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                      NIGHTSHIFT                                                        month.
                                                                                       Issue 121
                       Oxford’s Music Magazine                                           2005

                         Fell City Girl                                On the fast track to
                                                                       rock and roll glory
Photo: Julian Small

                         NIGHTSHIFT: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU. Phone: 01865 372255
         NEW S
     Nightshift: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU
   Phone: 01865 372255 email:
        This month’s issue is dedicated to Albini the Nightshift cat

SUPERGRASS play an intimate               Ian Parker Band, Michael Myers,
show at the Oxford Playhouse this         The Invisible and Blue Wax. Music
month (Saturday 13th August) as part      starts at 7pm. On the Saturday,
of a short national tour. The tour is     Sunday and Monday, proceedings
aimed at promoting new album,             kick off at 2pm, with a broad
‘The Road To Rouen’, which marks
a change of musical direction for the
                                          selection of rock, folk, jazz, blues
                                          and acoustic acts, including Leburn,
band.                                     Kohoutek, Anton Barbeau, Uniting
 Talking about the tour, singer Gaz       the Elements, Sarah Wilson, Laima         Every Monday:
Coombes said, “It’s gonna be              Bite, The Cheesegraters, Tounsi and
interesting using these little theatres   The Powders. A cheap and extremely        THE FAMOUS MONDAY NIGHT BLUES
and clubs to show people another          cheerful alternative to Reading           The best in UK, European and US blues. 8-12. £6
musical side of the band. It’s not        Festival. Call 01865 776431 for
something we’ve really done before        more details.                             1st DIANA BRAITHWAITE (USA)
in this way, so we’re excited about it.                                             8th SHARRIE WILLIAMS & THE WISE
We’ll have an old friend playing          GOOD AND BAD NEWS for folks
percussion alongside Danny and his        music fans in Oxford this month.
                                                                                    GUYS (USA)
homemade drum kit, new songs and          The bad news is that both Nettlebed       15th DAVID RAPHAEL BLUES BAND (UK)
a few old ones that we’ve not tried       Folk Club and Oxford Folk Club are        22nd CREAM’D (UK) - a tribute to Cream!
before, and a little stage set to give    closed throughout August, with both
it a real close, mellow, theatrical       clubs set to resume live music early      29th To Be Confirmed
vibe.”                                    in September. The good news is that
 Tickets for the show are on sale         both Cropredy Festival and
now from the Playhouse box office,        Towersey Village Festival take place      Every Tuesday:
on 01865 305305. ‘Road to Rouen’          this month, with strong folk line-        THE OXFORD JAZZ CLUB
is released on 15th August.               ups. Fairport Convention’s Cropredy
                                          Festival takes place from Thursday
                                                                                    Free live jazz from THE TOM GREY
CHARLOTTE CHURCH, Lucie                   11th – Saturday 13th August, with         QUINTET, plus DJs playing r’n’b, funk and
Silvas, The Noise Next Door,              Richard Thompson, Country Joe             soul until 2am.
Chesney Hawkes, Freefaller, Tyler         McDonald, Beth Nielsen Chapman
James and KT Tunstall are the latest      and Jah Wobble amongst the acts           (* - except Tuesday 23rd – Jazz Club with
acts to be added to the bill for Fox      joining the Englidsh folk legends on      ALVIN ROY)
FM’s Party In The park, which             stage. For ticket information, go to
takes places in South Park on    This
Sunday 28th August. They join             year’s Towersey Festival, meanwhile,      Every Friday:
headliners Texas, announced last          runs from Thursday 25th to Monday
month. Tickets for Party In The           29th August. Show Of Hands, John
                                                                                    BACKROOM BOOGIE
park are available online through         McHerry’s At First Light and Karine       Funk, soul and R&B. 9-2am Free B4 10pm; £4 after.
Fox FM’s website (,             Polwart head an extensive bill of
priced £10, with £1 from each ticket      folk, blues and world music. Tickets
going to Help A Local Child.              for the five-day festival are available   Every Sunday:
                                          from the box office on 01629              THE CHAPEL
THE DOWNLOAD has been                     827016.
granted an extra month’s run on                                                     LOCAL BANDS SHOWCASE. 8-11pm. £3
BBC Radio Oxford. The local music         ELIZA CARTHY AND THE
show will now run until the end of        RATCATCHERS, The Oyster Band
August, with BBC programmers              and John Spiers and Jon Boden are
pleased with the show’s coverage of       among the acts confirmed for this         Wednesday 3rd STAND UP COMEDY with
the local music scene and its strong      year’s Wallingford Bunkfest. The          compere SILKY 8.30-12am
listening figures. The Download is        festival, now in its fourth year, runs
broadcast every Saturday evening          across the weekend of the 2nd to the      Saturday 6th SIMPLE – Quality Funky House.
from 6-7pm on 95.2fm. The show is         4th September at various venues           9-2am
presented by Tim Bearder and as           around Wallingford. As well as live
well as playing an assortment of          music there will be the usual array of    Thursday 11th HIP HOP NIGHT 9-2am
local releases, features interviews       celidhs, workshops and a beer             Saturday 13th NU-SOUL with TONY
with local and touring bands, a gig       festival. More details at
and club listing and a demo vote.
                                                                                    NANTON 9-2am
Keep listening and help keep Oxford                                                 Wednesday 17th PSYCHIC NIGHT (call for
music on the radio.                       DUE TO STRICT PRINT                       details)
                                          DEADLINES, Nightshift went to
THE EXETER HALL in Cowley is              press before Truck Festival. Our          Thursday 18th LIVE BANDS NIGHT 8-12am
hosting a four-day free live music        review of the festival will appear in     Saturday 20th ROADRUNNER (Mod, Northern
festival over the August Bank             the September issue. The `Truck 8’
Holiday Weekend. The festival will        compilation CD, featuring tracks
                                                                                    Soul, Funky Hammond and more) 9-2am
feature some 30 acts, most of whom        from the likes of Black Nielson,          Saturday 27th REGGAE AND R’n’B NIGHT
have played at the Ex in the past         Captive State, Cranes, Fell City Girl,
year. Things kick off on the evening      Neil Halstead, The Black Madonnas
of Friday 26th, with sets from The        and Biffy Clyro, is on sale now.
A Quiet Word With

