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NIGHTSHIFT                                                           month.
                                                                    Issue 147
 Oxford’s Music Magazine                                              2007

         OV IES

                     al music
         inspiration w inside
Oxford’s     - interv

Truck Festival review; Carling Academy
Truck Festival review; Carling Academy
opening night and seven pages of local gigs
opening night and seven pages of local gigs

   NIGHTSHIFT: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU. Phone: 01865 372255
                                                                                TRUCK RECORDS launches               THE BULLINGDON hosts a new

         NEW S
     Nightshift: PO Box 312, Kidlington, OX5 1ZU
                                                                                two new regular live music club
                                                                                nights this autumn. Starting from
                                                                                this month, on Thursday 11th, is
                                                                                                                     weekly live bands club night every
                                                                                                                     Thursday from 4th October.
                                                                                                                     Project:disco is run by the same
                                                                                Champions Of The World at the        team who currently run Coo Coo
   Phone: 01865 372255 email:                        Gladiator Social Club on Iffley      Club at the Jericho Tavern. Bands
                                                                                Road. As well as a live set from     and DJs interested in playing
                                                                                recent Magic Numbers support         should contact Autumn at
                                      through; he’s a tough cookie”.            act Danny Champion Of The  ,
                                       Surgeons have operated to repair         World, there’ll be bingo, a cheese   including MySpace links where
                                      two broken vertebrae and are              auction and a disco. Meanwhile,      possible.
                                      treating a smashed heel. Mickey is        after being forced to move much of
                                      expected to make a full recovery,         this year’s Truck Festival bill up   THE THIEVES have split up. The
                                      although this may take several            to Brookes University Union at       band formed by Oxfordshire
                                      months. Commenting on the                 the last minute following the        bothers Hal and Sam Stokes have
                                      cancellation of the show, Alan Day,       floods, Truck have decided to go     been resident in Los Angeles for the
                                      promoter for TCT Music, added,            back with a once-a-term gig and      past few years, constantly touring
                                      “We were really looking forward to        club night.                          around the States and last month
                                      this gig, being the local heroes that      The first Uni-Truck show is on      played their biggest gigs to date,
                                      they are. It’s such a shame they          Tuesday 27th November with a         appearing at the Milwaukee
                                      won’t be playing the first weekend        selection of bands playing over      Summerfest alongside Black
                                      at our new venue, but we wish             two stages. American narcotic-       Crowes and Tool, and at Monolith
                                      Mick a speedy recovery and we             rockers The Warlocks headline.       Festival with Flaming Lips and
SUPERGRASS’ homecoming gig            will reschedule another date with         Tickets are £8 in advance (£5 for    Kings of Leon.
at the Carling Academy Oxford was the band once he’s well enough.”              students).                            The band were due to release a
cancelled after bassist Mickey         Supergrass had been enjoying a           Truck is also continuing to go       record through Bam Margera’s
Quinn broke two vertebrae in his      summer break after completing             from strength to strength with its   label, Filthy Note, and spend the
back. Mickey had apparently fallen recording of their sixth album, due          in-house recording studios which     end of 2007 touring the record.
from a first-floor window in the      for release later this year. All of the   have recently hosted Foals,          Unfortunately, Filthy Note decided
holiday villa he was staying at in    band’s current plans are now on           Electric Soft Parade and Chicks      to pull the plug at the last minute.
the south of France. In a press       hold.                                     On Speed. Local bands can take       The band’s drummer Jamie has also
statement, Supergrass singer Gaz       Nightshift wishes Mickey a full          advantage of a special deal until    decided to get married later this
Coombes said, “I hope the crazy       and speedy recovery.                      the end of 2007: £150 per day.       year, and wants to spend more
fool gets back on his feet as soon as Refunds on gig tickets are available      Contact Stewart or Genevieve at      time in LA, to become an actor.
possible. I’m sure he’ll pull         from point of purchase.                   Truck on 01235 821262.                Sam spoke to Nightshift about the
split: “it’s is a real shame. We were   Nov) and Pigeon Detectives (Tue
really starting to build momentum       20th Nov) are both now sold out.
and get somewhere out here, so bad       Meanwhile, the Academy are
timing really, seeing as we’ve been     looking for street team members to
slogging it out for so many years.      distribute flyers and suchlike. In
I’ve had a blast though, and seen       return street teamers can get free
and done things I would have never      entry to Academy gigs. Anyone
been able to do if I hadn’t been in     interested should email
the band, so no regrets at all. We’ve
also been able to finish on a high by
playing a festival at Red Rocks in      SHACK precede their show at the
Colorado, with great bands like         Academy with an in-store gig at
Flaming Lips, and Kings of Leon -       HMV in Cornmarket Street at 5pm
it was an absolute blast! I guess all   on Tuesday 16th October. The band
things must pass, and as one door       will also be signing copies of their
closes, another one opens. I’m          new Album, ‘Time Machine’.
hoping we will do one last Oxford
show. I’m back in November and          PLANS ARE AFOOT to organise              KRAUTROCK LEGENDS MICHAEL ROTHER AND DIETER
Jamie and Hal should be back            a Ladyfest in Oxford in 2008.            MÖEBIUS have been confirmed as the headline act for this year’s
around Christmas time, so should be     Organiser Joanna Whitehead is            Audioscope festival. Rother was previously a member of Neu! as well as
able to make it happen. Bloody well     keen to hear from bands or artists       Kraftwerk and Harmonia; Möebius was a founder member of Cluster
hope so.”                               interested in performing, or anyone      before joining Rother in Harmonia.
