with          encouraging me to be creative. I’m         Way’… kind of electronica, phuture        ‘Maverick Trick’ is available at
record labels and dealing with A&R      really proud of my contributions to        dubstep, soul. We are also releasing Tiger
wankers, it just sucked all the love of both projects. And I feel that both        tracks from various local acts            Mendoza’s ‘LIBRE EP’is out now.
creating music out of me. Plus, with    projects are a perfect example of          including Lost Youth, a breakbeat,        Asher Dust plays live at Baby Simple
hindsight, I realised that I was partly Oxford’s diversity, to show that           techhouse, electro act from Wantage,      on Friday 24th February. Visit
to blame because I was so desperate to Oxford is not just indie landfill. I love   as well as various other projects.” for more
make it I was creating soulless rubbish Tiger Mendoza’s forward thinking            Chief among future releases will be a    music and news.
                                                                                                            Sponsored by

RICHARD WALTERS                                                                                             ABANDON
‘Young Trees’                                                                                               ‘Monsters EP’
(Beard Museum)                                                                                              (Blindsight)
It seems like forever that Richard Walters has                                                              Those familiar with Abandon’s earlier two EPs
been a part of the Oxford music scene, but he’s                                                             will find no great surprises in their third
always managed to sidestep over-familiarity,                                                                offering, except that five of the seven tracks are
and has quietly been getting on with his thing,                                                             remixes. Now consisting solely of founder
forging a respectable niche in a town that’s                                                                Umair Chaudhry (ex-Xmas Lights), the long and
never really short of either good vocalists or                                                              sprawling tracks retain the bleak relentlessness,
more than competent songwriters.                                                                            with unexpected melodic snatches that brighten
 Regardless, his voice is familiar - but that’s no                                                          proceedings like shards of sunlight glimpsed
bad thing. Quiet, soft, and effectively - yet                                                               through a snowstorm. Anyone familiar with
subtly - powerful, it’s simultaneously                                                                      Jesu will see their influence all too clearly, even
conversational and tuneful, leading you through                                                             down to the artwork, only without the epic
songs, rarely wavering from deceptively being          a more morose, string-swathed ending. As with        production and a more subtle guitar style
the centre of attention. On this five-track EP,        ‘Regretless’, there are melodic snippets that        reminiscent at times of Vini Reilly.
it’s as flawless and clear as on much previous         form a coda here, a structural connection there,      Opener ‘Monsters’ sets the scene with slow
work, sometimes sounding post-produced but             each of which could individually sustain a song      drumming, bass almost too low to hear and
in fact being impressively rendered as a               in their own right.                                  Chaudhry singing, almost droning, about doubt,
straightforward vocal delivery.                         ‘Infinity Street’ is the most spartan and           dreams and running from himself. His voice is
 On these tracks, the poetic lyrics seem slightly      delicate song on the EP, and hence the most          not really the band’s greatest strength; neither
opaque; line by line, they hint at feelings of         personal-sounding; ‘Bring On The Dancing             dark enough to reinforce the music nor light
emotion and serious subjects, but patchworked          Horses’ inverts the Echo And The Bunnymen            enough to provide much of a contrast. ‘Night
into songs and as a whole EP, such simplicity of       song’s sense of self-importance to become a          Terrors’ is darker still, with barely whispered
theme or message seems less important than the         mournful and intimate few minutes, with sweet,       vocals, slowed down drums and echoes of very
overall ‘feel’. The EP’s title track is a quietly      sharp guitar melodies providing respite from the     early New Order and 80s gothsters The Danse
jaunty, subtly folky song that marries vocals to       fear of gloom.                                       Society. In fact the ghost of the 1980s stalks
a twinkly cello background. With a couple of            As a whole, this is a brilliantly balanced EP -     proceedings like a mountain wolf, only more
changes of focus and weight, as elements drop          the jauntier, richer instrumentation in some         goth than the lighter weight pop elements
out and then return, it’s like a more refined, less    songs is balanced (both within songs and across      currently in vogue.
studied Fleet Foxes. Coming in at under three          the set) with more sparse arrangements. In            Two of the remixes here turn out to be by
minutes, it’s impressively succinct and to the         terms of songwriting, there’s a lot of subtle        Chaudhry himself with collaborator Marco
point.                                                 stuff in play, with deceptively complex backing      Ruggiero. The second take on ‘Land Of No
 ‘Regretless’ has a distant-sounding, blues-           music carefully treading amongst the vocal lines     Horizon’ is heavy on echo and hardly
tinged piano melody at its core, with soft             to never dominate, but instead to co-exist in a      groundbreaking, but relatively cheerful next to
backing vocals creating an almost spiritual feel.      well-defined, affecting and intelligent collection   the original. ‘Cower’, from 2010’s `House Of
‘Dandelion’, in contrast, is almost cute - at least    of songs.                                            Cards EP’, is given a more detailed and
in the context of this set - before it falls back to   Simon Minter                                         interesting re-work but by now his voice is
                                                                                                            really starting to detract from what little
                                                                                                            enjoyment there is on offer.
                                                       otherworldly about their woozily ethereal             This EP shows no lack of ambition and those
                                                       gothic blues pop, which has been regularly           drawn to this style of music should find it good
                                                       compared to Portishead in the past as well as        value, but limiting your palette to such a few
                                                       David Lynch’s soundtrack music.
                                                                                                            colours leaves little room for manoeuvre. But
                                                        Singer Hattie Taylor forever sounds like an
                                                                                                            then, the world needs bands like Abandon, if
                                                       unearthly child, equally coquettish and dreamily
                                                                                                            only to remind us just how bleak life, real or
                                                       naïve, never more so than when she’s cooing
                                                                                                            imagined, can be.
                                                       playfully on the song ‘Snowbound’, which
                                                                                                            Art Lagun
                                                       suitably sounds like it should be performed in
                                                       the dining car of Krafterk’s Trans-Europe
                                                       Express as it ploughs through Arctic the tundra.
                                                       It’s a slight piece, less dense and immersive than
                                                       the band’s previous outing, which won them
                                                       Nightshift’s Demo of the Month, but so
                                                       disarmingly bright-eyed you’d struggle not to
                                                       fall under its spell.
                                                        ‘Bells’, meanwhile, is more restless, a fidgety
VIENNA DITTO                                           twinkle of machine parts trying to rearrange
‘Bells’                                                themselves beneath Hattie’s playfully soulful
                                                       vocal reverie. Because it doesn’t seem able to
(Silver Street Singles Club)                           get itself comfortable it lacks ‘Snowbound”s
Vienna Ditto always sound like they should be          seductive quality but the squelching synthetic
playing in some twilit, possibly subterranean          rhythm that underpins it provides a neat
jazz club in either the distant past or the far        counterpoint to the sweet dancing vocals.
future. There’s something that little bit              Victoria Waterfield
                                                     “attack-rock”, if the press release is to be            competency.
                                                     believed, although in reality it chugs along cosily      Such a well executed feeling of apprehension,
                                                     like a vintage traction engine. It’s a simple           one that lingers throughout the record, doesn’t
                                                     heartfelt tune that’s far superior to the a-side, but   by itself an album make. The opening title track
                                                     it still has trouble asserting itself. It’s as if the   fades into the second, ‘Downriver’, with
                                                     band have no faith in what they’re doing.               spectacularly jagged and unsuccessful results
                                                      So, we’ve got about one twelfth of a Beautiful         and too many tracks feature the irritating,
                                                     South song coupled with a self-conscious Then           poetic overdubs aforementioned, ruining the
                                                     Jericho track. Hmm, might take another look at          intriguing instrumentation and melody and
                                                     that wall for a bit.                                    leaving a sense of frustration for the listener.
                                                     David Murphy                                             However, on the occasions that Macgillivray
                                                                                                             does actually sing, as opposed to computerised,
                                                                                                             sci-fi nonsense, the effect is excellent. ‘Border
                                                                                                             Darkness’ is a haunting, organ-led piece with
                                                     MACGILLIVRAY                                            strange, childlike vocals that is genuinely
                                                                                                             moving, while ‘Then The Birds Came’ creates a
                                                     ‘RadioPhonic Subluna’                                   restless and unnerving quality reminiscent of
SHAKER HEIGHTS                                       (Own label)                                             Esben and The Witch’s macabre, glacial doom
‘Sitting In The fire’                                Kirsten MacGillivray a Scottish artist resident
                                                     in Oxford for the past decade, who has received
                                                                                                             Jon Clark
(Own label download)                                 notable acclaim for her previous work from
This single features “exclusive artwork based on     Radio 3 and boasts former Nico collaborator
the music”. It’s a line drawing of a man staring     and biographer James Young as her producer,
at a wall in an empty room. Yep, that’s roughly      here presents an album of such striking                     MACGILLIVR
how it makes us feel, too.                           uniqueness and peculiarity that it leaves your
 The single is not precisely bad – it’s well made    reviewer completely stumped as to how to                       AY
and shows evidence of talent – but it is dully       approach such a musical feat. This, as the title
anonymous. The title track starts with good          suggests, is an odd album, to say the least.
ingredients, a maudlin country-inflected vocal        It’s not often you get to hear music that
and some pleasing keyboard embellishments,           “reflects the melancholy of the Highlands”;
but doesn’t know what to do with them. After a       nonetheless, the album, a collection of
repeating these fragments a few times, the song      atmospheric soundscapes occasionally                                         RADIO
drifts to a halt, like a finance administrator who   overdubbed with artificially created and doom-                           PHONIC
realises that people stopped listening to his        laden vocals, creates a palpable sense of unease;
quarterly sales report half way through.             a feeling MacGillivray undoubtedly intended to                     SUBLUNA
 The b-side, ‘Poised As Robots’, is apparently       create and one she achieves with flair and
  gig guide                                                                                          MUNDANE SANDS + BLIN’ JONNIE +
        WEDNESDAY 1st
PHAT SESSIONS: The Cellar – Fortnightly
open jam session and full band set from The
                                                  FEBRUARY                                           WHYTHAM WOOD: The Hollybush,
                                                                                                     Osney – Folk rocking from Mundane Sands,
                                                                                                     veering between early Dire Straits and The
Phat Session Collective, plus resident DJ Kid               THURSDAY 2nd                             Oyster Band.
Fury spinning a mix of funk, soul and hip hop.    AGS CONNOLLY + REG & DOM +                         BREEZE: The Duke’s Cut – Party-friendly
WEDNESDAY BLUES: James Street Tavern              STUART NOAH + JACKIE D WILLIAMS                    covers.
– Weekly blues jam.                               + MARK NOBLE + GEMMA MOSS: The                     WHO DO YOU LOVE?: The Duke, St.
                                                  Bullingdon – It’s All About The Music              Clement’s – Alt.rock, 60s garage, soul, new
 Friday 3rd                                       Promotions presents an evening of local            wave, punk, surf and electro-pop DJ session
                                                  acoustic talents, including country-folk           with Jim, Jen and Grizilla.
 TOTALLY                                          troubadour Ags Connolly.                           ACOUSTIC NIGHT: Red Lion, Wolvercote
                                                  SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf –                   – Folk music and poetry.
 ENORMOUS EXTINCT                                 Smooth, soulful jazz from in-demand session        REIGN UPON US + AETHARA +
                                                  saxophonist Snake Davis, whose impressive          PITCHBLACK SUMMER +
 DINOSAURS:                                       CV includes work with Ray Charles, Tom             DECIMATION: The Wheatsheaf, Banbury
 The Bullingdon                                   Jones, Tina Turner, Take That, Cher, Beyoncé,
                                                  Kylie, Paul McCartney and Pet Shop Boys
                                                                                                     – Jambox metal night.
 There’s no doubt that TEED are one of            among many others.
 Oxford’s major breakthrough successes of         CATWEAZLE CLUB: East Oxford
                                                                                                               SATURDAY 4th
 the past couple of years. Producer, multi-                                                          WILD SWIM + GRUDLE BAY + INCH-
                                                  Community Centre – Oxford’s longest-
 instrumentalist and vocalist Orlando                                                                TIME: Modern Art Oxford – More esoteric
                                                  running and best open mic club continues to
 Higginbottom, himself the son of an Oxford                                                          musical fun from promoters Pindrop tonight,
                                                  showcase local singers, musicians, poets and
 University music professor, seems to be                                                             with extravagantly glitchy, washed-out electro-
                                                  storytellers every Thursday.
 everywhere these days, whether it’s being                                                           pop starlets Wild Swim alongside ambient
                                                  JUNKIE BRUSH + REIGN OF FURY +
 raved about in the dance press, playing                                                             Balearic-inspired electro duo Grudle Bay.
                                                  INDIGO MONTOYA: Wahoo – Oxford
 every festival of last summer – including                                                           SIGIRIYA + DESERT STORM +
                                                  University’s Rock Society presents a night of
 Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and                                                                PROSPERINA + UNDERSMILE: The
                                                  heaviosity, with live sets from local agit-punks
 Bestival – or soundtracking Nokia adverts.                                                          Wheatsheaf – Buried in Smoke offers a double