       Fell City Girl
representatives at Reading and Leeds
                                                                                                                           there any particular barriers you’ve
                                                                                                                           come across as a student band?
festivals will be… Fell City Girl.                                                                                          Phil: “No not really. It’s an ongoing
 That’s right, Fell City Girl, the band                                                                                    debate but the attendance at gigs by
formed barely two years ago by a                                                                                           students is shitty, compared to the
group of mates studying at Brookes                                                                                         1,200 people that pack into
University, still unsigned, and last                                                                                       Brookes’ venue every Wednesday for
seen in Oxford supporting Dive Dive                                                                                        their club nights. But what can you
at the Zodiac. Fell City Girl, a band                                                                                      do? It’s not really anyone’s fault,
who have come a long, long way in a                                                                                        more a collective mindset that
very short space of time and look                                                                                          cheaper drinks are more important
set to go even further in the very                                                                                         than live music now.”
near future.                                                                                                                Shrek: “It’s a shame that there is
                                                                                                                           such a high quality of live music
SINCE THEY HIT THE LOCAL                                                                                                   being played in Oxford every night
gig scene just under two years ago,                                                                                        of the week by so many talented
Fell City Girl have deservedly earned                                                                                      bands and solo artists, yet so many
themselves a reputation as one of                                                                                          students and people in Oxford are
the most promising young bands                                                                                             disregarding it for club anthems and
around, playing to increasingly           wonder Nightshift was excited           the band ahead of their appearance       drinks promos. A buzzing music
packed local venues like the              enough to hail them as the best new     at Truck Festival and a short tour to    scene like the one that is occurring
Wheatsheaf and the Cellar, while          band to emerge from Oxford in           promote the release of ‘Weaker           in Oxford at the moment is such a
their show at this year’s Oxford Punt     2004.                                   Light’.                                  rare and beautiful thing that
in May saw the venue sold out within                                                                                       everyone in Oxford should
minutes of doors opening and a            FELL CITY GIRL’S FORMATION              FELL CITY GIRL ARE A BAND                appreciate it more.”
queue of disappointed fans out into       was nothing special: a bunch of         who formed at university but they         Are you all planning to stick around
the street below. This month Fell         mates rehearsing together in a room     don’t see themselves as a university     Oxford when your courses are
City Girl release their second single,    at a Brookes University halls of        band, having early on suffered from      finished?
‘Weaker Light’, on Nomadic                residence, getting threatened with      the musical snobbery that can exist       Phil: “Yes, it’s a great place to be.
Records, the follow-up to last year’s     eviction of they didn’t keep the        in academic circles.                     Especially in Summer. There’s
split CD with Swindon-based rockers       noise down, eventually ditching the      Phil: “The first rehearsal we had       nowhere like it – every lady is
Latitude Blue.                            ‘Freebird’-obsessed guitarist, before   was at Brookes music department.         beautiful. If I was a singer in a band
 The new single, a limited edition 7”,    settling on the current line-up (Phil   We’d borrowed their drum kit, but        I’d be unstoppable…”
displays so much of what is great         McMinn: vocals and guitar; Joe          it’d been double booked. So in walks      Shrek: “As a band we have been
about Fell City Girl: a short, sharp      Gibbons: guitars; Adam Drake:           the head of the jazz quartet or          really welcomed into Oxford and its
hit of emotionally-intense melodic        bass; James ‘Shrek’ Pamphlion:          whatever the fuck they were, and         music scene and we’ve made so
rock that’s alternately sweet, tender     drums) and taking their formative       said “I’m sorry, you’re not real         many friends as a result…and there
and slightly fraught, or sky-             sound out into the Oxford scene.        music students so we take priority”,     are so many more debauched nights
scrapingly epic. Comparisons to           Rave reviews quickly followed – not     so we had to give them the kit and       to be had, it would be just plain rude
early Radiohead aren’t far off the        just from Nightshift but also the       pack our gear up after five minutes.     to leave now.”
mark, but freshness and vitality          likes of Drowned In Sound, and soon     Having said that, the music societies     Joe: “I’m here for life I reckon; I
pours from the song, while live Fell      the record, publishing and              are run by really good people so it’s    love the place. Now, if I could only
City Girl have a presence,                management companies started            not all bad. I’m just bitter at not      stop the wheels on my bike getting
confidence and epic sense of musical      buzzing around.                         being a real music student, I guess…”    kicked in every other week…”
scale that stretches from Jeff             With the various members either         Joe: “I joined the band a few            Phil, you said before that the likes
Buckley, through Muse and The Cure        graduating or deferring their degrees   months after the others had started      of Truck were partly instrumental in
to the more esoteric likes of             to concentrate on the band, things      playing together and although I was      you choosing to come and study in
Godspeed You! Black Emperor. No           have really picked up speed lately,     just about to start a course at          Oxford. What is your impression of
                                                                    culminating   Brookes I joined the band                Oxford now and how much has it
                                                                    in that       completely independent of the            changed in the time you’ve lived
                                                                    invitation    university. I actually met them          here?
                                                                    to play on    through an advert on the Nightshift       Phil: “It’s a really divided place –
                                                                    the Carling   messageboard, so you guys are partly     there’s the horror of Cowley Centre
                                                                    Stage at      to blame for all this racket! I don’t    right through to the centre of town
                                                                    Reading and   want to put Brookes down at all          which is pretty beautiful. In terms of
                                                                    Leeds         because I’ve met some cool people        being in a band, it’s a great place to
                                                                    Festivals –   there, it’s just that for me college     develop because you can get
                                                                    the launch    and band life are pretty much            recognised just by playing a handful
                                                                    pad for so    unrelated.”                              of gigs. There may only be a handful
                                                                    many bands     There is still some prejudice from      of really great bands locally, but
                                                                    in recent     both sides of the supposed town/         there is so much going on – the guys
                                                                    times.        gown divide in the local music scene.    at OxfordBands run a great night, as
                                                                    Nightshift    How well integrated do you think         does Ady at Vacuous Pop. You can go
                                                                    spoke to      students are into the local scene? Are   to The Wheatsheaf three times a
week and see a good band most of        particular their sound seems too big
the time. I’ve only been in Oxford a    for the size of venues they’re
few years so it hasn’t really changed   currently playing. Is there a
that much, apart from those fucking     conscious desire to create big music?
roadworks on the Cowley Road.            Phil: “It’s funny, when we started it
Honestly, someone’s going to get        was never meant to be like that, but
hurt by me if they don’t stop soon.”    when people start reviewing you and
                                        saying things like that, you do start
FELL CITY GIRL FORMED A                 changing the way you write. And you
couple of years ago but became local start trying to see if you can
favourites very quickly. How and        actually ‘do’ epic. When we played
why do they think that happened?        The Scala in January, friends of mine
 Phil: “I think we’re not really in a   in the audience heard a couple of
position to know why this happened people take the piss out of us when
the way it did. But my guess is that    we walked on – we have tiny amps
we do something a bit more              and a tiny singer, and within 30
accessible than a lot of the Oxford     seconds I’m told they were bouncing
bands at the moment. There is           up and down on the spot going “OH
nothing exclusive about the music we MY FUCKING GOD!” So I made up
make, yet I think it still has an edge for my disability. All those years of
to it that separates us from the        abuse finally paid off, he he!”
Tesco’s buying public. Also we’re all    Joe: “The truth is that we’re all
incredibly handsome, which helps.”      egomaniacs and are just trying to
 Tell us about the new single and the ‘out-loud’ each other! No, I think
record label.                           individually we all try to maximise
 Phil: “Last summer we were kind of the impact each of our instruments
torn between who to go with for         can have sonically, but at the same
management and the guys we had to time always placing most
say no to have since set up a little    importance on how the song works
label called Nomadic Music, and so      as a whole; I don’t think any of us
we figured we wanted to work with       are great fans of self-indulgent wig
them on it because they gave a shit     outs. Almost despite ourselves the
about us. It’s coming out on 7”,        songs just always seem to get bigger
limited to 1000 hand-numbered           and bigger the more we play them;
copies and the first 100 will each      over-excitedness at what everyone
have a unique little item in them       else is coming up with just takes
that we’ve been collecting over the     over sometimes!”
last year, so no copy will be the       Having come so far so quickly, and
same. It’s a cliché but it’s a little   with their continued rise seemingly
thank you to people in Oxford.”         guaranteed in the immediate future,
 You’re playing at the Reading and      where do Fell City Girl realistically
Leeds Festivals. How did that come      see themselves a year from now?
about and how do you feel about it?      Phil: “Anywhere but the office I
 Phil: “I got a phone call from our     work in. It’s so hard to know what’s
management telling us about it on       going to happen, or whether this all
the day I’d graduated from              goes away tomorrow. There have
university. I’d been drinking for nine been so many ‘could have been’
hours straight and when I woke up       bands in Oxford and that makes me
the next day I had to ring him to       very wary of getting ahead of
check if it was actually true. We’re    ourselves. Hype is a wonderful thing
feeling pretty good about it right      isn’t it? We’re going to carry on
now to be honest, it still seems like a with what we’re doing and get really
long way off but to be given such a     good live. And of course if they ask
platform is an incredible opportunity us to open the Olympic Ceremony
for us to take the next step.           in 2012, we’ll hopefully be
Hopefully we’ll be camping next to      available…”
the Foo Fighters’ tent - maybe we         Such sentiments sound slightly
can borrow Dave Grohl’s tin opener. familiar. When we first interviewed a
A lot of excellent Dave Grohl           young local band called On A Friday
impressions are knocking around our some 14 years ago that same
house at the moment.”                   ambition and determination shone
 Joe: “Reading was my first festival    through. Something tells us we’ve
experience as a kid so I’m personally only just started to see the real
a little awe-struck to be playing       potential of Fell City Girl. This year
there now, with all these ‘proper’      first on on the Carling Stage; next
bands. I was there last year and spent year, festival headliners? Don’t bet
quite a lot of time at the new bands    against it.
tent; if you’d have told me then that
we’d be playing there this year I’d     ‘Weaker Light’ is released on
have fallen headlong into the mud       August 8th on Nomadic Records.
and kebab trays. And to cap it all,     Fell City Girl play at the
we’re playing Leeds on my birthday. Wheatsheaf on Saturday 20th
The best present ever!”                 August, plus the Carling Stage
                                        at Reading Festival (Fri 26th) and
‘EPIC’ AND ‘STADIUM-SIZED’              Leeds Festival (Sat 27th). Check
are descriptions commonly used in       out for
reviews of Fell City Girl; live in      more news and gig dates.