                                        who has ideas that might help the         Audioscope takes place at the Carling Academy Oxford on Saturday 10th
IAN BROWN is the latest big-            event. Email Joanna at                   November. Also on this year’s bill are New Jersey hip hop weirdoes Dälek
name act to be confirmed for the        ladyfestoxford08@hotmail.                as well as post-rockers The Sea and Cake - featuring former-Tortoise
new Carling Academy Oxford. The                                   man John McEntire - Shit and Shine, Rothko and Birmingham’s awesome
former-Stone Roses singer plays on                                               krautrockers Einstellung. Local bands Witches and Sunnyvale Noise Sub-
Tuesday 27th November in the            DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN                  Element also appear.
main Academy venue.                     to The Download every Saturday            The annual Audioscope festival raises money for homeless charity
 Other acts confirmed for the next      night between 6-7pm on BBC               Shelter. Last year’s event, headlined by Clinic, raises £2,200; since it
few months include Black Rebel          Radio Oxford 95.2fm. The long-           began in 2001 Audioscope has raised over £15,000 for the charity.
Motorcycle Club (Wed 14th Nov);         running local music show,                 An Audioscope warm-up gig, featuring Portland’s psychedelic folk
Scratch Perverts (Fri 16th); Hot        presented by Tim Bearder and             rockers Jackie O Muthafucker, former-Loop people Pumajaw and
Hot Heat (Fri 16th) and Minus The       David Gillyeat, plays the best new       Oxford’s Keyboard Choir takes place at the Wheatsheaf on Tuesday 6th
Bear (Sat 15th December).               Oxford releases as well as featuring     November. Tickets for Adioscope are available now, priced £14, from
 Prog supergroups Asia’s planned        interviews with local acts and a Check out for full details
December show has now been              regular demo vote. The show is
moved to Wednesday 12th March.

                                                                                  the port mahon
                                        available to listen to online all week
The gigs by The Twang (Fri 2nd          at

OXJAM kicks off again this month with Oxfam hoping to raise over
£1million from music events organised around the UK.
 Running throughout October Oxjam could be considered the biggest live
                                                                                            Live Music in October
music festival in the country if taken as a whole, with around 40,000             4th Port Mayhem presents            18th Permanent Vacation
musicians and an audience of 300,000 expected to take part in over 3,000          Eddy Thompson +                     presents Alexander Thomas +
events over the month. Last year’s inaugural Oxjam raised over £500,000.          Horizontalice + One Dollar          Euhedral + Joey Chainsaw
In Oxford – home city of Oxfam – there are gigs, concerts, jam sessions           Peep Show                           19th Oxford Folk Club
and live music karaoke virtually every night, kicking off with a planned          5th Oxford Folk Club                20th Poor Girl Noise presents
musical flashmob in the city centre on October 1st and ending with a              6th Quickfix presents Ivy’s         That Fucking Tank + Hreda +
multicultural musical finale at the Oxford Castle on November 3rd.                Itch + Cuckoos Nest                 Capeman! + Shield Your Eyes
 Most local Oxjam gigs are listed in Nightshift’s gig guide but with many         7th Swiss Concrete presents         21st Swiss Concrete presents
events still to be finalised, visit for full details.           Blazing Zoos + The                  Sub Pop Sunday + Vestibule +
                                                                                  Messengers + Naomi Hates            13th Gauge
                                                                                  Humans                              22nd Peacemakers
                                                                                  11th Dirty Boys                     23rd My Analog presents
                                                                                  12th Oxford Folk Club               Francois + The Atlas
                                                                                  14th Swiss Concrete presents        Mountains + Glas Nost
                                                                                  Butcher Boy + Les Clochards         24th The Jones Radio
                                                                                  + Collese Fall                      25th Johnny Sexual Kitchen
                                                                                  15th Poetry Night with Paul         26th Oxford Folk Club
                                                                                  Wyton + Adana Horouitz              28th Pindrop Performance
                                                                                  16th in aid         5pm - 8pm
                                                                                  of Oxjam - The Half Rabbits +       29th The Young Playthings
                                                                                  Eduard Sounding Block + The         30th Toad + David K Frampton
                                                                                  Winchell Riots + Theo               + more
                                                                                  17th in aid of      31st Joe Allen
                                                                                  Oxjam - Witches + Harry Angel
                                                                                  + Richard Walters + Mewgatz
                                                   Book your band into play at Oxford’s best small music venue!
                     a great place to start a fight                                 82 St Clements, Oxford. Tel: 01865 202067
A Quiet Word With

they’re too modest to accept
                                                                                                                         those ideas hinted at. Our internal
                                                                                                                         workings changed a lot when Sam
responsibility, but Youthmovies are                                                                                      joined, as he was immediately the
now the most influential band in                                                                                         most musically minded of any of us.
Oxford.                                                                                                                  His level of understanding had a big
 Look at the local scene and it’s                                                                                        impact on making our ideas ‘work’ in
awash with young bands making                                                                                            a very literal sense.
strange new sounds and shapes,                                                                                            Andrew: “‘Good Nature’ is basically
mixing guitars and electronics,                                                                                          catchier but more complex. The
combining elements of post-rock,                                                                                         record is a lot more concerned with
jazz, prog, electronica and improv,                                                                                      melody and songwriting than
whether it’s newcomers like Twat                                                                                         anything we’ve written in the past,
Trot Tra La, Hreda or Flies Are Spies                                                                                    and for me personally it became
From Hell, more established talents                                                                                      literary too. I’ve not been listening
such as This Town Needs Guns and                                                                                         to a great deal of rock music; the
Jonquil, or the current brightest star                                                                                   music that probably informed large
in Oxford’s musical firmament, Foals,                                                                                    parts of ‘Hurrah!’ no longer holds my
each owes some debt to Youthmovies,                                                                                      interest for that long. Once you
be it a direct musical one or as         from the rather more cumbersome        pretty well to not fall out in any sort recognise the tricks it’s like the awe
beneficiaries of the band’s Do It        Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies),     of significant way I think. But it’s     you once felt listening to them
Yourself and Try And Help Others         but because they have spent much of    safe to say that the time apart was      occupies less space in your head, so
Along The Way ethos.                     that time making their name around     definitely needed. Sam joining the       there’s room for more awe from else
 And it’s not just in Oxford that        the UK, it’s sometimes been easy to    band was the single most influential     where. I’ve also discovered that I
Youthmovies are so highly regarded.      overlook their very considerable       thing in reconciling any difficulties or actually really, really enjoy singing!