                                                  Junkie Brush and Tewkesbury’s classic thrash-
 He’s one of that rare breed of acts who                                                             dose of Swansea-based heaviosity tonight with
                                                  metallers Reign Of Fury, plus rock and metal
 made their name beyond Oxford before                                                                former-Acrimony chaps Sigiriya reinvigorating
                                                  tunes from Discord DJs.
 really making a huge mark in their home                                                             their monolithic groove metal noise on debut
                                                  AETHARA + DECIMATION + ELYSIUM
 city. Signed to Berlin-based, Hot Chip-                                                             album ‘Return To Earth’, while Prosperina
                                                  WAITS: The Bell, Bicester – Jambox metal
 associated label Greco-Roman and due to                                                             follow in the footsteps of Kyuss, Isis, Tool and
                                                  night with molten metalcore types Aethara.
 release his debut album on Polydor, TEED                                                            Pink Floyd. Flying the local metal flag are
                                                  OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon
 taps into the current desire to return rave to                                                      bluesy stoner-rock heavyweights Desert Storm
                                                  OUTPUT: The Cellar
 its early-90s roots, alongside the likes of                                                         and tectonic sludgecore spooksters Undersmile.
                                                  JAMBOX ACOUSTIC & OPEN MIC
 SBTRKT echoing acts like 808 State and                                                              THE COOLING PEARLS + THE
                                                  NIGHT: The Wheatsheaf, Banbury
 Future Soud Of London at times, marrying                                                            GULLIVERS + WE AERONAUTS: Fusion
 sweet, pulsing melancholy to wonky blips,                                                           Arts Centre – Three bands for a quid at Fusion
 euro-house and dreamy, cinematic ambience,                    FRIDAY 3rd                            tonight courtesy of hosts Cooling Pearls, with
 merrily playing smash’n’grab with jungle,        TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT                           their atmospheric lo-fi spook-pop. They’re
 dubstep, breakbeat, dancehall and indie          DINOSAURS: The Bullingdon – Orlando                joined for the night by ethereal indie popsters
 along the way. TEED’s recent double-header       Higginbottom gets his spikes on again for what     The Gullivers and hearty indie-folksters We
 with Fixers at the Ashmolean showed he’s         should be a celebratory hometown show – see        Aeronauts.
 as at home in non-traditional indoor venues      main preview                                       BOB MARLEY BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE
 as he is in outdoor arenas and tonight’s         KLUB KAKOFANNEY with VIENNA                        NIGHT: The Bullingdon – Natty Hi-Fi pays
 setting is a perfectly intimate environment      DITTO + YELLOW FEVER + WHO’S                       homage to the reggae legend.
 for his post-iPod electronica, which comes       FELIX: The Wheatsheaf – Typical mixed bag          PROPAGANDA + TRASHY + ROOM 101:
 with plenty of attention to detail on the live   of musical treats at Klub Kak, tonight             O2 Academy – Weekly three-clubs-in-one
 entertainment front.                             featuring sultry trip-pop minxes Vienna Ditto,     extravaganza every Saturday with classic and
                                                  launching their new single, ‘Bells’. Support       contemporary indie at Propaganda, kitsch pop,
                                                  from indie rockers Yellow Fever.                   glam and 80s at Trashy and metal, punk and
                                                  SKYLARKIN SOUNDSYSTEM: The                         alt.rock at Room 101.
                                                  Cellar – Reggae, dancehall and hip hop with        BREEZE: The Junction – Rock and indie
                                                  Count Skylarkin and Mr Benn, plus booming          anthems from Breeze, plus 70s-90s dancefloor
                                                  basslines, rocking roots and culture, extra        classics from resident DJs.
                                                  echo-chamber and soul-drenched vocals from         BIG SOCIETY + MOFO + PHIL GARVEY:
                                                  Reading’s The Drop, recently championed by         Folly Bridge Inn – Ska and reggae-tinged punk
                                                  David Rodigan and acclaimed by DJ Derek as         from The Big Society, plus classic rock covers
                                                  “The best thing to come out of Reading since       from Mofo and acoustic 60s-style psychedelia
                                                  Huntly and Palmers biscuits”.                      from Phil Garvey.
                                                  FUNKY FRIDAYS: The Bullingdon –                    THE MIGHTY REDOX + THE NEW
                                                  Classic funk, soul and r’n’b every Friday.         MOON: The Cricketers Arms – Swampy
blues and funky psychedelia from enduring                     FRIDAY 10th
local faves The Mighty Redox, plus acoustic
                                                  DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE
pop from The New Moon.
                                                  WORLD: Truck Store – An intimate in-store
                                                  show from Danny George Wilson’s
             SUNDAY 5th                           crew ahead of their Academy show tomorrow
BEARD OF DESTINY + BLIN’ JONNIE +                 night and ahead of Truck Store’s weekend of
DAVE & JEREMY + PHIL & SUE:                       live in-store shows to celebrate their first
Donnington Community Centre (6pm) –               anniversary.
Free acoustic session.                            TRAPS + WAYS ACROSS: The
                                                  Wheatsheaf – Punky noise from local
            MONDAY 6th                            newcomers Traps, plus pop-metal from Ways
                                                  Across at tonight’s Moshka club night.
THE KYLA BROX BAND: The Bullingdon
                                                  BOSSAPHONIK with THE HACKNEY
– Daughter of British blues legend Victor Brox,
                                                  COLLIERY BAND: The Cellar – Latin
Kyla has shared a stage with her old man many                                                         Wednesday 15th
                                                  dance, Balkan beats, world breaks and nu-jazz
times, easily matching his powerful voice, but
                                                  from the Bossaphonic crew, tonight featuring a
in recent years she’s been on course to become
                                                  live set from east London’s nine-strong brass
one of the UK’s foremost female blues singers,
mixing up classic r’n’b, funk and soul into her
                                                  band, inspired by New Orleans marching
                                                  bands, Balkan brass, funk, ska, contemporary
                                                                                                      O2 Academy
traditional sound.                                                                                    If Skrillex wasn’t the most divisive figure in
                                                  jazz and hip hop.
                                                                                                      music last year we struggle to imagine who
                                                  THE ELO EXPERIENCE: The New Theatre
           TUESDAY 7th                                                                                was. For a bloke whose interviews reveal
                                                  – Tribute to Jeff Lynn’s orchestral rockers.
                                                                                                      little by way of arrogance or attitude, Sonny
RAM’S POCKET RADIO: O2 Academy –                  THE MIGHTY REDOX + MARK
                                                                                                      Moore is loathed with a passion by huge
Pocket orchestral pop and epic soft rock from     ATHERTON & FRIENDS: The Chester
                                                                                                      swathes of dubstep fans. Maybe it’s
Northern Irish drummer, singer and pianist        Arms
                                                                                                      because he’s taken a peculiarly British
Pete McCawley                                     FUNKY FRIDAYS: The Bullingdon
                                                                                                      underground style so far overground that not
JAZZ CLUB: The Bullingdon – Free live             BURGUNDY + AMONG HONOUR: The
                                                                                                      only has he broken into the US charts but
jazz every Tuesday, tonight with guests           Wheatsheaf, Banbury – Jambox rock night.
                                                                                                      he’s also remixed Lady Gaga and Bruno
Heavy Dexters.                                    NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK: Baby Love -
                                                                                                      Mars. Maybe it’s because he’s an LA-born
TREVOR WILLIAMS: Café Tarifa –                    Motown, indie, ska and rock club night.
                                                                                                      emo kid who looks like he should be playing
Melancholic balladry from the hard-gigging
                                                                                                      in My Chemical Romance and seems to have
local troubadour.                                          SATURDAY 11th                              accidentally chanced upon dubstep after
                                                  THE YARNS + KILL MURRAY + DEER                      growing up on Nine Inch Nails and Warp
Street Tavern – Weekly open mic club.
                                                  CHICAGO + GUNNING FOR TAMAR +                       Records. Or maybe it’s because his music
                                                  THE DREAMING SPIRES + TREVOR                        seems to be a bombastic, testosterone-
                                                  MOSS & HANNAH LOU: Truck Store                      fuelled bastardisation of that underground
        WEDNESDAY 8th                             (1pm) – Truck Store celebrates a year in            sound, the trademark bowel-bothering bass
FREE RANGE: The Cellar – Jungle and               business with a weekend of live music.              wobble layered with unsubtle synth riffs in
dubstep club night.                               Today’s action sees sets from soft-focus            a similar way to Pendulum’s stadium rock
WEDNESDAY BLUES: James Street                     jangle-popsters The Yarns; spiky electro-           take on electro-dance. Whatever it is, Moore
Tavern                                            rocking from Kill Murray; epic shoegaze noise       is probably too busy playing sell-out shows
                                                  from Deer Chicago; melodic math-rockers             every night of the year (300 last year alone)
                                                  Gunning For Tamar; lachrymose           to notice or care much. Tonight’s gig is long
          THURSDAY 9th                            types The Dreaming Spires and lovey-dovey           since sold-out and there’s little sign the
CAT MATADOR + THE GULLIVERS +                                                                         man’s upward momentum is slowing any
                                                  folk duo Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou.
THE GRACEFUL SLICKS + MAT                                                                             time soon, so whether this even counts as
                                                  DANNY & THE CHAMPIONS OF THE
GIBSON: The Cellar – Dark-hearted indie                                                               dubstep any more or not, the purists best
                                                  WORLD: The Bullingdon – Sweet, uplifting
from Cat Matador, plus spangled, ephemeral                                                            get used to it.
                                         and 60s West Coast pop from
pop from The Gullivers and psychedelia and
                                                  former-Grand Drive chap Danny George
60s-styled garage rock from Graceful Slicks.
                                                  Wilson, back in Oxford, where it all started for   SIMON BOOKISH + LEAFCUTTER
Followed by hip hop club night Wordplay.
                                                  this band at a jam session at Truck Festival a     JOHN: Modern Art Oxford – Oxford
                                                  few years back, the band having previously         Contemporary Music kick off their new spring
                                                  featured Truck brothers Robin and Joe Bennett      season with this low-key show from
SKYLINE + THE JUKES: The Bullingdon
                                                  in their line-up.                                  experimental electronic musician and classical
– It’s All About The Music night with grungy
                                                  BIG BOY BLOATER + JESS GRACE +                     composer Leo Chadburn, who goes under the
pop-metallers Shattered Dreams, supported
by heavyweight indie rockers Very Nice Harry      THE GRACEFUL SLICKS: O2                            artistic guise of Simon Bookish. As well as
and elegantly-crafted guitar-popsters             Academy – Swampy soul, blues and r’n’b
Artclassink.                                      from the much vaunted British
CASH: O2 Academy – Johnny Cash tribute.           singer and guitarist, acclaimed by the
SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf –                  likes of Mark Lamarr, Jools
Trumpeter and composer Josh Hoare plays           Holland and Craig Charles, making a
alongside the in-house Spin band, having          name for himself under his own
toured with Jamie Cullum and Super Furry          steam having previously worked
Animals as well as recorded with Shirley          with myriad US blues and r’n’b acts
Bassey.                                           on tour in the UK, as well as
CATWEAZLE CLUB: East Oxford                       performing as part of Imelda
Community Centre                                  May and Paloma Faith’s bands.
OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon                   Local supports from folk-blues
ELECTRIC YOUTH REVOLT +                           songstress Jess Grace and
BURGUNDY + PRIMER: The Bell, Bicester             psychedelic garage rockers The
– Jambox rock night.                              Graceful Slicks.
                                                  THE CHIEFS: The Junction – Good-time               SPARKY’S FLYING CIRCUS: James
                                                  rock anthems.                                      Street Tavern
                                                  PROPAGANDA + TRASHY + ROOM 101:                    OPEN MIC SESSION: Cornerstone Arts
                                                  O2 Academy                                         Centre, Didcot
                                                  MARK PIDGEON + DAVID MENDAY +                      OPEN MIC SESSION: The Port Mahon
                                                  MIKE MOYSE + RAG’N’ROLL: Tiddy
                                                  Hall, Ascott-under-Witchwood – A night of                 WEDNESDAY 15th
                                                  acoustic folk, roots, Americana and ragtime
                                                                                                     SKRILLEX: O2 Academy – In the red corner
                                                                                                     – Skrillex and his billion-strong army of fans.
                                                  OPEN MIC SESSION: The Hollybush,
                                                                                                     In the blue corner – the dubstep massive.
                                                                                                     Seconds out, round ten – see main preview
                                                  ANIMALS IN LOVE DJs: The Port Mahon
                                                                                                     PHAT SESSIONS: The Cellar – Open jam
                                                                                                     session, plus funk, soul and hip hop tunes.
                                                              SUNDAY 12th                            THE REAPER + TWISTED STATE OF
                                                  JAMES VINCENT McMORROW + NICK                      MIND + PURPLE COW + BRINK OF
                                                  COPE + JESS HALL + SPRING                          REASON: Fat Lil’s, Witney – Local metal
                                                  OFFENSIVE: Truck Store (1pm) – The                 bands night, including precociously talented
                                                  second instalment of Truck Store’s birthday        teenage thrash merchants The Reaper.
                                                  bash features a day of acoustic music,             WEDNESDAY BLUES: James Street
                                                  including a special set from James Vincent         Tavern
                                                  McMorrow ahead of his Academy show later
                                                  tonight. Joining him are former-Candyskins                  THURSDAY 16th
                                                  legend Nick Cope, ethereal folkstress Jess Hall
                                                                                                     FINK: O2 Academy – Fin Greenall remains an
                                                  and esoteric alt.rockers Spring Offensive.
 Friday 17th                                      THE SOUTH: O2 Academy – Former-
                                                                                                     enduring oddity on Ninja Tunes, having started