SUPERGRASS                                                                                              REDOX
‘Road To Rouen’                                                                                         ‘Bullaburra’
(Parlophone)                                                                                            (Own Label)
There comes a time in every band’s life when                                                            Redox’s debut album lands on the doormat the
they have to grow up, musically at least (The                                                           same day Glastonbury is almost washed into
Ramones being the exception that proves the                                                             the sea by torrential storms. Appropriate
rule). And so that time comes with Supergrass                                                           really, since they’re exactly the sort of band
and this, their fifth studio album.                                                                     you might expect to stumble across while a
 Of course even back in the days of ‘I Should                                                           little worse for wear at 3 in the morning, in
Coco’ Gaz, Danny and Mickey (before Bob                                                                 some forgotten corner of the Green Field.
joined) weren’t averse to the odd moment of                                                              Formed by Phil Freizinger and Sue Smith, the
sober contemplation, but ‘Road To Rouen’ goes                                                           couple behind Klub Kakofanney and veterans,
the whole hog, dispensing almost entirely with                                                          we suspect, of a great many festivals and
the chipper glam-stomping punk-pop of the                                                               magic mushroom trips over the years, Redox
past twelve years. It’s not an acoustic album,                                                          pack in all the ingredients of a lost-in-space-
but it is resolutely mellow. The band have          head-rushes fewer and further between. The          and-time hippy band: from Phil’s playful flute
incorporated such exotic instruments as ukulele     comfortably numb feeling is amplified by the        excursions on ‘Love Is There’, to Sue’s
and zither, as well as brass and string parts;      stretched-out, almost rambling feel of the album    unearthly Mother Gong-like whooping and
there are brief detours into polka and              which defies its compact 35 minute running          shrieking on the album’s title track; from the
psychedelic folk but the basic format remains       time. At its best ‘Road To Rouen’ sounds like       cod-reggae grooves of ‘Free’ to the world funk
confidently laid-back guitar and piano-led pop.                                                         rhythms that underpin much of the album,
                                                    the soundtrack to a cult road movie, set in a
                                                                                                        and a good few wistful guitar solos besides.
 There are traces of Supergrass’ affection for      mythical 1970s Mid-West. At others, it sounds
                                                                                                         As such the album can be either gently
mid-70s Bowie still kicking about, notably on       like a band at a crossroads, unsure quite where
                                                                                                        uplifting in an uncaringly summery way, or
the album’s title track, while The Faces and Led    their new-found maturity should lead them.
                                                                                                        nail-bitingly spiritual in a pagan earth mother
Zeppelin make fleeting visits. Album opener          So, a minor indulgence, a stop-gap or a mid-life   manner. Certainly the lyrical content of songs
‘Tales Of Endurance’ moves from an idle jam         crisis? ‘Road To Rouen’ is probably a bit of all    like ‘Blood’ and ‘Free’ tend toward the latter,
into a breezy Stone Roses lullaby, while ‘Sad       of these and none of them completely. Whether       and only the most stoned of 70s throwbacks
Girl’ steals wholesale from ‘I Am the Walrus’,      it represents the permanent new face of             could endure the loose jam session that is
and there is a warm, fuzzy lysergic fug hanging     Supergrass or not, only time will tell. Either      ‘Feeling’s Right’, but Redox can then hit you
over the whole album. Super-strength skunk has      way, it’s a grower, so pull up an armchair and      with a cracker like ‘Bullabura itself: part barn
long been the band’s recreational drug of choice,   roll yourself a fat one.                            dance hoedown, part ska skank, part space
but now the smoke clouds are even thicker, the      Sue Foreman                                         rock ritual with a nagging chorus that’s utterly
                                                                                                        infectious. A crazy little pop song; here’s
                                                                                                        where the party should really begin.
NERVOUS_TESTPILOT                                                                                        Redox’s most endearing feature is their
                                                                                                        unselfconscious retro vibe and shameless
‘Determinance’                                                                                          pillaging of every style and period of music to
                                                                                                        suit their holistic view – from Canned Heat to
(Freedom Road)                                                                                          Ozric Tentacles via a Jamaican beach party.
Paul Taylor, aka Nervous_testpilot, has been        years, notably his near-legendary sets at Truck     Just remember to pack a little mind-altering
one of the most consistently compelling live        Festival. His full-on electro assault, coupled      something for moral support.
dance acts in Oxford over the last couple of        with a mischievous smash’n’grab approach to         Sue Foreman
                                                    sampling makes for an irresistible spectacle
                                                    even in the middle of the afternoon.
                                                     This debut release is a forty-minute EP
                                                    featuring five tracks from the sci-fi swordplay
                                                    video game ‘Determinance’. Such soundtracking
                                                    suits Nervous_testpilot perfectly: his busy,
                                                    uncluttered brand of techno – not far off Eat
                                                    Static or Banco De Gaia’s uplifting brand of
                                                    trance – compliments the adrenaline rush of
                                                    slice-em-up action, but works equally well as
                                                    dancefloor filler.
                                                     There’s a cool metallic sheen to the synthetics
                                                    and a relentlessly bubbling rhythmic pulse;
                                                    Goan trance by any other name, a winner
                                                    whatever you call it.
                                                    Terry Molloy

                               Selected Oxford releases are now available on the ground floor

             HMV Oxford supports local music
  Open Sundays 11-5pm & late Thursdays till 7pm.                                                        10% student discount every day
CHINESE                                            VARIOUS ARTISTS
FINGERTRAP                                         ‘Fresh Faces For The
‘Grim Fandango’                                    Modern Age’
(Own Label)                                        (Rivet Gun)
“Chinese Fingertrap do not fit in”, exclaims the   Ah me, another month, another local bands
accompanying press release to this six-song        compilation. A combination of a flourishing
debut CD from a metal band who’ve been a           local live music scene and ever-cheaper CD
regular part of the supporting cast at The Club    recording means these things are becoming
That Cannot Be Named over the past few             almost gratuitous. The recent ‘4 x EPs’ on
years. Such a statement is noble in its            Hanging Out With The Cool Kids Records set a
excitability from a young band, but perhaps        new benchmark of quality for such things,
betrays a little self-delusion from Chinese        displaying the sonic firepower of Sextodecimo,
Fingertrap regarding their musical ambition.       Holiday Stabbings, Gunnbunny and Deguello.
 On the face of it they fit in perfectly with so   ‘Fresh Faces For The Modern Age’ aims for a
many other bands filling the spaces between        similar target, showcasing five new Oxford         although their form of heaviosity benefits from
venue doors opening and the main attraction.       noise bands: The Process, Phyal, Harry Angel,      a slightly more cultured approach, especially on
They’ve got energy to spare: each song speeds      Verbal Kink and Junkie Brush, the band who         ‘Death Valley Of the Dolls’, wherein in a
by in a flurry of frantic, rolling powerchords     have compiled the album.                           nascent Sonic Youth get a bit of a gothabilly
that blur the lines between early-80s metal,        It’s Junkie Brush themselves who come over        working over, although ‘Striptease’ is too in
thrash and emo, while the vocals switch neatly     best with a vigorous shaking of the punk tree,     thrall to Radiohead to hold its own in such
between melodic and screaming. There are           notably on the frantic, scouring ‘Problem –        company. Phyal, meanwhile, continue to tread
exactly 27,926 bands in the UK alone who are       Reaction – Solution’, which carries all the zeal   the line between 80s power metal and third-
doing exactly the same thing at this precise       and anger you’d hope to find in young men full     generation punk with a ballsy self confidence,
moment. Probably in a garage down your road.       of testosterone and faced with an unfair world.    though as such they do sound like a band from
 That’s not to damn Chinese Fingertrap             By contrast, Verbal Kink sound like they’re just   another generation completely.
outright. The songs might be rather formulaic      having a good moan about not earning enough         As with most of these compilations ‘Fresh
and barely distinguishable from one another but    money on ‘Tramazapan Alcohol Suntan’, and          Faces…’ succeeds in its face value purpose of
the energy expended is admirable, songs are        coming on like a lightweight Queens Of The         giving local music fans a budget opportunity to
brief and explosive and a strong, full-blooded     Stone-Age.                                         hear new stuff they might not otherwise have
production breathes extra life into the track,      The Process are the most straightforward metal    gone out of their way to see, while the bands
giving them an almost live feel. Perhaps Chinese   band on show, backing alternately hectoring and    involved get exposure to fans of similarly-
Fingertrap’s best hope for future success is       bellowing vocals with solid waves of thrash        minded acts. Beyond that, the bar is set so high
playing on the fact that they fit in so            riffage on tracks like ‘Proud To Be Me’. Harry     now for such things that it needs something
completely.                                        Angel sound like the only band here who’d          spectacular to really shine.
Ian Chesterton                                     prefer to pick up a book than pick a fight,        Dale Kattack

           the port mahon
                                     Live Music in August
                                     1st - Girl - solo rock & pop
                                     2nd - Music Quiz with Dave Finnon
                                     3rd - Oxford Improvisers
                                     4th - The Dharma
                                     6th - The Black Madonnas - new Truck                               Records signings
                                     9th - Music Quiz with Dave Finnon
                                     20th - John Otway
                                     27th - Sneaky
                                   The Port Mahon, Under New Management.
                          All new sound equipment in the music room installed by PMT.

  Book your band into play now for August and September at Oxford’s best small music venue!