The band, who were initially signed      achievements.                          disagreements. To welcome in this        My confidence in my voice has
up to the seminal Fierce Panda label,     Last month Youthmovies showcased      fresh-faced 18 year old, who arrived     grown hugely, so there’s a lot of that
have recently signed to Drowned In       their new material with a low-key gig without any the debt, worries or          going on now, a lot of my time was
Sound’s record label, for whom they      at the Cellar, supporting Dead         personal issues that dogged the rest of spent writing words... hopefully
will release a new album, ‘Good          Meadow. The new songs still retain     us, was a revelation. We felt            people will stop mistaking us for an
Nature’, in the New Year.                much of their band’s trademark         rejuvenated and Sam quickly relieved     instrumental band.”
Youthmovies have also performed at       urgency, endeavour and almost          any tension by instantly becoming         What direction are the improvised
the last three Carling Weekend           proggy dedication to                   the butt of every joke…”                 shows taking you in? Where do you
festivals as well as three appearances   experimentalism, there’s a more         Andrew: “There were no real             see Youthmovies moving, in musical
at All Tomorrow’s Parties. Almost        prominent melodic edge to them now, arguments. Ham pretty much didn’t           terms, in the coming years? Can you
constant touring over the past few       and some passages of spaced-out        talk to me for a year, and Al and I      imagine, for example, playing a gig or
years has seen them play in virtually    psychedelic rock, while the addition   were differing fundamentally on a few making an album without guitars?
every town and city in the UK, and       of Sam’s trumpet playing has brought things, none of which I can remember Al: “We have actually played
sign a record deal in Japan.             in new jazz influences. What does      now... He and I have basically been in improvised gigs without guitars
 What else? Oh yes, in between all       remain the same, though, is the sheer each others pockets since day one, so before, and two thirds of the record
that the band have found time to         inventiveness of the band: the feeling a lot of it was needing time apart to    that we just made with Adam Gnade
collaborate with acts as diverse as      that each and every song is searching come up with new shit to talk about.      was entirely electronic… But we’re
Adam Gnade, Saul Williams and            for a new place to go.                 Currently it’s phasers.”                 not heading off to make our ‘Kid A’
Jonquil, run a record label and very                                             You’ve left Fierce Panda and signed     just yet! We do have a conscious plan
nearly split up. This month they put     FOR THE UNINITIATED,                   to Drowned in Sound. They’ve             for where we’re headed next though,
out two separate and very different      Youthmovies are: Andrew Mears          always been very supportive of           and the focus is much less on the
releases, a five-song EP, ‘Honey         (guitar and vocals); Al English        Youthmovies.                             guitars. All those people who seem
Slides’, with Portland, Oregon’s         (guitar and synths); Stephen ‘Ham’      Al: “The people at Drowned in           aggrieved that we haven’t yet
‘weird-folk’ singer Adam Gnade and a     Hammond (bass and synths) and          Sound have been friends of ours for      invented an entire new musical
7” single under the guise of Vertical    Graeme Murray (drums and vocals)       years now, so the idea of signing to a   vocabulary need to calm down.”
Montanas, a new band they have           with newcomer Sam making it five.      label run by people we knew               Andrew: “Indeed. It’s hard for us to
formed in conjunction with Jonquil.      Nightshift spoke to the band as they   personally was always going to be an     say where we see ourselves going
 Did we mention that Jonquil             prepared for a mammoth month-long attractive one. Fierce Panda had been musically, so much of it’s been
trumpeter Sam Scott is also now a        tour around the UK with Jonquil and    good to us but we’d reached a point      democratic or natural that any rigid
permanent member of Youthmovies,         Adam Gnade ahead of the new            where we wanted to step up in a way      ideas that may be there in the
or that Youthmovies singer and           album’s release.                       that wouldn’t have necessarily been      beginning probably won’t be realised.
guitarist Andrew Mears was a founding                                           possible had we stayed with them. So     The ideas for the next album are the
member of Foals? Are you keeping up      YOU SAY YOU ALL FELL OUT               we had a look what else was out there, most solid thing that we’ve ever had,
at the back? Are you?                    for a while – what was the story       talked to two or three labels and went but we’ll just have to see if they go
                                         behind that and how was it resolved?   with DiS. We knew that they ‘got us’, the way we want, it’ll be pretty
IT’S ALMOST FIVE YEARS                   How close did you come to splitting? which was a pretty important factor.” uncharted territory for us.”
since Youthmovies first made their        Al: “We didn’t fall out as such, but                                            Graeme: “Improvisation is just pure
presence felt in Oxford (Nightshift      we did take some much-needed time      ‘GOOD NATURE’ IS OUT NEXT                fun for me but I do think that you
got their name wrong while awarding      out from each other. I moved to        year – how will it be different to the   take a risk every time you take to the
their first CD Demo Of The Month),       London for a year and didn’t really    last album?                              stage for an unrehearsed show. The
and three years since we last put the    come back to Oxford that often.         Al: “To me, this album is the true      first time we did it we all got a big
band on the front cover and              Given that some of us had lived        culmination of everything we’ve          rush and agreed that it was too much
interviewed them. So much has            together since university and then     done until now. If ‘Hurrah…’ was a       fun not to do more of these kind of
happened to them in the interim          spent a ridiculous amount of time      record filled with ideas, then ‘Good     shows. It has also bled into the
(including shortening their name         cooped up in the back of a van we did Nature’ is the realisation of what        recording and entire sections of the
new record are totally improvised.”       I was too over-committed to carry on
Ham: “Over the last year we’ve            playing with them... other than that
learnt how to better utilise computers    it feels really good to watch their rise.