 DJ FORMAT +                                      Beautiful South members Dave Hemingway,
                                                                                                      Tuesday 21st
                                                  Dave Stead and Alison Wheeler revisit their
 THE DISCO SHED                                   old band’s hits and more.                           SPECTOR: The
                                                  JAMES VINCENT McMORROW: O2
 SOUNDSYSTEM:                                     Academy – Wintry wistfulness and haunting,          Jericho Tavern
                                                  soulful acoustic balladry from the Dublin
 The Cellar                                       singer-songwriter, riding high – if that’s the
                                                                                                      The name Spector is, of course, synonymous
                                                                                                      with great pop music, be it Phil or Ronnie,
 From the word-of-mouth commercial                appropriate word – on the success of debut          but east London’s Spector only chose the
 success of debut album ‘Music For The            album ‘Early In The Morning’, his trembling         name because their first choice, Spectre, was
 Mature B-Boy’, to triumphant sets at             falsetto drawing admiring comparisons to            already taken apparently. That and they
 Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals,        Anthony & The Johnsons and Bon Iver.                knew it would wind people up. Seriously,
 Southampton’s Matt Ford in his guise of DJ       OUTFIT: The Bullingdon – Synth-tinged               anyone allergic or averse to image-conscious
 Format has been a feelgood hip hop party         guitar pop of a distinctly 80s vintage from         bands who talk a good fight, look away now.
 host with few equals in this country for         Liverpool’s Outfit, armed with a sense of epic      Be-suited and terrifyingly well groomed,
 close to a decade. Making his name early on      melancholic introspection that sits strangely at    Spector are fronted by the bespectacled Fred
 opening for DJ Shadow as well as driving         ease with their tribal rhythms, kind of like a      MacPherson who likes to bemoan modern
 Jurassic 5’s tour bus, collaborating with the    meeting point between New Order, Icicle             pop music’s “vulgarity”, and if that sounds
 band’s Chali 2na and Akil along the way,         Works and Trophy Wife. Signed to Double             vaguely familiar you’ll be less than surprised
 Ford has approached hip hop with an              Denim, they’ve supported Clinic and                 to detect hints of The Smiths in the band’s
 eclectic ear and a playful outlook, abetted by   Ladytron in recent times.                           sound, although they perhaps owe more to
 the likes of Abdominal on that funk-heavy
                                                                                                      The Killers and Pulp, possessing a
 debut and the likes of D-Sisive on 2005’s
 tougher follow-up ‘If You Can’t Join ‘Em…                   MONDAY 13th                              significant synth edge, most notable on the
                                                  THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: O2 Academy                   band’s quite lovely `Grey Shirt & Tie’, a
 Beat ‘Em’. Ahead of the release of his third
                                                  – Dayton Ohio’s Christian metalcore crew            warm, romantic slice of epic electro-pop.
 album proper, ‘Statement Of Intent’, he
                                                  spread the good word in decidedly noisy             Elsewhere they can be spiky, even drawing
 brings the party to the intimate confines of
                                                  fashion on latest album ‘Dead Throne’.              comparisons to The Vaccines on occasions,
 The Cellar courtesy of Count Skylarkin’s
                                                  THE GRAINNE DUFFY BAND: The                         although Franz Ferdinand might be closer to
 Disco Shed, his handful of mixtapes,
                                                  Bullingdon – Powerful soul and blues from           the truth. Having found their way into many
 including one for Fabric, fusing rock, soul
                                                  the County Monaghan singer, whose debut             Tips For 2012 lists, it seems some folks are
 and funk onto its hip hop beats, while live
                                                  album, ‘Out Of The Dark’, was recorded with         already willing them to fail and time will tell
 he spins a wide selection of rare funk, Latin,
                                                  members of Sharon Shannon and Van                   whether they’re a victory for style over
 northern soul and golden age and daisy age
                                                  Morrison’s bands. In her native Ireland she’s       substance. Having supported Florence &
 hip hop. Count Skylarkin and Indecision get
                                                  supported everyone from Little Feat to Ocean        The Machine, one thing is seemingly certain:
 the party started with their trademark mix of
                                                  Colour Scene and now heads off around the           six months from now, plenty of people will
 hip hop, soul, ska, dancefloor and more.
                                                  UK ahead of a follow-up to her acclaimed            be fighting tooth and nail to see them
                                                  debut.                                              headline the Academy, so get in early.
working with Patrick Wolf and St Etienne, he’s
remixed Grizzly Bear and Franz Ferdinand in
the past and tonight he teams up with Polar                  TUESDAY 14th
Bear member Leafcutter John for an evening of     JAZZ CLUB: The Bullingdon – Jazz Club
delicate electronica and wayward pop.             regulars New Jazz Collective play live.
SUBITE: The Cellar – Eclectic mix of 1940s        Jacqueline du Pre Building – The acclaimed
jazz, hip hop and Arabic folk sounds from         violinist and pianist play a benefit concert for
Brickwork Lizards, launching their debut          the Sumatran Orangutan Society.
album, ‘Zaman’. Followed by beats and breaks      INTRUSION: The Cellar – Goth, industrial,
club night Fresh Out The Box.                     EBM and darkwave club night.
his career there as a dance artist and DJ, only             SATURDAY 18th
to abandon the genre for a more traditional        DEDLOK + TERRATHORN + IN
blues, folk and indie style back in 2006. After    DECADENCE + A TRUST UNCLEAN +
gaining fresh attention for his 2007 single        EYES OF EVE: O2 Academy – Skeletor’s
‘This Is The Thing’, he co-wrote songs with        monthly team-up with Room 101 continues to
Amy Winehouse as well as releasing last year’s     showcase the best local and out of town metal
‘Perfect Darkness’ album, his contemplative        bands, tonight featuring a set from monstrous
semi-acoustic style more akin to Jose              punk-tinged heavyweights Dedlok, whose brutal
Gonzales or John Legend than the sounds            sound owes as much to Killing Joke and
you’d expect from his label.                       Discharge as it does to Boltthrower and Pantera.
SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf –                   They’re joined by Southampton’s old-school
Norway’s acclaimed sax virtuoso Marius             thrash crew Terrathorn, plus local metallers In     Sunday 26th
Neset is tonight’s star turn, seemingly set to     Decadence and groove-core types Eyes Of Eve,
inherit the throne of Michael Brecker and Jan      coming in between Mastodon and Down.
                                                                                                       LITTLE DRAGON:
                                                   BEELZEBOZO + SPINNER FALL: The
                                                   Wheatsheaf – Very metal rumblings from the
                                                                                                       O2 Academy
Community Centre                                                                                       For a band that’s featured on so many
                                                   mighty Beelzebozo, mixing up classic
OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon                                                                        critically-acclaimed and commercially
                                                   NWOBHM with 80s thrash with lashing of
OUTPUT: The Cellar                                                                                     successful music projects, Gothenberg’s
                                                   blood. Hectoring noise-pop and epic shoegaze
INDIGO ROSE + THE KAOS + RYKER                                                                         Little Dragon remain a little-known entity.
                                                   from Spinner Fall in support.
SEAR: The Bell, Bicester – Jambox rock and                                                             Individually or collectively they’ve worked
                                                   SELECTA: The Bullingdon – Drum&bass
metal night.                                                                                           with Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Outkast, DJ
                                                   with guests Jumping Jack Frost and MC
                                                                                                       Shadow and Dave Sitek, singer Yukimi
            FRIDAY 17th                                                                                Nagano being the chief in-demand Dragon.
                                                   LETTUCE HEADS: The Junction – Party
                                                                                                       It’s after her that the band is named, for her
DJ FORMAT + DISCO SHED                             tunes from the London rockers.
                                                                                                       in-studio temper tantrums. Not that you’d
SOUNDSYSTEM: The Cellar – Hip hop                  SHATTERED DREAMS + THE SHAPES +
                                                                                                       know that listening to her nimble, almost
party time with the south coast star – see         BEN PHILLIPS: The Folly Bridge Inn –
                                                                                                       Bjork-ish vocals on the band’s new album,
main preview                                       Feisty pop-metal and grunge from Shattered
                                                                                                       ‘Ritual Union’, their most commercial to
OX + THE EPSTEIN: Truck Store – Early              Dreams.
                                                                                                       date, influenced increasingly by modern
evening in-store from Canadian         PROPAGANDA + TRASHY + ROOM 101:
                                                                                                       r’n’b and electronic dance music, hints of
rockers Ox ahead of their Wheatsheaf show,         O2 Academy
                                                                                                       everything from Prince to Zero 7 infecting
alongside local country faves The Epstein.         FREE RANGE: The Cellar – Garage special.
                                                                                                       the grooves. It’s all relative, mind, Little
OX + THE YARNS: The Wheatsheaf –                   KOMRAD + BIG SOCIETY + KATE DARE
                                                                                                       Dragon remain too inventive, restless and
Lachrymose somewhere between           + TREVOR WILLIAMS + MARK BOSLEY
                                                                                                       off-kilter to worry about bothering the
the worlds of Neil Young, Bonnie Prince Billie     + NIGEL & HIS IMAGINARY FRIENDS +
                                                                                                       singles charts just yet, particularly live
and The Velvet Underground from Canada’s           CLASS DISMISSED + MARK
                                                                                                       where they bridge the gap between gig and
dope-soaked cult stars, fronted by the             ATHERTON: The Hollybush, Osney (1pm)
                                                                                                       club night, electro-house vibes going up
delightfully drawling Mark Browning and over       – Full day of music ahead of Wittstock with
                                                                                                       against big, bold rock rhythms and a
in the UK to promote their new album,              math-core headliners Komrad alongside reggae-
                                                                                                       propensity to go off on one like some old
‘tUCo’. Local jangle-popsters The Yarns            punkers Big Society, romantic troubadour Trev
                                                                                                       psychedelic jam band at times. They’re
support.                                           Williams, lachrymose balladeer Mark Bosley
                                                                                                       mostly just bloody great though and if
COLOUREDS + PUBLIC SERVICE                         and more.
                                                                                                       you’re a stranger to their music thus far, or
BROADCASTING + ROBOTS WITH                         BATTLE OF THE BANDS: The Port
                                                                                                       know them only through those big-name
SOULS: Modern Art Oxford – Underground             Mahon
                                                                                                       collaborations, here’s your chance to really
electronic sounds from Basement Sessions, this
                                                                                                       enter the dragon.
month featuring local mutant rave duo                          SUNDAY 19th
Coloureds alongside London’s Public Service        DOG IS DEAD: O2 Academy – The
Broadcasting, mixing shimmering soundscapes                                                           town – see main preview
                                                   Nottingham indie hopefuls return to town after
with vocal cut-ups, and Phantom Theory                                                                JAZZ CLUB: The Bullingdon – Free live
                                                   playing at last October’s Leylines festival, now
offshoot project Robots With Souls, fusing lo-fi                                                      jazz with The Hugh Turner Band.
                                                   signed to Atlantic Records, their jazzed-up
drone-rock with grinding electronica.                                                                 SPARKY’S FLYING CIRCUS: James
                                                   euphoric pop, partway twixt Vampire Weekend
I SELECTA: The Bullingdon                                                                             Street Tavern
                                                   and Level 42 at times, sounds unstoppably
DIXIE & CO: The Duke’s Cut – Rock and                                                                 PROGRESSIVELY LESS ELEPHANT:
pop covers.                                                                                           Baby Love – Indie, electronica and Motown
                                                   KNIGHTS OF MENTIS + MUNDANE
DIRTY DEEDS: The Black Horse, East                                                                    club night.
                                                   SANDS: The Bullingdon – Folk-rock and
Hanney – Rock, blues and funk covers, from                                                            OPEN MIC SESSION: The Port Mahon
                                                   Americana night at the Bully with It’s All
Queen and Guns’n’Roses to ZZ Top and Led           About The Music Promotions.
Zep.                                               OPEN MIC SESSION: The Hollybush,                          WEDNESDAY 22nd
FUNKY FRIDAYS: The Bullingdon                      Osney (1pm) – Wittstock fundraiser – all           LAST NIGHT’S VICTORY + TREVOR