                         82 St Clements, Oxford. Tel: 01865 202067
           gig guide                                                                                    HARRY ANGEL + THE CORVIDS +
               MONDAY 1st
Dymanic Delta blues and spiritual blues and soul
from Toronto singer Braithwaite, who has sung
                                                    AUGUST                                              REBECCA MOSLEY + ALLY CRAIG: The
                                                                                                        Exeter Hall, Cowley – Good mixed bill of local
                                                                                                        talent tonight at the Ex with Radiohead-meets-
                                                                                                        Misfits rockers Harry Angel headlining. Spindly
with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins
                                                                                                        hardcore and krautrock from The Corvids and
and Jeff Healey                                     CHIARINA: Café Rouge – Weekly acoustic              promising acoustic pop from Rebecca Mosley.
YETI: The Zodiac – Former-Libertines bassist        pop, folk and jazz residency.                       SIMPLE: The Bullingdon – Funky house.
John Hassall returns with his new early-Beatles-
style rock and roll inspired band.
                                                               WEDNESDAY 3rd                            AFTER HOURS: The Red Lion, Witney
                                                    IRISH FOLK SESSION: The Exeter Hall,                ROLLERCOASTER Vs CHICKS WITH
GIRL: The Port Mahon – Local soul and folk-
                                                    Cowley                                              DECKS: The Cellar – New Wave, electro, 80s
influenced singer makes her live return.
                                                    GIGSWAP UK NIGHT: The Wheatsheaf                    trash and more.
CLUB HAVANA: Po Na Na –Weekly dose of
Salsa, Latin dance, bossanova and Brazilian jazz.
                                                    DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC SESSION:                                  SUNDAY 7th
                                                    Far from The Madding Crowd                          ELECTRIC JAM: The Exeter Hall, Cowley –
              TUESDAY 2nd                                        THURSDAY 4th                           Jam along with the in-house rhythm section. All
                                                    THE DHARMA: The Port Mahon – Hazy hippy             musicians welcome.
The Bullingdon
                                                    folk-funksters.                                     DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC SESSION:
                                                    DELICIOUS MUSIC JAZZ, FOLK AND                      The Old School House
OPEN MIC SESSION: The Exeter Hall, Cowley
                                                    BLUES BANDS NIGHT: Far From The                     LIFE AND SOUL: The Black Horse,
                                                    Madding Crowd – With local Hendrix-inspired         Kidlington
 Thursday 11th – Saturday 13th                      guitarist Ella Reid.                                              MONDAY 8th
                                                    CAJITA + RICHARD WALTERS + LAIMA
 CROPREDY                                           BITE + DREW ATKINS: The Cellar – A Night
                                                                                                        SHARRI WILLIAMS & THE WISE GUYS:
                                                                                                        The Bullingdon – Live blues.
                                                    of mellow pop pleasures, with possibly the two
 FESTIVAL                                           best singers in Oxford on the same bill – Richard
                                                                                                        CLUB HAVANA: Po Na Na
 After worries that last year’s Cropredy            Walters and Laima Bite. Go see them.
                                                                                                                      TUESDAY 9th
 Festival might be the last one, due to the         OVERLOAD: Atlantic Bar – Celebrating five           JAZZ CLUB with THE TOM GREY QUINTET:
 marital split between chief organisers Chris       years of Swan E’s Maximum Boost label, tonight’s    The Bullingdon
 and Dave Pegg, it’s business as usual for          features sets from Swan E himself, Dope Ammo        OPEN MIC SESSION: The Exeter Hall,
 Fairport Convention’s annual get-together in       and Gomez plus top-drawer MCing from Fearless       Cowley
 north Oxfordshire. After 30 plus years, there      and Exsman.                                         CHIARINA: Café Rouge
 are few surprises left at Cropredy but it’s        SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks – Weekly dose             INTRUSION: The Cellar – Goth and industrial
                                                    of ska, reggae, Latin dance, Afrobeat and more      club night.
 still one of the most pleasant, laid-back and
 (relatively) clean festivals on the national       with DJ Aidan Larkin and guests.                               WEDNESDAY 10th
 circuit. As ever Fairport themselves headline      SABOTAGE: The Zodiac – Weekly club night            IRISH FOLK SESSION: The Exeter Hall,
 the Saturday, joined by the usual array of         playing the latest metal, hardcore and indie        Cowley
 former members and guests and finishing the        sounds with TCTCBN DJs.                             DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC SESSION:
 event off with the traditional rendition of        OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon                     Harcourt Arms, Nuneham Courtenay
                                                    ZOO NA NA: Po Na Na – Weekly indie and                          THURSDAY 11th
 ‘Meet On The Ledge’. Over the three days
                                                    electro mash up.
 there’ll be assorted folk, blues and rock acts                                                         CROPREDY FESTIVAL – First night of Fairport
                                                    TOMOHAWK ACOUSTIC SPOTLIGHT: Turf
 performing, the most notable of which                                                                  Convention’s annual folk and blues shindig, with
 should be Jah Wobble’s set on Thursday.                                                                headline set from Country Joe McDonald, plus
 Country Joe McDonald headlines the                                 FRIDAY 5th                          Jah Wobble, Hilary James and more – see main
 Thursday night, while the evergreen Richard        SUNNYVALE NOISE SUB-ELEMENT + THE                   preview.
 Thompson tops Friday’s bill. Other acts            HALF RABBITS: The Zodiac – Make Poverty             HIP HOP CLUB NIGHT: The Bullingdon
 worth catching include The Dylan Project,          History fundraiser with local electro-rock
                                                    terrorists Sunnyvale going up against New Wave
 The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain,
                                                    revivalists The Half Rabbits.
 Chris While and Julie Matthews and Beth
                                                    STRAFE: The Exeter Hall, Cowley
 Nielsen. Cropredy always feels a bit like a
                                                    ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The Victoria, Jericho
 festival lost in time, but it’s that which         BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon
 makes it such a pleasure to attend. The bar        SLIDE: The Zodiac – Quality house club night.
 and the food is better than you’ll find at any     FUSED: The Red Lion, Witney
 major rock festival and there’s little chance      KUJO SOUNDS: Po Na Na – Weekly funk,
 of any scally scum robbing your tent.              house, hip hop and r’n’b club night.
                                                                 SATURDAY 6th
                                                    EVERY TIME I DIE + TWELVE TRIBES + A
                                                    LIFE ONCE LOST: The Zodiac – Explosive
                                                    triple bill of US hardcore, with Roadrunner
                                                    signings Every Time I Die retruning to the Club
                                                    That Cannot be Named to promote new album
                                                    ‘Gutter Phenomenon’. Philidelphia’s fast-rising
                                                    new stars A Life Once Lost open the show.
                                                    THE BLACK MADONNAS: The Port Mahon
                                                    – Bolshy garage rocking racket from the latest
                                                    signings to Truck Records.
                                                  Thompson is today’s headliner with support from                   THURSDAY 18th
                                                  The Dylan Project, The Ukele Orchestra of Great       ARCTIC MONKEYS: The Zodiac – Sheffield’s
                                                  Briatin, Bob Fox, Chris While and Julie Matthews      hot young pop pups – see main preview
                                                  and more – see main preview                           LOCAL BANDS NIGHT: The Bullingdon –
                                                  DELICIOUS MUSIC BANDS NIGHT with                      Bands to be announced.
                                                  THE TURBULENCE + FORMLESS                             DELICIOUS MUSIC JAZZ, FOLK AND
                                                  ABSORPTIONS + ELLA REID: Harcourt                     BLUES BANDS NIGHT: Far From The
                                                  Arms, Nuneham Courtenay                               Madding Crowd – Featuring Los Hombres.
                                                  BEAVER: The Red Lion, Witney                          KARN8 + MEET HER SISTER: The Cellar –
                                                  ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The Victoria, Jericho                 Local bands night.
                                                  BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon                       SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks
                                                  BOSSAPHONIK: The Cellar – With African                SABOTAGE: The Zodiac
                                                  dance band Root4MZ.                                   OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon
                                                  KUJO SOUNDS: Po Na Na                                 ZOO NA NA: Po Na Na
                                                               SATURDAY 13th                            TOMOHAWK ACOUSTIC: Turf Tavern
                                                  SUPERGRASS: Oxford Playhouse – Intimate                              FRIDAY 19th
                                                  gig with the local legends plugging new album,        KING FURNACE + DIATRIBE + LIZARDS:
                                                  ‘Road To Ruin’ – see main preview.                    The Zodiac – Chili Peppers-influenced rocking
                                                  CROPREDY FESTIVAL – Concluding day of the             from King Furnance, plus local supports.
                                                  folk extravaganza, including Fairport                 FUNKY HOUSE: The Zodiac – With DJ Danny
                                                  Convention’s traditional three-hour headline set,
 Saturday 13th                                    plus Richard Digance, The Hamsters and many
                                                                                                        THE BIG BOYS BLUES BAND: The Exeter
 SUPERGRASS:                                      more – see main preview
                                                  NATION: The New Theatre – The local pop
                                                                                                        Hall, Cowley – Long-time local blues favourites.
                                                                                                        ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The Victoria, Jericho
 Oxford Playhouse                                 hopefuls play their biggest headline gig to date–
                                                  see main preview
 Supergrass have been no strangers to Oxford
 in recent times, having played their home
                                                  MY AWESOME COMPILATION: The Zodiac                     Saturday 13th
                                                  – Leicester’s acrobatic Get Up Kids-influenced
 town four times now in the last couple of
 years, but this latest return should be a bit
                                                  emo rockers return after recent tours with             NATION:
                                                  Hopesfall and Tsunami Bomb, set to release debut
 different, billed as it is as “an intimate       album proper ‘Actions’ this month.                     The New Theatre
 evening” with the band. Which means that,        ARCTIK WOLF: The Exeter Hall, Cowley –                 There’s something fantastically audacious
 while it won’t be a full acoustic jobby, it’ll   Funky rock.                                            about Nation’s gig at the 1,700-capacity
 be a far mellower affair than we’re used to.     NU-SOUL with TONY NANTON: The                          New Theatre. The last local band to headline
 Part of a short stripped-down tour,              Bullingdon                                             the venue were Supergrass, and they’ve got
 ostensibly to show off their new musical         ENDLESS GROOVE: The Cellar – Fortnightly               four platinum albums under their belts and a
 direction, tonight’s show is an expansion of     club night from Sir Bald Diddley, playing a wide       global reputation. But then Nation have been
 Supergrass’ cosy acoustic interludes (sofas      selection of classic ska, funk, r’n’b, rock’n’roll,
                                                                                                         working hard to reap such rewards. As well
 and all) that they started on their              Latin and jazz tunes.
                                                                                                         as an endless succession of gigs around the
 `Supergrass Is Ten’ tour. With the new           THE HOGGZ: The Red Lion, Witney
                                                                                                         county, away from the usual local band
 album, `Road To Rouen’, taking a sharp                          SUNDAY 14th                             venue circuit. On top of this the band have
 detour from the wide-eyed bump and grind         DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC SESSION:                      regularly flown out to places like Bosnia to
 of its predecessors, we might be witnessing      The Old School House                                   play to British troops. Last year they
 a whole new era in the band’s career. Still,     FUSED: The Black Horse, Kidlington                     released their debut album, ‘Today Is The
 we have enough faith in their often magical                    MONDAY 15th                              First Day’, a collection of stadium-friendly
 way with a cracking pop song to predict          DAVID RAPHAEL BLUES BAND: The                          classic guitar-pop anthems and epic piano
 that they’re unlikely to be turning into Paul    Bullingdon – Farnborough-based singer, harpist         ballads in the vein of The Who, The Beatles
 Weller any time soon.                            and keyboard player playing laidback blues and         and Robbie Williams. Tonight’s gig is a
                                                  r’n’b.                                                 launch for their second full-length CD, Walk’
DELICIOUS MUSIC JAZZ, FOLK AND                    CLUB HAVANA: Po Na Na                                  and follows a tour of local schools. There’s
BLUES BANDS NIGHT: Far From The                                 TUESDAY 16th                             almost an overdose of self-belief and
Madding Crowd – Featuring local singer Girl.      JAZZ CLUB with THE TOM GREY QUINTET:                   confidence about Nation, but then, hey, if
WILSON + TINDERBOX + THE NEW                      The Bullingdon                                         you don’t believe in yourself, who the hell
MOON: The Cellar – Veteran local rockers          OPEN MIC SESSION: The Exeter Hall,                     else is going to? Tonight’s extravaganza
Wilson make a rare comeback appearance with       Cowley                                                 probably won’t make or break the band, but
support from jazz-inflected acousticpop types     CHIARINA: Café Rouge                                   if it goes well, it could be a pivotal moment
The New Moon.                                                WEDNESDAY 17th                              in their career trajectory. The very best of
SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks                                                                                British luck to them.
                                                  CHARLOTTE HATHERLEY: The Zodiac –
SABOTAGE: The Zodiac
                                                  Ash’s perfectly put together bassist Charlotte
                                                  continues to make a classy pop career for herself
                                                  in her own right, with debut outing, ‘Kim Wilde’,
                                                  becoming one of the fastest downloaded singles
                                                  ever. Catchy, summery pop-punk and bubblegum
              FRIDAY 12th                         pop is the order of the day and greater success
BLUEWAX + ROPETRICK + ACCIDENTALLY                seems hers for the taking.
INNOCENT: The Zodiac – Local bands                THE CLIFFHANGERS + THE SCHLA LA
showcase                                          LA’S: The Wheatsheaf – Darkly glamorous
SOURCE: The Zodiac – Monthly drum&bass            gothic pop from The Cliffhangers, plus 60s
club night with sets from Caution, Azonica,       bubblegum garage pop from Piney Gir’s Schla La
Stumasta, Access and Samas.                       La’s.
ELECTRIC BOOGIEMEN: The Exeter Hall,              IRISH FOLK SESSION: The Exeter Hall,
Cowley                                            Cowley
action at Fairport’s annual festival. Richard     Far from The Madding Crowd
                                                    SLIDEWINDER: The Exeter Hall, Cowley                DELICIOUS MUSIC JAZZ, FOLK AND
                                                    THE WORRIED MEN: The Red Lion, Witney               BLUES BANDS NIGHT: Far From The
                                                    – This month they have mostly been worrying         Madding Crowd – With guitarist Ella Reid.
                                                    about the prevalence of horseflies in the           HARRY ANGEL + JUNKIE BRUSH: The
                                                    Kidlington area.                                    Cellar – Gothic rockabilly and post-hardcore
                                                    FRESH OUT OF THE BOX: The Cellar –                  noise from Harry Angel, plus ferocious but
                                                    Breakbeats party style.                             melodic punk from Junkie Brush.
                                                                   SUNDAY 21st                          SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks
                                                    SUNDAY STEAMER with SUITABLE CASE                   SABOTAGE: The Zodiac
                                                    FOR TREATMENT + RICHARD WALTERS +                   OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon
                                                    SMILEX: A Boat, The Thames – Second of this         ZOO NA NA: Po Na Na
                                                    summer’s Thames boat parties, with warped blues-    TOMOHAWK ACOUSTIC SPOTLIGHT:
                                                    metal heavyweights SC4T taking to the water to      Turf Tavern
                                                    launch their new ‘Of Motes And Misdirections’                      FRIDAY 26th
                                                    album. Should startle the fish. Considerably more   AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY FREE MUSIC
                                                    mellow pop pleasures from Richard Walters, plus     FESTIVAL: The Exeter Hall, Cowley (7pm) –
                                                    action-packed glam-rocking from Smilex. Will        Opening night of the Ex’s first free four-day live
                                                    Lee Smilex end up in the river? Does the sun rise   music festival. Tonight’s bill includes The Ian
                                                    in the east?                                        Parker Band, Michael Myers, The Invisible and
                                                    ELECTRIC JAM: The Exeter Hall, Cowley               Blue Wax.
 Thursday 18th                                      DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC SESSION:                   GAPPY TOOTH INDUSTRIES presents
                                                    The Old School House                                KOHOUTEK + ANTON BARBEAU + LUM
 ARCTIC MONKEYS:                                    THE WORRIED MEN: The Black Horse,                   COL CON PIX: The Zodiac – Mixed bill as
                                                    Kidlington                                          ever from the GTI crew. Melodramatic acoustic
 The Zodiac                                                       MONDAY 22nd                           rock from Kohoutek, Dylan-inspired pop from
 “The New Libertines!” squeal the headlines,                                                            Sacramento’s Anton Barbeau, plus multi-deck
                                                    CREAM’D: The Bullingdon – A tribute to
 but don’t let that put you off. Sheffield          Cream, featuring guitarist Ray Minhinnett in        improvisation from Evenings offshoot Lum Col
 teenage quartet Arctic Monkeys have                Clapton’s lead role.                                Con Pix.
 released just one limited edition 7” single        CLUB HAVANA: Po Na Na                               GRITTY SHAKER: The Zodiac – Electro
 thus far (`Five Minutes With The Arctic                                                                soundclash with DJs Gordon Kaye and Ed Fisher.
 Monkeys’, currently attracting silly money
                                                                  TUESDAY 23rd                          ACOUSTIC NIGHT: The Victoria, Jericho
                                                    JAZZ CLUB with ALVIN ROY: The                       BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon
 bids on Ebay), but they’ve already been the
                                                    Bullingdon                                          BOSSAPHONIK: The Cellar – With jazz,
 subject of a predictably rabid record
                                                    OPEN MIC SESSION: The Exeter Hall,                  soul and breakbeats collective, The Sugar Beats
 company bidding war, had Radio 1’s Zane
                                                    Cowley                                              Band.
 Lowe in a right old lather and played              HEADCOUNT + PHYAL: The Cellar – Killer
 numerous oversubscribed gigs around the            punk rocking noise from the mighty Headcount,
 country, building up an intense cult               plus punk-metal from
 following with terrifying ease. Musically          Phyal.
 their lineage is similar to The Libertines,        CHIARINA: Café Rouge
 Kaiser Chiefs et al, part way between
 Squeeze’s clever power-pop and The Clash’s
 melodic punk rush, but it’s the lyrics that             24th
 really grab you, frontman Alex Turner laying       THE COOPER
 into everything from wannabe-American              TEMPLE CLAUSE: The
 bands to over-zealous bouncers with acidic         Zodiac – Carling
 northern wit. Simple, addictive riffs and          Weekend warm-up for
 overdriven guitars aplenty; Arctic Monkeys         the Reading tech-rock
 will probably be on the scrap heap this time       heroes – see main
 next year, but they look like they’re going to
                                                    Z AFRICA BRAZILIA +
 burn brightly in the meantime
                                                    BIG SPEAKERS: The
                                                    Bullingdon – Party-
BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon                     hard Brazilian hop hop
RUBBER MONKEYS: The Red Lion, Witney                crew make their Oxford
KUJO SOUNDS: Po Na Na                               debut with live-wire
            SATURDAY 20th                           support from Oxford’s
YOUR SONG: The Zodiac – Mac’s annual                premier rap gang.
birthday bash with added cover version madness      IRISH FOLK
returns once again. This time round it’s Chinese    SESSION: The Exeter
Finger Trap, The Family Machine, The Walk           Hall, Cowley
Off, ATL, Boywithatoy, The Moneyshots, Nine         DELICIOUS MUSIC
Stone Cowboy and The Red Stripes ripping rock       OPEN MIC SESSION:
and roll history to shreds in an alcohol-fuelled    Harcourt Arms,
frenzy of bad taste and disrespect. A night where   Nuneham Courtenay
reputations are made and livers destroyed.          THURSDAY 25th
JOHN OTWAY: The Port Mahon – Back at                DJ DEREK: The Zodiac
the Port Mahon to wreak more pop havoc in a         – Ska, soul, reggae and
confined space, clown prince of pop Otway plays     more from the legendary
the one-hit loser card to perfection.               Bristolian DJ.
RACE: The Wheatsheaf – This month’s                 FESTIVAL: Towersey
Nighthsift cover stars launch their new single,     Village – Opening night
‘Weaker Light’. See main interview feature.         of the folk festival, with
ROADRUNNER: The Bullingdon – Mod,                   a headline set from Rolf
northern soul, funky Hammond and 60s freakbeat.     Harris.
                                                               SUNDAY 28th
                                                     AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY FREE                   Exeter Hall Pub
                                                     MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Exeter                       Corner Cowley / Marsh Road
                                                     Hall, Cowley (2pm) – The free live                     01865 776431
                                                     music extravaganza continues with
                                                     sets from Uniting The Elements,
                                                     Sarah Wilson, Laima Bite, Rami, Leni
                                                     Ward, Glenda Huish, Jeremy Hughes
                                                                                                   THE BEST FREE MUSIC
                                                     and Doug Hodge.                                 VENUE IN TOWN!
                                                     DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC                   AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY
                                                     SESSION: The Old School House
                                                                                                1ST ANNUAL FREE FEST @ THE X
                                                     TOWERSEY FESTIVAL: Towersey                All acts and times subject to change. Entry is FREE on
                                                     Village – Kate Rusby is today’s star
  Wednesday 24th                                     turn on the main stage, with support
                                                                                                all days, but NUMBERS ARE LIMITED. BE THERE EARLY
                                                                                                TO BE SURE OF ADMISSION!
  THE COOPER                                         from John McSherry’s First Light, Tre
                                                     Martelli and Boka Halat.
                                                                                                Performance Times are subject to change. Please check
                                                                                                the website nearer the time.
  TEMPLE CLAUSE:                                     THE HENDRED EXPERIENCE: The                Friday 26th August 7pm - 12am
                                                     Plough, East Hendred (1pm) – First         Ian Parker Band / Michael Myers / The Invisible / Blue Wax
  The Zodiac                                         half of a a two-day live music festival    Saturday 27th August. Till 12am
  Reading’s Cooper Temple Clause got sucked          with The G’s, The Rooster Band,            Cheesegraters / Tounsi / The Powders / The Franklins /
  into the rock mainstream so quickly after          Stem, Twizz Twangle, Electricity           The Epstein (TBC)
  their initial arrival that it was easy to forget   Comes From Other Planets, Nick             Sunday 28th August. Till 11:30pm
                                                     Chamfer and more.                          Uniting The Elements / Sarah Wilson / The Good / Laima
  what a great, often bizarre, band they were.
                                                     LOADED: The Black Horse,                   Bite / Rami / Leni Ward / Glenda Huish / Jeremy Hughes
  It doesn’t seem that long ago they were                                                       / Doug Hodge (TBC)
  creating huge swells of mad kraut-punk                                                        Monday 29th August. 3pm-12am
  psychedelic noise down at the Bully in                      MONDAY 29th
                                                                                                Leburn / Kohoutek / Anton Barbeau / James Sergeant /
  front of a handful of early converts; tonight       AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY FREE                  Dave Leece / Dan Austin / Lee Davies / Ben Dugard /
  they’re warming up for the Carling Weekend          MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Exeter                Osprey. 2:30 - 5:30 Folk Session In The Garden & BBQ
  in front of a long-since sold-out house.            Hall, Cowley (2pm) – Final full day       Weather Permitting
  They’ve been pretty quiet in this country           of the Ex’s free Bank Holiday live
                                                      music extravaganza, featuring sets
  over th e past year, having spent most of it
                                                      from Kohoutek, Anton Barbeau,
  conquering the States, but a follow-up to
                                                      James Sergeant, Dave Leece, Dan
  last year’s ‘Kick Up The Fire And Watch
                                                      Austin, Lee Davies, Ben Dugard and
  The Flames Break Loose’ is due before               Osprey, plus a folk session in the
  Christmas. Ambitious, druggy, bombastic,            garden.
  indulgent, excessive; it’s all in the CTC           DUNGEN: The Zodiac – Sweden’s
  experience, but the way they’ve mixed and           soon-to-be latest megastars, formed
  matched influences from some of the more            around classically-trained virtuoso and
  wilful bands of recent years (Radiohead,            hip hop freak Gustav Ejstes. Taking
  Spiritualised, Mansun) and classic rock of          the blissed-out sounds of 60s folk,
  old (Led Zep, Hawkwind, Floyd) into a               prog rock and psychedelia, with a
  heady techno rock makes them one of the             baggy groove, they’ve just released
  most enduringly interesting British rock            debut album, ‘Ta Det Lugnt’ to much
  bands around.                                       critical acclaim.
                                                      TOWERSEY FESTIVAL: Towersey
TOWERSEY FESTIVAL: Towersey                     Village – The last day of the village
Village - First full day of the village folk    festival with Sultans of Squeeze, Dr Faustus
festival, now in its 41st year. Musical         and Martha Tilston.
highlights today include Last Night’s Fun,      THE HENDRED EXPERIENCE: The
Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies and Grand          Plough, East Hendred (1pm) – Day two
Union.                                          of the mini-festival, with live sets from
WHO’S NEXT: The Red Lion, Witney                Raggasaurus, Lagrima, Jeremy Hughes,
KUJO SOUNDS: Po Na Na                           Rami, Les Clochards, Nick Lewis and
          SATURDAY 27th                         CLUB HAVANA: Po Na Na
MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Exeter Hall,
                                                           TUESDAY 30th
Cowley (2pm) – Full day of free live music      JAZZ CLUB with THE TOM GREY
at the Ex with The Cheesegraters, Tounsi,       QUINTET: The Bullingdon
The Powders, The Franklins and The              OPEN MIC SESSION: The Exeter Hall,
Epstein.                                        Cowley
SNEAKY: The Port Mahon                          CHIARINA: Café Rouge
REGGAE AND R’N’B NIGHT: The                             WEDNESDAY 31st
Bullingdon                                      IRISH FOLK SESSION: The Exeter
TOWERSEY FESTIVAL: Towersey                     Hall, Cowley
Village – Today’s highlights include Show       GIGSWAP UK NIGHT: The Wheatsheaf
of Hands, Karine Polwart and Whapweasel.        DELICIOUS MUSIC OPEN MIC
ENDLESS GROOVE: The Cellar                      SESSION: Far from The Madding
SLEEPWALKER: The Red Lion, Witney               Crowd