and have started programming, so          Youthmovies and The Edmund
perhaps in the future there could be a    Fitzgerald were definitely influenced
more electronic record.”                  by each other back in the day, it’s
                                          good to see that the conclusion to
WITH A FIVE-WEEK TOUR                     that is the start of something else.”
ahead of them, do the band feel like       Al: “Doing what we can for bands we
Youthmovies is on the verge of wider      believe in and keeping friends close is
success, and what realistically can a     definitely a big part of our ethos.
band of their ilk hope for as far as      We’ve come from a DIY background
mass appeal is concerned?                 and that won’t ever leave us,
 Andrew: “It often feels like you’re      irrespective of there being a booking
on the verge of wider success; we used
to let our naivety and enthusiasm get
us overly optimistic about it. We
                                          agent, management and a bigger label
                                          involved. We’re not a big band by any
                                          means, but even so, you don’t forget
keep a lid on it nowadays. We’ve          where you came from and you don’t           Every Monday
made a record that we’re all really       forget the people who were there for
proud of, it was a challenge for us and   you when no one else was.”
                                                                                      THE FAMOUS MONDAY NIGHT BLUES
we succeeded in meeting our own            Youthmovies seem to have become            The best in UK, European and US blues. 8-12. £6
expectations.”                            very influential in Oxford over the         1st THE MATT SCHOFIELD TRIO (UK)
 Al: “Our hopes and aspirations have      last couple of years – bands like           8th ROB TOGNONI (Australia)
changed a lot over time and we’re         Hreda, Twat Trot Tra La etc. seem to
currently pretty comfortable in our       have their own take on your sound.          15th THE IAN PARKER BAND (UK)
own skin. We’re never going to be the      Andrew: “I don’t know about that,          22nd GILES HEDLEY & THE AVIATORS (UK)
kind of band that appeals to the          we’re into similar stuff I guess. It’s      29th THE ROBI ZONCA BAND (Italy)
masses, but that’s not to say we can’t    natural that we’d end up comparable.
sustain what we’re doing at a certain     We’re lucky, in Oxford, to have a lot
level. Longevity is something that has    of bands from a lot of backgrounds,         Every Tuesday
become important to us – we want to       but there’s always going to be musical      THE OXFORD JAZZ CLUB
still be doing this in ten years time.”   congruence, you see it in a lot of
                                                                                      Free live jazz plus DJs playing r’n’b, funk and soul until 2am
 Certainly in Youthmovies’ case it’s      towns to varying degrees. The most
been a case of a reputation slowly and    exciting thing to me that’s going on        2nd / 23rd THE HOWARD PEACOCK QUINTET
steadily earned. They’ve played All       in Oxford at the moment is the noise        9th THE NUMBERS RACKET
Tomorrow’s Parties three times and        movement. It’s sort of the antithesis       16th KATYA GORIE & DENNY ILETT Jr
the Carling Weekend three years           of what we are... I find it really
running – what have been the              interesting, because it’s almost as if      30th THE OXFORD JAZZ ORCHESTRA
highlights of those shows?                it’s a response to the technical bands
 Ham: “The first two shows for ATP        that preceded it, like punk was to          Thursdays
were ad-hoc gigs. Playing earlier this    prog. These bands are making music
year for ATP as an invited band, on       that’s cerebral and free, it’s cool.”       PROJECT DISCO – Live bands and DJs.
one of the main stages was one of my       Graeme: “The good thing about
main highlights for 2007. The crowd       Oxford music is that it is uninhibited      Every Friday
were really responsive to the new         and the bands encourage each other
material, and we had a lot of fun, as     to take risks and sound different.”         BACKROOM BOOGIE
we do, on a big stage. Playing the                                                    Funk, soul and R&B. 10.30pm-2am; £4.
Carling weekends are always fun,          OF COURSE, WITH                             (last Friday of the month with guest DJ Aidan Larkin)
especially playing this year with three   Youthmovies’ reputation in the UK
drummers swapping across two kits.”       at an all-time high, and set to go
                                          higher still, the band can maybe start      Fridays early shows
PERHAPS YOUTHMOVIES’                      to think beyond these shores and the        12th THE SKIES / NOT MY DAY / THE BLACKHATS.
most significant influence has been       recent offer of a record deal in Japan      7pm £5
their mentoring of bands like Foals       has opened that door.                       26th SAM KELLY’S STATION HOUSE (for lovers of
and Jonquil in recent times; they were     Ham: “The album released is getting
                                                                                      funk). 8pm. £6
close spiritual compatriots of Yannis     there and we’re hopefully going over
when he fronted The Edmund                to play a few shows in 2008 which
Fitzgerald, while Al’s label, Try         we’re all obviously really excited          Saturdays
Harder, released the first Foals single   about. We’ve never even played              6th SIMPLE Funky House 9.30pm-4am
and both of Jonquil’s albums. How         outside the UK! The label is putting        13th OXJAM with JABERWOK / MR SHAODOW /
important is this to the whole            out a compilation of older
                                                                                      RUBBER DUCK / THE SWAMIS. All proceeds to
Youthmovies ethos; how do they feel       Youthmovies stuff too, I think.”
about Foals’ recent success?               Andrew: “It’s weird to be asked to         Oxfam.