HURTSEASON + ELYSIUM WAITS +                       musicians welcome.                                 WILLIAMS: The Wheatsheaf – Moshka
                                                                                                      club night with Charlie Baxter’s new band Last
Wheatsheaf, Banbury – Jambox rock and
metal night.                                                  MONDAY 20th                             Night’s Victory, plus local acoustic pop
                                                                                                      songsmith Trev Williams.
SPACE HEROES OF THE PEOPLE +                       RESERVOIR CATS: The Bullingdon –
                                                                                                      FREE RANGE: The Cellar – Jungle and
JUNKIE BRUSH + BEAVER FUEL +                       Tony Jezzard’s hard-rocking bluesmen hit the
                                                                                                      dubstep club night.
SKEPTICS: The Hollybush, Osney – First             Famous Monday Blues club.
                                                                                                      WEDNESDAY BLUES: James Street
night of a weekend of shows to raise funds for
this year’s Wittstock Festival. Electro-pop duo               TUESDAY 21st
Space Heroes of the People headline with
support from agit-punkers Junkie Brush and
                                                   SPECTOR: The Jericho Tavern – Suits,                        THURSDAY 23rd
                                                   specs and a way with words – one of this
cynic-rockers Beaver Fuel among the                                                                   TO KILL A KING: The Bullingdon –
                                                   year’s most hotly-tipped band of hopefuls hit
supporting cast.                                                                                      London-based folk-rockers in the vein of
Grizzly Bear, The National and Mumford &                      FRIDAY 24th
                                                  ASHER DUST: Baby Simple – This month’s
SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf – With
                                                  Nightshift cover star presents his eclectic
keyboard player Phil Peskett.
                                                  fusion of hip hop, dancehall, electronica, grime
                                                  and soul as he launches his new ‘Maverick
Community Centre
                                                  Trick’ EP – see main interview feature
                                                  COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN + ASTEROX:
Wahoo – Rock and metal bands, plus DJs
                                                  The Bullingdon – Old-time country roots
from the University Rock Society.
                                                  from C4OM.
                                                  THE WILD MERCURY SOUND +
Classic rock riffs in the vein of Led Zep cut
                                                  DANCE A LA PLAGE + LEWIS WATSON:
through with jazz and funk in the style of the
                                                  The Jericho Tavern – Daisy Rodgers
Chili Peppers and an oddball Afro-rock edge
                                                  Music night with current Steve Lamacq Band
from local veterans KTP.
                                                  Of The Week Wild Mercury Sound bringing
AHAB: The Jericho Tavern - Harmony-
                                                  their Bombay Bicycle Club-like fuzz to              Wednesday 29th
heavy, Americana and traditional
                                                  town. Local indie popstrels Dance a la Plage
English folk music from the Cropredy Festival
                                                  and Youtube sensation Lewis Watson                  LABRINTH / DOT
Wolvercote – Jam along with resident
                                                  EDWINA HAYES + BEARD OF DESTINY:                    ROTTEN: O2 Academy
                                                  Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot – Lovelorn          Right about now Hackney’s Labrinth seems
                                                  balladry inspired by Randy Newman and               to be the go-to guy for any hopefuls wanting
                                                  Leonard Cohen from the Yorkshire singer-            a bit of urban in their pop. Pixie Lott, JLS
                                                  songwriter who has supported Jools Holland,         and Nadine Coyle are among those who have
Bell, Bicester – Jambox rock and metal night.
                                                  Nancy Griffith and Loudon Wainwright III on         enjoyed his production skills, although his
                                                  tour, as well as collaborating with Dennis          remix work for Gorillaz suggests there’s
 Monday 27th                                      Locorriere.                                         more to him than a deal with Simon Cowell’s
                                                  FUNKY FRIDAYS: The Bullingdon                       Syco suggests. The man’s got pop gold in
 COLD SPECKS:                                     HQ: The Cellar – Drum&bass with dBridge,            his fingertips it seems – his collaborations
 The Jericho Tavern                               Loxy, Skeptical and SP:MC.
                                                  NUDYBRONQUE + OVERLORD: The
                                                                                                      with Tinie Tempah on ‘Pass Out’ and
                                                                                                      ‘Frisky’ produced number 1 and 2 singles,
 Cold Specks’ real name is, apparently, Al        Wheatsheaf, Banbury – Jambox rock night.            while his own solo debut, ‘Let The Sun
 Spx, which is, if anything, even more obtuse                                                         Shine’ also scraped the top of the charts. In
 than her chosen stage name but beyond that                                                           his own right Labrinth possesses a similar
 there’s little puzzle about the rise of the               SATURDAY 25th                              soul-lite vocal style to Ne-Yo or Usher,
 Canadian singer who’s now living and             BEN HOWARD: O2 Academy – Long-since
                                                                                                      while his production has seen him likened
 recording in London, teaming up with Rob         sold out show from the Devonian singer-
                                                                                                      to a British Timbaland (albeit a latter-day
 Ellis, who’s previously worked with PJ           songwriter whose devout following have lifted
                                                                                                      Timbaland rather than the pioneering
 Harvey and Anna Calvi. Cold Specks bears         him from the pub circuit to big time venues
                                                                                                      beatmaster of old). With his debut album
 little resemblance to those two, mind,           like this in a matter of months (it was only
                                                                                                      ‘Electronic Earth’ due out next month he’s
 preferring an earthy yet spiritual form of       back in October he played at the Jericho
                                                                                                      out on his first proper UK tour and is joined
 blues and gospel that sounds like it might       Tavern). His delicate folk-pop adds to an air of
                                                                                                      by fellow Londoner Dot Rotten who isn’t,
 have escaped from a lost pre-war spiritual       almost prayer meeting-like reverie about his
                                                                                                      sadly, a fag-smoking, vitriol-spitting hybrid
 compilation album. Her old-fashioned vocal       shows, his homely acoustic style mixed with a
                                                                                                      of Dot Cotton and Johnny Rotten, but a
 style and her songs of love and loss suggest     jazzy intricacy, influenced by Tim Buckley,
                                                                                                      sharp, snappy rapper in the vein of Wretch
 a women far beyond her 23 years. It’s a          John Martyn and Nick Drake.
                                                                                                      32 who emerged from the underground
 gorgeously unpolished voice that harks back      UPSTAIRS: O2 Academy - Local bands
                                                                                                      mixtape scene to remodel himself as a high-
 to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia             showcase in conjunction with BBC Oxford
                                                                                                      gloss grime artist, earning himself a deal with
 Jackson, a voice that’s already found favour     Introducing.
                                                                                                      Mercury Records in the process.
 with Jools Holland, for whom she                 GAPPY TOOTH INDUSTRIES with K-
 performed a capella on Later… Her debut          LACURA + ECHOBOOMER + DEAD RED
                                                  SUN: The Wheatsheaf – Characteristically           Warm, semi-acoustic jangle-pop from rising
 single (if you discount obscure early releases
                                                  mixed bill from GTI tonight with velociraptor      local starlets The Yarns at tonight’s Back & To
 back in Canada under the names Basket Of
                                                  metalcore crew K-Lacura going up against           The Left show, plus the return of Oxford’s
 Figs and Hotel Ghost) is a wonderfully
                                                  considered indie soundscapists Echoboomer          burlesque gypsy dance troupe Scarlett In The
 spectral lesson in what she calls doom-soul
                                                  and London’s experimental sound explorers,         Wilderness and indie rockers Crayon.
 and a good few months of further critical
                                                  inspired by Youthmovies and Steve Reich            Followed by dance club Extra-Curricular.
 plaudits are as inevitable as they are
                                                  among others.                                      WAY THROUGH + BOMBER JACKETS:
 deserved. For Oxford pop aficionados, the
                                                  NINE-STONE COWBOY + PLAYER2 +                      Modern Art Oxford – Shropshire-via-
 cellist in her band is one Tom Havelock, last
                                                  BIG NORTHERN SOUL NIGHT OUT:                       London’s “pastoral punks” Way Through
 seen round these parts playing in long-lost
                                                  The Bullingdon –Through-a-glass-darkly             soundtrack both field and flyover with use of
 electro-rock heroes Psychid.
                                                  electro-tinged pop from NSC, with support          guitar, tapes, broken drums and vocals at
                                                  from fidgety indie rockers Player2. After the      tonight’s Adventures Close To Home show.
                                                  show there’s a northern soul club night.           INSOMNIA: The Junction
                                                  SAMBASUNDA QUINTET: The North                      THE PETE FRYER BAND: The Chester
                                                  Wall, Summertown – Javanese Gamelan                Arms
                                                  music gets a carnival vibe in Sambasunda’s         PROPAGANDA + TRASHY + ROOM 101:
                                                  lively hands, the collective fusing urban          O2 Academy
                                                  rhythms with ancient Indonesian instruments        OPEN MIC SESSION: The Black Horse,
                                                  and fronted by exotic singer and dancer Rita       East Hanney
                                                  THE YARNS + SCARLETT IN THE                                    SUNDAY 26th
                                                  WILDERNESS + CRAYON: The Cellar –                  LITTLE DRAGON: O2 Academy – Fire-
breathing electro-rocking from Sweden’s       singles like ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ and ‘Best
collaboration-happy cult faves – see          Friend’. After some line-up rejigging and a
main preview                                  threatened split, the new album continues
DODGY + BLACK HATS + SMOKE                    along that 80s indie-inspired route, New
FEATHERS: The Bullingdon – The                Order, The Wake and Orange Juice still
original Dodgy trio – Nigel Clark,            the inspiration of choice, while Jonathan
Mathew Priest and Andy Miller –               Pierce still has designs on being the new
reunite once more, not just to kick out       Morrissey.
those classic Britpop era hits like           KYLA LA GRANGE: The Jericho
‘Staying Out For The Summer’ and Good         Tavern – Darkly dramatic witch-pop
Enough’, but also to plug their new           from Watford’s Kyla in the vein of Stevie
album ‘Standing Upright In A Cool             Nicks, Marianne Faithful and Florence &
Place’, their first studio output in eleven   The Machine.
years. One of the more politically-           JAZZ CLUB: The Bullingdon – With
minded bands of the early-90s indie scene     live jazz from The New Jazz Collective.
– they toured Bosnia in the immediate         SPARKY’S FLYING CIRCUS: James
wake of the war there as well as              Street Tavern
supporting causes such as War Child, the      OPEN MIC SESSION: The Port
Dockers’ Strike and Charter 88 – they’re      Mahon
nevertheless unstoppably feelgood in
musical outlook.                                          WEDNESDAY 29th
KEVIN DEVINE: The Jericho Tavern              LABRINTH + DOT ROTTEN: O2
– Brooklyn’s alternately introspective        Academy – Brit-rap starlets on the rise
and political acoustic pop songsmith          and tour together – see main preview
Devine comes over the Pond to plug his        MARY BENDY TOY + STEM +
new album ‘Between The Concrete &             AURORA J YOUNG: The Bullingdon
The Clouds’, inspired by Neutral Milk         – Industrial gothic rocking from Mary
Hotel, Elliot Smith and Pavement.             Bendy Toy at tonight’s It’s All About
                                              The Music show, plus soulful acoustic
        MONDAY 27th                           rock from Aurora J Young.
KING CHARLES: O2 Academy – Wry,
                                              SONIC RISING + THESE REIGNING                  THE OXFORD RECORD
                                              DAYS: The Wheatsheaf – Former-
rootsy acoustic psychedelia and electro-
pop from the west London dandy,
                                              Spiral 25 psych-rock types Sonic Rising          DVD & CD FAIR
                                              hit the noise groove button.
inspired by Donovan, Syd Barrett and
Marc Bolan. He’s out on tour ahead of an
                                              PHAT SESSIONS: The Cellar                     OXFORD TOWN HALL
                                              WEDNESDAY BLUES: James Street
anticipated debut album, having
                                              Tavern                                             SATURDAY FEB 18th
previously supported Mumford & Sons
on tour.                                                                                           10am- 3:30pm
CONNIE LUSH & BLUES SHOUTER:                                                                Rock/pop/jazz/soul/reggae/indie, all other genres.
The Bullingdon – The five-times                                                                    Accessories/memoriabillia/books.
winner of Best British Female Blues                                                            Brand new and back catalogue/Rare Vinyl.
Singer award returns to the Famous                                                             
Monday Blues with her powerful singing
style taking in traditional blues, rock,
jazz and soul.
COLD SPECKS: The Jericho Tavern
– Timeless doom-soul and gospel from
the Canadian singer now living in the UK
– see main preview
WHAT CRISIS: The Cellar –
University funk and jazz big band Dot’s
Funky Odyssey get the party started.