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                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Sam Shepherd
The Zodiac
Imagine if Withnail and I had been set against a backdrop of 80s London.
Imagine that instead of actors, the paralytic protagonists were musicians
instead. Their Jag would have been careering around to the sounds of Erasure
while on their way to a gig, and Camp Actor would be driving. Camp Actor
are another band to plumb the depths of 80s revivalism and try to somehow
intimate that there were some glory days in those bleak years. Far from the
opulence of Duran Duran, Camp Actor are dressed in what look like John
Motson’s cast-offs as they whirl their way through some reasonable songs.
The high point comes with ‘This Is Not New York’, a tune that, like
Withnail’s closing soliloquy, suggests that brilliance is within their grasp.
 Keyboard Choir prove that eight keyboards on one stage does not always
mean lengthy Rick Wakeman solos are just around the corner. Instead, they
deliver a kind of electronic post-rock that makes the spine tingle. It’s not
much to look at, but occasionally they hit on moments that are heavenly.
 The Schla La Las take to the stage in matching outfits, looking like 1950s
American Housewives on the lash. After the grandeur of The Keyboard
Choir, the Schla’s rickety take on rock and roll is endearingly fragile. If the    vocals, and a real sense of fun in what the Schla’s do. Any band that has
5678’s had produced more than once decent song, then they would be a               their own theme tune is OK by us. That it sounds like it should feature
fitting comparison. As with anything that Piney Gir is involved with there’s       somewhere on an episode of Happy Days somehow only makes it cooler.
a childlike sweetness to it. There’s handclaps, fuzzed guitars, harmonized         Allin Pratt