 Andrew: “Mentored is the wrong           release our music there, it’s unreal        20th OX4 – Drum’n’Bass with Prolific / Madcap / Ben E /
word I think. It’s just that I was in     that there’s anyone in Japan that’s         DJ Lax / Elements. 9-3am. £5.50 / £4.50
Foals, Sam is in Jonquil, and Al put      heard of us let alone wants to release      27th GET MASHED – Mash-up of the biggest and best
our their records... Al was probably      us, it’s an honour, I can’t wait to go.”    tunes from hip hop, funk and reggae to electro house,
the most useful to them, aside from
putting out both bands’ stuff, he         ‘Honey Slides’ with Adam Gnade
                                                                                      breaks and drum’n’bass. £5 (students £3 B4 11pm)
helped Foals when it came to them         and ‘Thick Mugs’ by Vertical
having to meet with big shots and         Montanas are both released this             Sundays
mediated as far as he could. He’s also    month. ‘Good Nature’ is released            7th LIVE STAND-UP COMEDY 8-11pm £6/7
helped Foals and Jonquil book tours.      early in 2008. The band headline the        14th SPIERS & BODEN live 8.30-11pm. £10 / £9
Of course I still write all of Yannis’    Zodiac at the Oxford Academy on
guitar parts, but other than that their   Saturday 27th October. Visit
                                                                                      21st SIMPLE REASON / support
work is their own! The only drawback for
of Foals’ success is that it meant that   full tour details, news and tracks.

THE EPSTEIN                                                                                               YOUNG KNIVES
‘Last Of The                                                                                              ‘Terra Firma’
Charanguistas’                                                                                            (Transgressive)
                                                                                                          Young Knives can be forgiven for feeling
(Own Label)                                                                                               aggrieved at being pipped by Klaxons of all
Once a humble, workaday country-rock band,                                                                people for the Mercury Prize, but it seems
The Epstein have grown into something special                                                             they’ve used their ire to positive effect, casting
over the last year or so. Where once they could                                                           the definitive article from their name violently
be dismissed as a competent Eagles tribute, this                                                          aside and penning this new single, their most
debut album uncovers a far more romantic,                                                                 militant three minutes to date.
exotic character. One of the early signs of this                                                           A bombastic guitar flourish is quickly stamped
transformation came with last year’s ‘Leave                                                               on by a propulsive, robotic post-punk groove,
Your Light On’, a lovelorn, bucolic ramble that                                                           like the onward march of The People’s
owed more to Neil Diamond’s emotionally-taut                                                              Revolutionary Army, Henry Dartnell’s high-set
style than Don Henley. Indeed Diamond’s                                                                   monotone set at stark odds with the machine-like
influence – intended or not – hovers over much       outlaw thrum of ‘Thunder River’, The Epstein         insistency of the steely guitars and bass and
of ‘Last Of The Charanguistas’ and his is an         keep their horizons broad but always have the        hectoring chorus. It’s like the band have taken a
always welcome presence. It’s most notable on        desert in their sights.                              baseball bat to any remaining vestiges of whimsy
the album’s central highlight, ‘Dance The Night       It’s only when they revert to more MOR              in their canon (although lyrically they’re as
Away’, a luxuriant lament replete with mariachi      country rock type that they lose their               idiosyncratic as ever) and parachuted down into
horns. Olly Wills’ voice is equally plaintive and    intimacy: album closer ‘NYC Blues’ is a soft-        that precise moment of time when new wave
honey-smooth, never detracting from the sweet,       focus ballad that could have dropped off the         clashed head on with the vanguard of synth-pop.
simple melodies but not cowed by the eclectic        back of an old Crosby Stills and Nash album.         Perhaps not an unexpected turn for a band that
range of instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, lap steel   But that’s the exception rather than the rule        used to cover Tubeway Army’s ‘Listen To the
and bouzouki amongst them) that makes these          and the melancholic intensity of ‘Just The           Sirens’ back when they were first starting out.
ten tracks a varied and engaging road trip. From     Wind’, even with its guitar histrionics, is          Out with the tweed and in with PVC jumpsuits
the roadhouse country blues of ‘Charanga             where The Epstein strike gold.                       and scarlet streaks through dyed black hair, then.
Classic’ to the strident, flamenco-tinged            Dale Kattack                                         Futurism is the future once again.
                                                                                                          Dale Kattack

                                                     their way into the limelight. Their last single,
THIS TOWN NEEDS                                      ‘And I’ll Tell You For Why’, was a marked
                                                                                                          THE FOCAL POINT
GUNS                                                 improvement on past efforts and this new split
                                                     album with Staines’ frantic, angsty post-hardcore    ‘Shoreline Fire’
Split CD                                             troupe Cats And Cats And Cats is another step
                                                                                                          (Own label)
                                                     up. Sometimes coming over like a composite of
(Big Scary Monsters)                                 other Oxford bands – Dive Dive’s playful pop-        Debut EP from local youngsters who claim to
This Town Needs Guns have consistently               punk, Youthmovies’ restless fretplay and             have ditched their “predominantly standard indie
seemed like a band that would forever be the         deliberately obtuse song titles, and Fell City       rock” in favour of a more ambitious and
bridesmaid and never the bride on the local          Girl’s plaintively epic rock – TTNG often sound      approach to songwriting, which boils down to
scene, cast in the shadow of more lauded             like they can’t quite decide whether they want to    listening to some jazz and electronica and getting
neighbours. But perhaps slowly they’re making        be headlining stadiums or tucked away on the bill    hold of a violin bow to play the guitar with.
                                                     at All Tomorrow’s Parties. ‘26 Is Dancier Than       There’s little evidence of any great esoteric left-
                                                     4’ skips between the two poles, deft of touch but    turn here, only the mostly incongruous
                                                     uncertain where it’s headed, while ‘If I Sit Still   interjection of banjos, into pretty standard
                                                     Maybe I’ll Make It Out Of Here’ wrenches             downbeat rock drones that amble amiably but
                                                     every drop of angst out of its slightly morose       with little purpose down ever gloomier corridors.