        TUESDAY 28th
THE DRUMS: O2 Academy – The New
York Anglophiles return with their
second album, ‘Portamento’, having gone
from critical darlings (voted brightest new
hope for 2010 by everyone from NME
and Clash magazine to Pitchfork) to
whipping boys in super-quick time after
their eponymous debut album failed to
deliver on the promise of sparky early

Nightshift listings are free. Deadline for inclusion in the gig guide is the 20th of each
month - no exceptions. Call 01865 372255 (10am-6pm) or email listings to All listings are copyright of Nightshift and may not be
reproduced without permission
                                                                                    DR SHOTOVER
                                                                                       The Nylon Lady
                                                                 Bah! PAH! This 80s revival has got out of hand. Now they’re bringing out
                                                                 films about Margaret Twatcher, implying that, far from being a tiresome
                                                                 old psycho in a nylon housecoat, she was in fact some kind of female
                                                                 Iron Man. Spare us these Monday-Club-style history-re-writes, please.
                                                                 How pitiful that, in these days of cuts and mismanagement, courtesy of
                                                                 the bum-faced twins Ham and Clegg, people are SO desperate to sex up
                                                                 their impoverished lives that they will opt for fantasies involving a bit of
                                                                 blue-chinned political rough from the past. (“Never mind the fact that you
                                                                 look like a bad female impersonator with five o’ clock shadow… hit me