GENE LOVES                                              ILIKETRAINS / THE                                      THE TREAT / RUSTY
JEZEBEL                                                 THUMB QUINTET                                          SHERIFF / SIMON
The Bullingdon                                          The Cellar                                             DAVIES
There’s something a little sad watching a               The Thumb Quintet are almost anathema to a
favourite old band still kicking it out nearly          venue like The Cellar. The place oozes rock and        The Zodiac
twenty years after their greatest achievements,         roll from every pillar, while the band seem more       Tonight’s Gappy Tooth night is sparsely attended,
especially when, like Gene Loves Jezebel, only          suited to a setting like the Holywell Music Rooms      which is a great shame as some little-known
part of the band remains. Even sadder to think          or a sunny summer meadow. There are three of           talents are uncovered. This unearthing of gems is
that singer Mike Aston hasn’t spoken to his             them: two acoustic guitarists and an electric          something that is happening with increasing
identical twin brother Jay for five years after a       cellist, plus a box of electronic tricks and rhythms   regularity on Gappy Tooth Industries nights,
legal battle over the rights to band’s name.            that rarely imposes itself too forcefully on           where the emphasis is on creating a mix and
 Still, he’s in jovial mood tonight, despite the        proceedings. Stepping back in time to the early-       match bill that breaks down genre boundaries.
meagre turnout, chain-smoking and swigging lager        60s birth of English folk-pop, they’re pastoral         Simon Davies is first up and treats us to some
like the down-home Welsh lad he essentially is,         and pretty, almost classical with the odd country      tracks from his new album. It’s a set of lovely
only the crushed velvet jacket, leather trousers        twang. Occasionally they meander like an idle          acoustic songs with a bossa nova beat, ably
and shaggy peroxide mane giving his glamour puss        Cotswold brook, but at their best they’re like a       assisted by Colin on the double bass. It’s very
past away. The band are now resident in the             stripped-down Penguin Café Orchestra, while the        reminiscent in delivery of Luke Smith, the wry,
States, where they enjoyed greater success than         closing number, with its moody strings and             funny, self depreciating humour that both men
over here in the 80s, and have lost their bass          prominent synth drones unearths that previously        have very much evident. It’s a splendid way to
player partway through this UK tour so the first        neglected genre mash-up of Fairport Convention         relax and ease yourself into the evening.
half of the set is acoustic with Mike and guitarist     and Gary Numan. There’s nothing else quite like         Rusty Sheriff from Portsmouth veers the evening
Switch knocking out some bare-bones old classics        them in Oxford at the moment.                          off into a turntablist direction. It’s a fine display
like ‘Heartache’ and ‘Cow’, Mike’s voice holding         Leeds’ Iliketrains brandish stronger weaponry,        of scratching, and Rusty is someone who cares
up well despite those years of indulgence: a            though post-rock is their bag of noise. In 2005        more about tune than posing. Sometimes you wish
plaintive, reedy howl, partway between Bono,            it’s pretty much impossible to do anything radical     the backing tracks emitting from his laptop were
Patti Smith and Neil Young. It’s a bit cheesy at        and new with this particular form, but the band        a bit more substantial, but it’s a minor quibble.
times, slightly ham-fisted, but the full electric set   make a satisfactory fight of it, overcoming both       The set drags on a bit and reduces the dynamics;
shows sparks of that old magic: ‘Upstairs’ and          their cumbersome moniker, nervous disposition          concentrating his efforts into a shorter time span
‘Bruises’ from goth classic debut ‘Promises’ still      and rather clichéd cavalry jacket uniformity with      might better results.
leave scars, while the gorgeous, desolate ‘Stephen’     a set that manages an easy balance of cool              The night rounds off in a rock style with The
from ‘Immigrant’ re-ignites a thousand teenage          ambience and forceful power. Alternately icy and       Treat. Quite frankly they’re average at best and
memories. It’d be great, if unlikely, that Mike and     bombastic, they’re all plateaux of guitar              only exist to clear more punters from the room.
Jay would reunite once more; Gene Loves Jezebel         distortion and clamouring crescendos, with a keen      The singer gives it the stadium rock poses and
feels like half a band with only one of them, and       grasp of texture and atmosphere. A projectionist-      attitude, quite oblivious to the audience reaction.
while there’s precious little chance they’ll ever       cum-trumpeter adds depth and variety to the            Things pick up when they rock out more towards
regain the success they once enjoyed, tonight’s         standard guitars and keyboard sound, and while         the end of the set, but a lot of it is mere pilfering
trip down memory lane is a poignant reminder            Iliketrains are unlikely to break out of a crowded     from rock’s past, and at one stage they blatantly
that our lives are littered with lost pop treasure.     genre any time soon, there’s a small legion of         steal ‘Whole Lotta Love’s riff wholesale. The
For the dark of heart, investigate this forgotten       disaffected Mogwai fans out there who would do         Treat provoke no reaction in you at all, except
gem of a band immediately.                              far worse than catch a ride here.                      possibly mild, unintentional amusement.
Dale Kattack                                            Terry Molloy                                           Russell Barker
THE LITTLE EXPLORER / THE JESUS                                                                                 Oxford University Department
                                                                                                                  of Psychiatry, Warneford
YEARS / THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS                                                                                      Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX

The Wheatsheaf
We’re confused. We’d headed downstairs            the worth of practice and confidence –
half an hour previously to escape The Jesus       TTNG are alternately effusive and
Year’s monochrome approximation of an             melancholy. At times there’s an                     HAVE YOU BEEN DEPRESSED
old Mogwai b-side, callously and calmly           effortlessness about the way they control          AND SUICIDAL IN THE PAST?
marking the Derby instrumentalists as post-       their song structures, although you end up
rock bottom feeders. But we return to             feeling they’re switching gears too much,         ARE YOU FEELING BETTER NOW?
discover the band transformed, quite              trying to show off what they can do rather         If you have been depressed and suicidal in the
literally, into something bigger and better.      than letting their songs breathe naturally.         past but you are now feeling better, you may
You see, The Jesus Years are The Little           Equally, they get bogged down in                         be eligible to take part in a trial of a
Explorer, with the addition of a singer,          meandering attempts at dub jams. The singer         psychological treatment designed to help
some decent enough tunes and a few                pitches himself somewhere between Thom             people STAY better, starting in late September
redeeming features. Thoughtful, emo               Yorke and Morrissey but if his lyrics are as         2005. We are looking for people aged18-65
melancholy replaces studious noodling and         full of poetic genius as either of his              years old who are fluent in English. The initial
we even consider buying a copy of their           inspirations we’ll never know, as the words        assessment takes about 3 hours and expenses
lovingly handcrafted 7” single.                   remain indecipherable throughout.
                                                                                                                     will be reimbursed.
 Emotionally fraught local rockers This            Still a band finding their feet then, but on
Town Needs Guns have turned themselves            tonight’s evidence, This Town Needs Guns            Are you interested? For more information, call us on
around a bit since we last heard them, too.       are at least heading in the right direction.          Freephone: 0800 0836130 or (01865) 226468
Where once was ramshackle, run-down indie         Practice rather than weaponry might be a            Email:
trash, now is something rather more               better order of the day for now, though.               Website:
dynamic and cohesive. Never underestimate         Dale Kattack                                                        stressreduction.html

                                                                                                     Contacting us does not mean you have to take part.
                                                                                                    You are free to withdraw at any time. All information is
THE YOUNG        JOSH ROUSE                                                                                strictly confidential (Ethics Ref. O02.052)

KNIVES /         The Zodiac
!                             is a
FORWARD, RUSSIA! Josh Rousewho Nebraska-born singer /ten
                 songwriter        lived in Nashville for
                 years, until recently. This alone could point
The Cellar       to a meld of standard country-tinged solo
Leeds foursome Forward, Russia!’s singles         fare: kind of Willie Nelson meets Damien
are selling out on the underground scene          Rice. Happily, tonight Josh has brought his
sooner than they can burn them off, and           four-strong entourage to the Zodiac to quash
why? Militant Disco? agit prog? the Loony         any pessimistic expectations.
Toons’ Tasmanian Devil aping the Crazy             With Josh, the emphasis is on the song,
Frog? They’re all these things and more,          rather than its constituent parts or sound,
showering like sweat on a stomping crowd          yet it’s not hard to pin down particular
that claps like a festival toilet door during a   reference points. The influence of The
salmonella outbreak, while being aurally          Smiths and The Cure are as easy to detect as
roasted by a singer who looks like the guy        that of Neil Young and Bob Dylan; the
who played Dennis Pennis and is more              results ramble between laid-back Bruce
incomprehensible than At The Drive-In
reading Finnegan’s Wake in a wind tunnel.
 Don’t look for answers in their song titles
                                                  Springsteen (‘It’s The Night Time), west-
                                                  coast soft rock (‘Streetlights’), British indie
                                                  (‘Winter in the Hamptons’) and even soul
either, they label them simply as digits. So      (‘Come Back’). Songs like ‘Under Cold Blue                 MUSIC CLUB
‘13’ hurtles along like a train, part Joy         Stars’ are blissful and mellow - perfect
Division, part XTC on Ecstasy. and ‘15’           summer afternoon lounging music - yet still                Live Music in August
takes PiL’s pills and beats up on The Bloc        work in the dark confines of the Zodiac.                 Every Sunday - OPEN MIC SESSION
Party. Katie on drums is the real                  Some of his more musically upbeat tracks         The Old School House, Gloucester Green 7.30-10.30 Free!
powerhouse of it all, holding every nail          have bittersweet lyrics, and vice versa;          Every Thursday - LIVE JAZZ, BLUES & FOLK
bomb beat down while simultaneously riling        ‘Under Your Charms’ sounds particularly
                                                                                                    Far From the Madding Crowd, Friars Entry 8.30-11 Free!
each caged song with her sticks. Wonder, oh       sad, but is lyrically rather winsome and
yes indeed.                                       charming. He explores both sides of love;           Wednesday 3rd / 17th / 31st - OPEN MIC SESSION
 Billed as a warm up gig for Truck, you           his most recent album, ‘Nashville’, followed      Far From the Madding Crowd, Friars Entry 8.30-11 Free!
could have cooked pizzas over The Young           his divorce, and ‘My Love is Gone’ is as          For bookings/info- Tel: 07876 184623 / 01865 242784
Knives tonight, they are that hot. New            much a paean to that love of the past as
management, new EP and a sound sharper            ‘Sad Eyes’ is to hopeful new beginnings.
than a samurai sword, this is the best of The     Both are delivered as personal narratives
Young Knives and The Young Knives at              with full conviction, yet warmly rather than
their very best. Tonight, a hundred voices        uncomfortably.
are lost yelling along to staccato double         Josh certainly has the audience in his thrall;
chorus lines like “You were screaming at          ‘Nashville’ is his fifth album, and through
your mother, I was punching your dad” and         sympathetic mediums like Radio 2 he has
“Where’s the f***ing rent, where’s the            quietly yet steadily inspired much devotion
f***ing rent”, while old and new songs like       while remaining relatively unknown. While
`Autobahn’ and `Decision’ chart not only          he may not be everyone’s cup of tea,
how much the Young Knives sound is now            tonight he works hard to convert the               ROCK-POP-DANCE-GOLDEN OLDIES-INDIE-
supremely them and only them, but how far         waverers; in Joshworld, it could be any time      SOUL-TECHNO-HIP-HOP-JAZZ-LATIN-REGGAE-
along the road to greatness this band have        between now and the 1970s, but he certainly        DRUM&BASS-GARAGE—R&B-DISCO-1950s-
finally come.                                     makes it a wonderful place to be.                  2000s. Brand new back catalogue CDs £4 - £7
Paul Carrera                                      Kirsten Etheridge                                      each. Brand new chart CDs £5 - £10 each
                                 If you do not supply us with a proper contact number and address as stated
                                 below, we will not review your demo.