                                                     daydream. Inklings of grunged-up guitar noise        As an EP of ambient incidental gothic pop it
                                                     start to scuff the varnish on ‘If It’s True Rufus,   might just pass muster but the painful,
                                                     Don’t Listen To The Hat’ before the songs            pedestrian vocals spoil everything, substituting
                                                     wander off at another tangent. They score points     shouting for any kind of soul or range and the
                                                     for avoiding the tried and tested verse/chorus/      melodies, such as they are, are pretty moribund.
                                                     verse/chorus formula, ditching most of their old     Lead track `Kinetic’ briefly promises to turn into
                                                     histrionics and for letting Stuart’s vocals take a   spooky new folksters Candidate, while
                                                     backseat to the pretty guitar patterns at times.     `Blueshine’ has an almost trippy feel to its
                                                     Maybe, just maybe, those wedding bells aren’t        random tremolo-heavy wandering, but beyond
                                                     too far off now.                                     that you’re struggling for any real signs of life.
                                                     Sue Foreman                                          Victoria Waterfield

                                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
HEADCOUNT                                                                                              YOUTHMOVIES &
‘To The Point’                                                                                         ADAM GNADE
(Malicious Damage)                                                                                     ‘Honeyslides’
They vehemently deny it of course, and you
have to admit they don’t look the part, but we                                                         (Try Harder)
can’t help thinking there’s a serious gothic vein                                                      Not content with wearing a musical coat of
running through Headcount. It runs through                                                             many colours within their own band
the band’s third album like a black slick of                                                           compositions, Youthmovies regularly
belligerence: from the rumbling, metallic bass                                                         collaborate with fellow underground artists,
intro to first track ‘Enough Is Enough’,                                                               effortlessly showing off new dimensions.
through the dark fuzz of the Killing Joke-                                                              On this five-track EP the band team up with
inspired guitars, to Rob Moss’s lyrics: “There                                                         Portland, Oregon singer/poet Adam Gnade –
is no blood left in my veins / You sucked me                                                           who is currently supporting them on tour –
dry” on ‘Control’ (with its decidedly gothy                                                            their music sitting as an unsettling, ambient
S&M suggestion). He even mentions vampires          tirades and toilet humour will find that hard to   backdrop to Adam’s dark-minded, often
on ‘Gravy Train’.                                   believe).                                          paranoid, stream-of-consciousness words.
 Not that Headcount are a bunch of sullen            The mighty industrial roar of Killing Joke is     Delivering his words with a panicky intensity
miserablists. They’re far too angry for that,       still Headcount’s driving force, most notably      Adam occasionally threatens to stray into
whether raging against the system and all it        on ‘Bleed’ and a re-recorded version of ‘Red       teenage goth fantasy – there are black clouds
entails like the proper punk rockers they are       Mist’, but the spiky playfulness of early          aplenty on his personal horizon: “they watch
(you know, when punk was about fighting             Adam & The Ants is equally to the fore as          us from the trees” and “we live life in the
back and not just trying to market your own         ever, like the loping skank in the middle of       crosshairs”. Behind him guitars, keys and horns
range of designer skate shoes), or unleashing       ‘It’s A Pleasure Doing Business With You’.         flicker, undulate and wobble, at their best
pent-up fury about child abuse as on ‘To The        The Jesus Lizard’s sheet metal hardcore            making you feel like you’re walking across an
Point”s central track, ‘Daddy’, a song that         further bolsters the bullish rock assault, while   unsafe wooden floor as lightbulbs strobe
could be trite but instead boils with helpless      punks of the old school will smile fondly at       unevenly above. The bleak, nervous intensity of
hatred. Sung from a child’s point of view it’s      the nods to Spizz Energi. Increasingly             it all comes on like The Paperchase if they
hardly poetry but exudes righteous fury.            Headcount prefer melody to brute force.            listened to more Steve Reich and John Zorn and
 The song is a step down in momentum from            Maturity or not, there aren’t too many            less Big Black, or perhaps a fidgety kid brother
the rest of the album’s obstinate chugging,         surprises on ‘To The Point’ but we wouldn’t        to Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia’s
perhaps a symptom of Headcount’s self-              want there to be if we’re honest. Headcount        self-harming big sister. Ambient it may be, but
confessed increasing maturity (although             still say what they mean and say it mean.          it’s far from easy listening.
anyone who’s ever witnessed Rob’s onstage           Ian Chesterton                                     Dale Kattack

                                                                                              THE ANY DAYS
                                                                                              CD single `MONDAY MORNING’
                                                                                               at Polar Bear Records, Cowley Road
  gig guide
              MONDAY 1st                                                                                 Top 10 hits ‘So Much For The City’ and ‘Let’s
Bullingdon – Young British blues guitarist who
                                                      OCTOBER                                            Bottle Bohemia’ and bringing some celtic charm
                                                                                                         to Neil Young and The Beach Boys.
started off playing with Lee Sankey and Dana                                                             MILE HIGH YOUNG TEAM + BACK
                                                   HADOUKEN!: The Oxford Academy – Grime,
Gillespie as well as the Lester Butler Tribute                                                           POCKET PROPHET + HOUSE OF BLUE
                                                   hip hop, acid house, synth-pop and nu-metal
Band, now going out with his own band, playing                                                           DOLLS: The X, Cowley – Grinning Spider club
                                                   collide head-on in the not-so subtle world of
blues and funky jazz, inspired by BB King,                                                               night with expansive, rootsy rockers MHYT
                                                   Leeds’ Hadouken!, but then what do you expect
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins.                                                                   headlining.
                                                   from a band who name themselves after a special
                                                                                                         ONE-DOLLAR PEEPSHOW: The Port
                                                   attack move in Street Fighter. A million-plus
                                                                                                         Mahon – Fuzzy, Cardigans-inspired guitar pop.
 Monday 1st – Saturday 3rd Nov                     MySpace hits for nu-rave anthem `That Boy
                                                                                                         SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf –
                                                   That Girl’ don’t lie and tonight’ll be a glo-stick-
 OXJAM                                             lit celebration whatever the doubters think.