                                                                 again, Nanny Thatch!”)… IT MAKES ME SICK. Sicker than a second-year
                                                                 student slumming it on a Cowley Road pub-crawl. “Oh WOWWWW, The
                                                                 Corridor - this is where Radiohead used to live! I must have another
                                                                 fifteen vodka-based drinks and
Every Monday                                                     then go and puke up outside the
THE FAMOUS MONDAY NIGHT BLUES                                    East Indies Club!” No, Hugo, you
                                                                 must not. What you must do is
The best in UK, European and US blues. 8-12.                     this - you must buy fifteen
6th KYLA BROX BAND (UK)                                          copies of Anyone Can Play
13th GRAINNE DUFFY BAND (Eire)                                   Guitar from the Truck Store and
20th RESERVOIR CATS (UK)                                         send them to all your family
                                                                 members and schoolmates. Yes,
27th CONNIE LUSH & BLUES SHOUTER (UK)                            even the ones who have
                                                                 stopped returning your calls or
Every Tuesday                                                    replying to your NerdBook
                                                                 requests because you are a
THE OXFORD JAZZ CLUB                                             boring pimply little jobbie. Then
Free live jazz plus DJs playing r’n’b, funk and soul until 2am   you will be on the very first step
7th HEAVY DEXTERS                                                of the Dr Shotover Path To
14th NEW JAZZ COLLECTIVE                                         Enlightenment. Step Two – buy
21st THE HUGH TURNER BAND                                        me a drink. But do not, under
                                                                 any circumstances, speak to
28th NEW JAZZ COLLECTIVE                                         me. Step Three (as Step Two, ad
Wednesdays                                                       Next Month: The Correct
29th MARY BENDYTOY / STEM / AURORA J YOUNG                       Use of Tweed                                “COO-EE, General Pi-no-chet!”
Every Wednesday – front bar open til midnight


Every Friday*
Funk, soul, boogie and R&B. 11pm-2.30am; £3.