                                  DEMO OF                                           melody, while ‘Don’t Hold Me Down’,
                                                                                    with its electro baggy rhythm could be The
                                                                                    Stone Roses on Mogadon. It’s unassuming
                                 THE MONTH                                          enough but clever with it and obviously the                                                      work of two very talented people.
                                                                                    Hopefully it won’t be a one-off
                                 PATSY DECLINE                                      collaboration.
                                 Possibly the best month for demos we’ve
                                 had in an age, but this is still an easy
                                 winner. Patsy Decline is a long-time
                                                                                    HAMMER Vs THE
                                 collaborator with local musical loon Twizz
                                 Twangle, and this album-length demo finds
                                 Twizz providing back-up for Patsy’s often          Blimey, Killers fever is spreading! Bands
                                 mesmeric vocal performances. Recorded on           are falling for New Romantic revivalism
                                 “a budget of nil”, with vocals all recorded        left, right and centre. And it is here we find
                                 on first take, lyrics made up on the spot,         the splendidly-named Hammer Vs The
                                 and with Twizz’s often unholy mess of              Snake, distorted vocals, metal beats and
                                 noise going on behind, the whole project           funky synth-rocking 80s grooves all
                                 feels like it’s on the verge of falling apart at   present and correct. Opener ‘Synff Phuck’
                                 any minute, if it were ever together in the        lays out their stall with some style, the
                                 first place. But it’s absolutely fantastic:        tumbling robot dance rhythms and
                                 from `Cartel’ with its synthetic Burundi           glistening synth lines lurching close to The
                                 beats, phased vocals and abstract guitar           Faint at times, although they’re quickly off
                                 noodling, a maddening clamour of perfect           on another tangent with ‘Insatiable’, a
                                 pop and traditional Celtic folk, to the            disjointed, fragmented piano-led slice of
                                 fuzzy synth-pop wash of `Lost In Space’.           mischief that could pass for Devo getting
                                 `N.A.S.A. Astronauts’ is pure lunatic art          self-consciously jazzy or, at its most
      5K                         house brilliance, bludgeoned half to death         hysterical, Pere Ubu’s mangled punk-funk.
32                               by cheap effects and mental ward poetry,           By the time the demo ends, with ‘The
                                 while `Sky Theft’ is partway between 70s           Never Ending Story Of Franks Vs The
                                 disco simplicity and prog-rock indulgence,         Nazis’, Hammer Vs The Snake have dug
                                 Patsy’s voice pure and limpid, but a light         further back into their record collections,
                                 year away from bland stage school ideals of        unearthed The Clash’s ‘Sandanista’ and
                                 purity. There’s more, but we’re running out        tried to update it via The Futureheads.
                                 of words. Yet again the lunatics have taken        There’s a nasty, cynical side of us thinks
                                 over the asylum. Crazy people, great, great        that maybe they’re simply trying to latch
                                 music.                                             on to something trendy and cool, but they
                                                                                    do it with enough panache to win us over.

                                                                                    NICHOLE STEAL
                                 GRUNT AND                                     Nichole Steal’s last demo, just over a year
                                                                               ago, was an impressive stab at the doomier
                                 GROOVE                                        side of trip-hop. Back for more,
                                                                               Kidlington’s Paul Hamblin (the chap
                                 PRODUCTIONS                                   behind Nichole Steal) still seems to be
                                 Ah, such an ugly name for such a pretty       drawing on Massive Attack and Tricky for
                                 musical project. Grunt & Groove               his downbeat, atmospheric soundscapes.
                                 Productions is the work of local singer and The first track here, ‘Heartache’, is all
                                 Nightshift favourite Mark Crozer, and         tripped-out hip hop beats, edgy synths
                                 former If and Strangefruit person Bert        and tight, bubbling bass runs, with barely
                                 Audubert (possibly not his real name). It’s discernible vocals wandering in and out of
                                 quite lo-fi in many ways but with an          the mix. Decidedly lopsided and slightly
                                 ambitious edge to its production and three haunting at times. A shame he doesn’t
                                 rather lovely songs that hopefully promise expand on these ideas on ‘Gotta Have It’,
                                 even more stuff to come. The psychedelic which is a rather twee folk-pop song with
                                 folk swoon of ‘Skyhigh’ lives up to its title girly vocals and some dodgy lyrics about
                                 with Mark’s breathless falsetto giving a      love and stuff. It’s inoffensive enough but
                                 genuine feeling of floating in the clouds,    not in the same class as other stuff he’s
                                 while the spaced-out production recalls       produced. It almost sounds like Paul wants
                                 The Beatles’ early experiments with           to break out of his gothic hip hop box and
                                 psychedelia at times. There’s a lazy funk     try something different but doesn’t really
                                 underbelly to the song too which carries on know where to go from there. Our advice:
                                 through ‘Here I Am’, with its gently          just keep digging that big, black hole. The
                                 incessant bass rhythms and Byrds-y            darker the better, dear boy.
                                               hangdog solemnity of the three songs here
THE TROY                                       and it’s got a gravity to it that drags you
ENCLOSURE                                      into its emotional depths. There’s not an
                                               ounce of tweeness or self-pity here, despite
Must be doomy, atmospheric electro theme the mood and subject matter. “There’s just
month. The Troy Enclosure – the work of cardboard and dead bodies on my
someone called Brandon Toy – is another        television”, croons singer Ben Osbourne.
dark, ambient oddity, again with a strangely You should get yourself a freeview box, my
lopsided, out of focus feel, like something lad; then you could watch live and
trying to communicate through a badly-         interactive Big Brother all day instead. On
tuned radio. The vibe is pretty languid for second thoughts, the dead bodies might be
the most part, mumbled vocals and sparse less depressing. The thought that 16 year
acoustic guitar overlaying discreet synth      olds can make music that sounds like this,
hums on tracks like ‘Choir’, although          however, fills us with much joy.
Brandon creeps into more song-based
territory with ‘Dreamless’, a mournful,
measured snippet of Jeff Buckley-inspired       STRAFE                                              THE COURTYARD STUDIO
folk-pop. The strength here is the way         There are two ways you could look at this              OTARI MTR90 MK11, 24 TRACK TAPE
Brandon uses simple, uncluttered textures, demo: silly, indulgent pomposity, or a
                                                                                                     MACHINE & MTA 980, 32/24/24 CONSOLE,
and the spaces between the instruments, to clever updating of 70s excess in a modern
weave fine threads of sound together                                                                 SOUNDSCAPE DIGITAL EDITOR, SUPERB
                                               indie rock setting. We’re in a good mood so
neatly. The piercing electro noise on final                                                        CONTROL ROOM WITH GOOD SELECTION OF
                                               we’ll opt for the latter. Mainly because
track, ‘Footnote’ is the only thing to         ‘The World Is Your Oyster (Swallow It               OUTBOARD GEAR, MIDI FACILITIES INCLUDE
puncture the atmosphere, and while the         Whole)’ is so stilted and hysterical it                  LOGIC AUDIO, 8 MEG S1000, etc
likes of Royksopp do such things in a more sounds like it’s about to suffer a seizure,
accomplished style, this is a promising start. but has a strange charm that’s somewhere               RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES OPTIONAL
                                               between arty 80s weirdness and the
TOO FAST TO LIVE                               slightly mad proggy indulgence of The Alex
                                               Harvey Band. We’re not sure whether this
                                                                                                        Phone KATE or PIPPA for details
Hey, dig the mad-as-a-crazy-rock-and-roll- completely counteracts the overwrought                              on 01235 845800
pig band name! These guys probably chop nature and complete lack of cohesion of
up and barbecue Lemmy’s guts for               ‘She Fell Down the Stairs’, or the over-
breakfast before setting off for a hard day’s earnest emotion of ‘Madelina’, but even on
labour down the boulder crushing factory. this last number, there’s a winning
More likely, they get high as kites together sweetness to the melody that appeals to
listening to Primal Scream’s ‘Swastika         your better nature.
Eyes’ and The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch
Up’ if this bolshy, breakneck techno-punk
is anything to go on. ‘NRG’ could easily be
a sneaky steal of some obscure Prodigy
outtake, but hits all the right buttons, and
                                                    THE DEMO
with some force. ‘Powder Burn’ is goblin-
faced electro-goth with a swarm of razor-
sharp shards of synth noise swirling
around it, while ‘Destroyer’ finds the
merry band of brothers rocking it up in a
Nine Inch Nails stylee, down-tuned guitar Worst of a good bunch? Yes. Possibly not
chug and feel-my-pain ghoulish whisper         deserving of the Demo Dumper? Hmm,
and all. Derivative maybe, but derivative      well… maybe. But then they’ve brought it
with attitude, and that’s all you need to      upon themselves. Stimulus are a bunch of
win in this particular war.                    teenagers from Witney and Carterton, just
                                               starting out and perhaps not deserving of
                                               such an early sledgehammering of their
WHERE I’M                                      creative endeavours, but if you do go and get
                                               an adenoidal pot-bellied pig to sing for you,
CALLING FROM                                   you must take the consequences. The first
They describe themselves as a country-         track here, ‘Eternal Fuzz’ really isn’t that
inspired indie band, they’ve named             bad, with its racing bass rhythms and
themselves after a Raymond Carver short        spangled guitars, a little like an old Sisters of
story and they’re all 16 or 17 years old.      Mercy demo, but the horrible, wretched
This could be so, so wrong. But instead it’s nasal moaning just won’t stop: like the
very much right. In parts, quite lovely in     nasty evil Tripods in War of the Worlds,
fact. Where I’m Calling From, hailing from even faced with a reasonable barrage of sonic
semi-idyllic Oxford outpost Wolvercote,        firepower. The band keep up the fight on
create gently inspired, lo-fi, wispy, lispy    ‘Kinky Fresh’, a crash and burn of
folk-pop whimsy with much of the same          rudimentary post-grunge rocking, but in the
serenity and quietly rough-edged charm as end it just sounds like a one-armed weakling
Belle and Sebastian’s early recordings.        vainly trying to drag himself out of a giant
There’s a touch of Low in the relentlessly bowl of thick soup in slow motion.

Send demos for review to: Nightshift, PO Box 312, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1ZU.
 IMPORTANT: no review without a contact address and phone number (no email or mobile-
only). No more than four tracks on a demo. If you can’t handle criticism, please don’t send us
your demo. Aw heck, you’re not taking the slightest bit of notice of this are you?