                                                                                                         Trumpeter Ben Cummings plays with the in-
                                                                                                         house band.
 This year’s Oxfam-organised nationwide            RALPH McTELL: Nettlebed Folk Club –
                                                                                                         PROJECT:DISCO: The Bullingdon – New
 Oxjam festival is more ambitious than last        From the dark streets of London to the bright
                                                                                                         weekly club night with live bands and DJs
 year’s, with the aim being to raise over          lights of Nettlebed, the well-travelled troubadour
                                                                                                         playing indie,, electro and rock.
 £1million for the charity. Involving              continues his storytelling style of folk music.
                                                                                                         ROSIE ODDIE + RICHARD WALTERS +
 numerous local promoters, venues and bands                       TUESDAY 2nd                            JOE ALLEN: The Cellar – Bill Oddie’s
 in Oxford it’s quite a nebulous affair but        REVEREND & THE MAKERS: The Oxford                     daughter Rosie brings her 60s girl group and
 there’s plenty of entertainment to be had.        Academy – Arctic Monkeys mentor Jon                   country-rock-influenced pop to tonight’s Big
 The event is due to kick off with a flashmob      McClure brings his philosophical showmanship          Hair Club.
 event somewhere in the city centre and            to town – see main preview                            ANDENSUM + SAVAGE HENRY + VISIONS
 finishes with a multicultural musical finale at   JAZZ CLUB with THE HOWARD                             FALL: The Hobgoblin – Bicester’s monthly
 the Castle. In between there are gigs at          PEACKOCK QUINTET: The Bullingdon                      heavy rock night with assorted local metal and
 virtually every local venue. Highlights           SHUSH OPEN MIC SESSION: The X,                        punk noise.
 include’s two gigs at the         Cowley                                                OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon
 Port Mahon with local stars Witches               OPEN MIC SESSION: Far From The                        SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks – Ska, reggae,
 (pictured), Harry Angel, Richard Walters,         Madding Crowd                                         Afrobeat and soul from DJ Aidan Larkin and
 Half Rabbits, Eduard Soundingblock and The
                                                               WEDNESDAY 3rd                             guests.
 Winchell Riots, while over at the Bully
 Selectasound present a night of funk and hip
                                                   HAROLD BUDD: Holywell Music Room –                                     FRIDAY 5th
                                                   Legendary ambient and minimalist composer             HAPPY MONDAYS: The Oxford Academy –
 hop with Jaberwok, Mr Shaodow and
                                                   plays a rare solo show – see main preview             Sean Ryder, Bez and the drummer attempt to
 Rubber Duck amongst others. Local bands
                                                   KATE WALSH: The Jericho Tavern – Sweet                remain conscious for an hour or so and perhaps
 also turn up at the Wheatsheaf, The X and
                                                   sunny-day folk-pop from Brighton singer Kate          even remember some of their old hits, which
 the Jericho Tavern, while there’s a metal and
                                                   who beat Kaiser Chiefs and Take That to number        should require some kind of superhuman effort
 punk night running between the Port Mahon
                                                   1 in the album download charts with her self-         since none of them were straight enough to know
 and the Duke on St Clement’s. There’s a
                                                   released ‘Tim’s House’. Back in town after an         what the hell was going on first time round. Still,
 space-rock spectacular in Abingdon with a
                                                   impressive showing at this year’s Cornbury            ‘Wrote For Luck’, eh? Classic.
 guest appearance from Hawkwind’s Hugh
                                                   Festival.                                             THE BROKEN FAMILY BAND: The Zodiac
 Lloyd-Langton, plus assorted classical, slam
                                                   THE TREAT + HANGMAN’S JOE: The                        @ The Oxford Academy – Joyously rootsy
 poetry and open mic sessions. Some events
                                                   Wheatsheaf                                            Cambridge folk-rockers and recent stars of
 are still being confirmed so worth checking
                                                   ALLY CRAIG + BEAVER FUEL + SHIRLEY:                   Cornbury Festival, mixing up country rock, 60s
 out for full details.
                                                   The X, Cowley – Shirley continue their monthly        pop and full-blown metal
                                                   club residency, with special guest tonight Ally       KLUB KAKOFANNEY with THE EVENINGS
                                                   Craig bridging the gap between Jeff Buckley and       + BOTOX COWBOYS + CAINE + JAMES
                                                   Sonic Youth. Lo-fi punkers Beaver Fuel support        BELL: The Wheatsheaf – Electro-rockers The
                                                   while Shirley bring their sunshiney 60s party         Evenings headline tonight’s Klub Kak mixed bag.
                                                   rock’n’roll.                                          PEARL KITES + LITTLE FISH + DIAMOND
                                                   HIT&RUN: The Cellar – Hip hop and                     LINES + FLUID LINE: The Jericho Tavern –
                                                   drum&bass club night with a live set from the         Harmony-heavy garage rocking from Pearl Kites
                                                   UK’s leading female beatboxer, Bellatrix.             with support from Nightshift’s current fave new
                                                   OPEN MIC SESSION: Folly Bridge Inn                    local duo Little Fish coming in where Fiery
                                                   OPEN MIC SESSION: Temple Bar                          Furnaces meet Sinead O’Connor.
                                                                 THURSDAY 4th                            SCRAMBLER + TOULOUSE + CHRIS
                                                   ALABAMA 3: The Oxford Academy – Another               BEARD: The X, Cowley – Oxjam event
                                                   return to town for the enduringly entertaining        featuring a one-off reunion gig for former-local
                                                   acid-fried gospel rockers outta Brixton,              Jam-inspired favourites Scrambler. Country-
                                                   promoting new album ‘MOR’. Are you ready to           tinged rockers Toulouse support with an acoustic
                                                   testify once more, brothers and sisters?              set, plus Harry Angel frontman Chris Beard
                                                   THE THRILLS: The Zodiac @ The Oxford                  FRESH OUT OF THE BOX: The Cellar –
                                                   Academy – Irish sunshine popsters with their          House and breaks.