Friday early shows

NATTY HI-FI. 10-3am; £4
11th TBC
18th SELECTA – Drum’n’bass – with JUMPING JACK

       Nightshift’s monthly guide to the best local bands bubbling under

 Who are they?
 Grudle Bay (recently shortened from Grudle Bay Riots) are Nathan
 Allsworth and Tom Hodges. Hailing from Abingdon, the pair have have been
 writing and performing as Grudle Bay for around six years. They met at
 school where they formed experimental pop band PYE, making their first
 forays into the lcoal scene and setting the musical tone for their current
 incarnation. After a two year stint in London experimenting with ideas and
 developing a new electronic sound, Nathan and Tom returned to Abingdon
 with a cleaner, more mature approach to song-writing, included using vocals
 for the first time and recent times have seen them move away from a             If they could only keep one album in the world, it would be:
 sample-based approach to more of a live sound, which people can                  “The Bladerunner soundtrack by Vangelis – never tire of listening to it. It
 experience when the duo play at Modern Art on February 4th.                     has such deep, melodic, atmospheric sound. Like the film itself, the
 What do they sound like?                                                        soundtrack is ahead of its time, and hasn’t aged a day.”
 The duo paint pretty, pastoral musical pictures with a decidedly chilled form   When is their next gig and what can newcomers expect?
 of dream-pop, a come-down answer to Chad Valley’s more euphoric                  “At Modern Art, Oxford on Saturday 4th February. Expect to hear
 Balaeric-inspired electro-pop where guitars twinkle, electronic beats chatter   something that we hope is original and unusual to the Oxford music scene.
 and breathless vocals swoon overhead. Or, in their own words, they “try to      We love the music we’re playing right now and we’ve had a great reaction
 create an experimental mood using vocal harmonies and melodic guitars           so far. This has given us a confidence and energy that we bring to our live
 with elements of electronica. We hope to create an uplifting atmosphere         performance.”
 charged with free flowing keys and a rolling rhythm section.”                   Their favourite and least favourite things about Oxford music are:
 What inspires them?                                                              “We love the fact there are promoters who are open to new sounds and
  “We love originality, and respect anyone who innovates.”                       different ideas and give new bands a chance. This gives Oxford a unique and
 Career highlight so far:                                                        varied music scene. Also, that people turn out and support the scene. One
  “We played a BBC Introducing night at the O2 Academy, which was our            disappointment is that there isn’t a big major club in Abingdon. It’s where
 biggest gig to date.”                                                           our music’s from and it would be great to play a big gig in our home town.”
 And the lowlight:                                                               You may love them if you love:
  “Finding out we won’t be able to play Truck Festival this year.”                Chad Valley; Toro Y Moi; China Crisis; Outfit; DJ Vital.
 Their favourite other Oxfordshire act is:                                       Hear them here:
  “Arthur Sawbridge; a very talented musician.”                        

                                                                                                               This month in Oxford
All Our Yesterdays                                                                                             music history
                                                                                                             their ‘When I Wank On My Guitar, The Whole
20 YEARS AGO                                           10 YEARS AGO                                          World Wanks With Me’ compilation on Truck’s
The cover of February 1992’s Curfew was graced         Local metal titans Mindsurfer were our main           Juggernaut imprint.
by The Daisies, a band who would down in local         interviewees, set to release their ‘The Right To       Sugababes and Clinic topped Nightshift’s monthly
music folklore as quintessential Oxford cult heroes    Remain Violent’ album, the band having replaced       hitlist while Enrico Iglesias was declared the worst
before morphing into Medal a few years later.          original frontman Steve Phelps (“the loudest man      record of the year as early as February.
Interviewed in an old school hut in Eynsham the        in Oxford”) with James Greene (currently bursting
band were apparently reticent in their answers, due,   his tonsils with prog-core monsters Komrad),
mainly, to being frozen half to death. “It’s fucking   bonding over a shared love of Holy Terror and         5 YEARS AGO
cold in here,” says drummer Lemmy. The band            Nuclear Assault. They also declared Headcount to      Angel-voiced local pop darling Richard Walters
expressed a love for The Cure, Sonic Youth and         be “a bunch of limp-wristed pussies, albeit fat       graced the cover of February 2007’s Nightshift, at
Ride and are enthusiastic about an emerging            ones,” which we took as our cue to duck under the     the time signed to Warner Chappel Publishing and
Eynsham scene centred on the local youth club.         table til the carnage had blown over.                 Courtyard Management, working with Noel Hogan
 Elsewhere this month it’s announced that the Old       Elsewhere this month incumbents Fusion FM            of The Cranberries and Bjork and Britney producer
Fire Station is stopping its live music nights to      were up against newcomers Juice FM for a local        Guy Sigsworth. It had been a year of very mixed
concentrate more on its restaurant, while              broadcasting licence, both stations boasting a        fortunes for Richard whose song ‘All At Sea’ was
Flyposting seemed to be the most pressing issue        commitment to local music, Fusion having              used on CSI Miami but who had also suffered an
for local bands and promoters in an age before         sporadically hosted a dedicated local show.           epileptic seizure just as he was about to play for an
t’internet.                                             In other news Shifty Disco celebrated its fifth      audience of record company execs in the States.
 Highlights of the local month in gigs were Ride’s     birthday by releasing a CD box set of every a-side    In local music news, there was the traditional call
mega show at the Apollo on the 7th, while              on their monthly singles club; the Bullingdon         out for bands to play that year’s Oxford Punt,
Levitation and Sunshot played at Oxford                was closing down for a month for a complete refit,    while it was reported that REM’s Michael Stipe,
Polytechnic, The Bhundu Boys at the Oxford Venue       the Pit in Witney returned to gigging action after    Mike Mills and Pete Buck all joined Robyn
and The Wedding Present at the Jericho Tavern.         a six-month lay-off; prog-popsters Suriki were        Hitchcock onstage at the Zodiac in a surprise
Heavenly, The Jennifers, The Anyways and a             calling it a day and rockers Vade Mecum were          treat for an audience that included Thom Yorke.
double bill of The Candyskins and On A Friday          heading Stateside to make their names.                 Goldrush, Chantelle Pike, Laima Bite and
were the highlights of the local contingent. In the     Best of the month’s local gigs were Charger, Minus   The Walk Off all released new CDs this month,
demo pages Gentle Ihor’s Devotion topped the           and Sextodecimo at the Zodiac as part of the          while top of the demo pile was Umair
pile for his “moody, broody, nasty, sullen and quite   Metal Supremacy tour; heavy rock legends Deep         Chaudhrey’s Monday Morning Sun project –
brilliant” industrial onslaught that reminded us of    Purple at the Apollo and The Icarus Line’s show       “the musical equivalent of something nasty
Sisters of Mercy and Front 242. At the opposite end    for The Club That Cannot Be Named at the              stalking darkened corridors”. By contrast Wasted
of the pile Spacehopper “exist in sort of midway       Zodiac. Local bands treading the boards included      Potential were dismissed as “the musical
nowhere”, while The Ragged Boys were “Slushy,          The Rock Of Travolta, Dustball, Six Ray Sun           equivalent of tepid cabbage water. Potential?
sentimental stadium balladeers”.                       and South Sea Company Prospectus launching            What fucking potential?”
                                      Sponsored by                                   Demo of the Month wins a free half day at
                                                                                     Silver Street Studios in Reading, courtesy
                                                                                     of Trojan Horse Recordings. Visit

                                                                                    do well to try and emulate. And by Odin
                                       DEMO OF                                      they walk it like they talk it, three tracks in
                                                                                    a little over seven minutes that ride
                                      THE MONTH                                     roughshod over ideas about sensitivity or
                                                                                    self-pity, simply crushing everything that
                                                                                    stands in their path, mixing Discharge and
                                      DALLAS DON’T                                  Subhumans’ hardcore punk thrash into
                                                                                    single-minded metal force, using simple but
                                      Whoo hoo! We reviewed this lot’s first
                                                                                    effective tricks like sticking a lorry load of
                                      demo a few months and reckoned they
                                                                                    reverb onto tracks like `Hi Def Death’ to
                                      showed promise but maybe needed a few
                                                                                    recreate an authentic early-80s punk vibe
                                      better songs. Now they got songs. Nasty
                                                                                    and simply rumbling and raging with an
                                      serrated songs with sharp bits on what’d
                                                                                    almost sullen ferocity until there’s simply
                                      take the skin off yer elbows if you stood
                                                                                    nothing left on the horizon to destroy. Do
                                      too close. They’ve also got a singer, Niall,
                                                                                    you hear that? They just destroyed the
                                      who sounds like a cross between Idlewild’s
                                                                                    whole bloody world in seven minutes. And
                                      Roddy Woomble and Prolapse’s Mick
                                                                                    to think, some of the sad old tarts further
                                      Derrick with his fantastically badgering
                                                                                    down the page would struggle to punch
                                      Scottish bawl. In fact, originally hailing
                                                                                    their way out of a wet paper bag in that
                                      from north of the border and punningly
                                      named after their local whisky distillery
                                      Dallas Dhu, Dallas Don’t can’t escape
                                      comparisons to many of their fellow            A FACEFUL OF
                                      countrymen. ‘The Ballad Of Phoebe
                                      Henderson’ comes on like a particularly        MARTHA
                                      up-for-a-scrap Arab Strap as Niall semi-      More metal but of a decidedly different
                                      mumbles in the middle distance while          vintage here from Witney’s Faceful Of
                                      guitars stick it to each other in the         Martha, who endear themselves to us no
                                      foreground; ‘Lesson’, meanwhile, carries      end by calling us jerks in their email, then
                                      elements of The Twilight Sad, albeit The      repeating the insult on their Soundcloud
                                      Twilight Sad squaring up to McLusky over site. Come on boys, if you’re going to be
                                      whose riffs have got the sharpest blade.      rude, at least be funny with it; Headcount
                                      ‘The Runner’ is a Caledonian Pixies,          you ain’t. Anyway, AFOM are an
                                      spindly, pensive passages giving way to       instrumental band because, in their own
           COLDROOMS                  explosions of guitar shrapnel, while, by      words, they “can’t sing or scream for shit
                                      way of contrast, ‘Fife For Life’ is a         and didn’t want to sour the experience with
                                      relatively lightweight jangly romp with       any incessant whining or high-pitched
RECORDING AND REHEARSAL STUDIOS       Niall’s warm, rounded burr giving you the shrieking”. So what we get are four straight-
                                      feeling you’re being genially hectored by a down-the-line slabs of old school heavy
      FULLY EQUIPPED RECORDING        good-natured pub nutter up to the point he rocking, nods duly given to Iron Maiden
  *     AND PRODUCTION STUDIO         starts getting all wistful and romantic. It’s and Thin Lizzy on the one hand and
                                      not included on this demo but apparently Metallica on the other. Each chunders in,
        * LARGE LIVE ROOM             Dallas Don’t also have a song called ‘This thrashes about a bit, then exits without
                                      Town Needs Us’. On the strength of this       fuss, leaving little impression. If you’re
                                      outing, they’re damn right it does.           going to play instrumental metal you really
   TEL: 07823770079 or 01865 863044                                                 need to be a bit more inventive than this.

                                      BERSICKER                                      HELLO GHOST
                                      One of our favourite local metal bands of a    Hello Ghost is the musical moniker of one
                                      few years back were Government Mule            Matt Ayes, a man armed with a guitar and
                                      who were Demo Of The Month here back           a wallet full of lovelorn angst and… no,
                                      in 2003 or 2004, just before they went         hang on, come back! Perhaps we didn’t
                                      their separate ways, singer Stephen Frame      start to explain things properly. Yes Matt
                                      going on to batter the skins with extreme      has a guitar – an acoustic one at that for
                                      prejudice in Faith in Hate. Good to see,       the most part – and at some point we
                                      then, that three quarters of Government        deduce that the object of his love seems to
                                      Mule have reconvened as Bersicker,             have buggered off and left him alone (“The
                                      declaring that “It’s all about the riffs       mattress is still warm from where you
                                      basically” with a straightforward, no-         used to be”; hmm, maybe she just went off
                                      nonsense approach to life that a few of the    to work and will be back soon), but to his
                                      undeserving scum reviewed below might          credit Matt seems to be bearing up
reasonably well. On demo opener `Take            inclusion of a selection of frankly hideous
Your Shot’ he even sounds vaguely cheery,        promo shots, which make them look like
chugging away chirpily enough, if lacking        one of those family singing groups on the
any real bite or balm. In this Matt’s not the    old Songs Of Praise albums, and probably
only act in this month’s pile that seems to      not intentionally. Pretty quickly, though,
have taken some inspiration from local           we started to think it might have a been a
popsters Alphabet Backwards but maybe            clever diversionary tactic to stop us
lacks that sprinkling of pixie pop magic         noticing the music was equally unpalatable.
they seem to always possess. Softer,             Oh it’s well-executed and all that, too well
warmer and better is `Rockhopping’, a            done if anything, like music that’s been
simple melody played on plucked acoustic         passed through several focus groups to
guitar and restrained harmonica that             weed out anything that Radio 2 listeners
reminds us a little of Nick Cope. Matt           might consider upsetting. What this results
would be better off sticking to this way of      in is some anonymous funk-lite guitar pop
working since the pedestrian guitar              that what remains of the major record
histrionics on the electrified `Bloodstains’,    labels’ marketing departments might
coupled with a voice now lacking genuine         bracket under indie. It’s got just a hint of
personality, make the whole thing sound          blokishness about it, but nothing that’d be
like any other half-cocked indie band and a      up for heading down the pub and starting a
return to what he does best on `Antarctica’      scrap with Dead Jerichos and… oh, hell,
turns out to be the demo’s high point:           we’re avoiding the awful truth from you,
slight in the melody stakes but, armed with      dear readers. It sounds like Scouting For
a playfully swirling keyboard à la               Girls. Can we go now?
Alphabet Backwards again, light and airy
enough to charm the hardest of hearts.
                                                    THE DEMO
ANDY ROBBINS                                         DUMPER
While Hello Ghost prove it’s possible to
inject a modicum of humanity and –
whisper it – fun into the one-man-and-his-       TRAPDOOR
                                          When it comes to the line “I’ve been
guitar-and-a-bag-of-romantic-failure thing,
Andy Robbins here proves that more often  chopping onions over you again, my dear,”
                                          we’re honestly not sure if it’s a metaphor
than not it’s an unrelenting barrel of misery.
Four songs here span a mere fifteen       for a broken love affair or simply a
minutes but it feels more like an endless euphemism so horrific even a Dutch porn
winter spent snowbound in an isolated     director would blush. Either way, like the
forest cabin with only tinned spaghetti,  physical act of chopping onions, this demo
roadkill and the Shopping Channel for     makes us weep. Weep tears of both
sustenance, as Andy mournfully            laughter and sorrow. It’s not just that the
documents the unending trauma that is his,line “I’ve been chopping onions over you
                                          again, my dear” is followed by the immortal
and your, life. At one point he’s “Searching
deep in side / Trying to find / When I was“Cos the crosswords don’t do themselves
19, I lost my mind”; the next he’s tellingjustice when you’re not here,” making it the
you not to let your dreams fade away else single worst rhyming couplet since Ride’s
you’ll end up in a dead-end job on        classic “You are my crown of creation / I              THE COURTYARD STUDIO
minimum wages. `Itsy Bitsy Teeny          want to be your relation”, but because the
                                          song in question is so moribund it’s in
Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ this ain’t.                                                    PROTOOLS HD2, MTA 980 CONSOLE 32/24/
Thing is, we think there’s meant to be a  danger of sucking the entire universe into a             24, OTARI MTR90 MK2 24 TRACK TAPE
positive message in here somewhere,       black hole of self-pity. It sounds like a half-         MACHINE, 2 TRACKING ROOMS, SUPERB
although it sounds more like a husky old  arsed copy of Alphabet Backwards                       CONTROL ROOM WITH GOOD SELECTION
cadaver griping on about how the country’sstripped of any last vestige of melody and                OF MICS & OUTBOARD GEAR, + MIDI
gone down the pan since young people      fed a non-stop diet of horse tranquillisers.              FACILITIES (INC LOGIC AUDIO, AKAI
started listening to pop music instead of Which is at least preferable to the generic,               S1000, OLD SKOOL ROLAND ETC.)
going down the mines/up chimneys when     too-scared-to-rock sludge that follows in               Residential facilities included.
                                          the form of `Aphrodite’, a kind of halfway
they hit their teens. And to cap it all, he                                           
concludes with the cheery “Cold winds cut house between The Arctic Monkeys and                       PHONE PIPPA FOR DETAILS
through your bones” as we sit here        The Stooges but about one billionth as
                                                                                                        ON 01235 845800
watching hurricane-force winds turn our   much fun as that description might suggest.
                                          Sorry, are we being too harsh? Perhaps it
street into a reconstruction of an explosion
in a landfill site. Yeah, and a Happy New was unfair to describe those opening lines
Year to you too.                          as the worst rhyming couplets of the past
                                          decade. Especially when there’s “You could
                                          be my father figure / Your finger on the
DANCE À LA PLAGE                          trigger” to consider. Go on boy, give that
When we first received Dance À La Plage’s trigger a good squeeze. Put us all out of this
email we pondered the wisdom of their     misery.

Send demos for review to: Nightshift, PO Box 312, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1ZU. Or
email song links to, clearly marked Demo for review.
 IMPORTANT: no review without a contact address and phone number. No more than
four tracks on a demo. If you can’t handle criticism, please don’t send us your demo.

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