                                                   hearts in 1960s California, back in action with       THE BIG RIVER BAND: Fat Lil’s, Witney
                                                   their third album, ‘Teenager’, following on from      BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon
             SATURDAY 6th                         OXFORD URBAN ARTZ FESTIVAL:
EDITORS + RA RA RIOT: The Oxford                  Brookes University Union – Hip hop, dance,
Academy – Darkest and best of the new wave of     fashion and art all-dayer.
new wave hitmakers celebrate being the first      QUICKFIX presents IVY’S ITCH +
band to sell out the new Academy – see main       HELLSET ORCHESTRA + CUCKOO’S
preview                                           NEST + DECIBELLA: The Port Mahon –
NINE-STONE COWBOY + LITTLE FISH +                 Goth-grunge virulence from Ivy’s Itch, plus
AMBERSTATE: The Wheatsheaf – Wry                  Hammer Horror pop from Nottingham’s
melancholic drinking songs from Mark Cope’s       Hellset.
Nine Stone Cowboy, coming on somewhere            LES CLOCHARDS + THE MARMADUKES
between Teenage Fanclub and Guided By Voices.     + THE NEW MOON: The X, Cowley – Exotic
Ace garage-blues rockers Little Fish support,     mix of Parisian folk music,, old school
alongside ambient electro-jazz pop types          indie jangle and classic rock’n’roll from Les
Amberstate.                                       Clochards.
                                                  SIMPLE: The Bullingdon – Funky house with
                                                  Audiojack, Romanno Farrocco and resident DJs.
 Tuesday 2nd                                      MELTING POT with HELIUM SOUND +
                                                  VIB GYOR + JONNY RACE +
 REVEREND & THE                                   NORDGARDEN: The Jericho Tavern –
                                                  Bluesy heavy rock from headliners Helium               Wednesday 3rd
 MAKERS: The Oxford                               Sound.
 Academy                                          MARK BOSLEY + DAN AUSTIN +                             HAROLD BUDD:
                                                  ALPHABET BACKWARDS + YORKSHIRE
 Fame by association is always a fragile thing    LUKE: King’s Head & Bell, Abingdon –                   Holywell Music Room
 but Reverend & The Makers’ Jon McClure           Sardonic songwriting from the south Oxfordshire        Oxford Contemporary Music go from
 can hardly be accused of grasping The Arctic     gothic troubadour Mark B at tonight’s Skittle          strength to strength with their new Autumn
 Monkeys’ coattails, even if his band are now     Alley acoustic club.                                   season boasting a very rare solo live
 reaping the rewards of supporting their          DUGOUT: The Cellar – The soul, rare groove             appearance from legendary Californian avant
 Sheffield neighbours on tour. McClure is         and funk club night celebrates its first birthday      garde composer Harold Budd. From his
 widely credited as mentor and surrogate big      with sets from Rob Life, Colour Climax and             early 60s work, ranging from minimalist
 brother to Alex Turner, not least by the         Indersition.                                           drone pieces and extended gong solos,
 Arctics’ frontman himself, and is at least       POWER TRAIN: Fat Lil’s, Witney                         through to his re-emergence in the early 70s
 partly responsible for introducing Turner to     REDOX + PETE FRYER BAND: The                           as a full-time composer marrying the worlds
 the works of John Cooper-Clarke, from            Crawley Inn, Witney                                    of popular jazz and electronic
 whom both draw massive inspiration. As a         SOULJACKER: Temple Bar                                 experimentation, he’s always been above and
 rock star in his own right, McClure has                          SUNDAY 7th                             beyond the musical pack. If you could judge
 enough to stand on his own feet – self-                                                                 a musician on the strength of their
                                                  THE DECEMBERISTS + THE LAND OF
 confidence and swagger that borders on                                                                  collaborations Budd would be near peerless,
                                                  TALK: The Oxford Academy – Strangely exotic
 hubris and a stage presence that is never less                                                          having work extensively with Brian Eno
                                                  downbeat folk-pop from the very lovely
 than pure entertainment. Musically The                                                                  (notably on the classic ‘Plateaux of Mirror’),
                                                  Decemberists – see main preview
 Makers hark back to Stone Roses,                                                                        as well as Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie,
                                                  ROADSIDE POPPIES + MESSENGERS +
 Charlatans and Happy Mondays with their                                                                 synth-pop pioneer John Foxx, Can drummer
                                                  NAOMI HATES HUMANS: The Port
 lively mix of punk-funk, electro and reggae.                                                            Jaki Liebezeit and Jah Wobble. His 2004
                                                  Mahon – Winsome jangly indie pop from
 Talking of which, McClure reckons himself                                                               album ‘Avalon Sutra’ was billed as his final
                                                  Cambridge’s Roadside Poppies at this evening’s
 to be the reincarnation of Bob Marley (his                                                              recorded work, but he’s since gone back on
                                                  Swiss Concrete night. Lightweight
 mum was pregnant with him at the time of                                                                that announcement and tonight’s concert
                                                  from The Messengers. Lo-fi acoustic singer-
 Marley’s death). Rabble-rousing anti-work                                                               features Budd on piano and electronics.
                                                  songwriter Naomi Hates Humans will doubtless
 anthem ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The                                                                     Anyone whose initial inspiration to make
                                                  be bringing a little misanthropy to proceedings.
 World’ has hovered around the charts most                                                               music was inspired by hearing the sound of
                                                  PALLADIUM: The Jericho Tavern –
 of the summer and if Jon does come out                                                                  wind blowing through telephone wires while
                                                  Hossanah! After last month’s visit of Ben’s
 with some crap sometimes, at least he                                                                   growing up in the Mojave desert has got to
                                                  Brother to the Tavern, here comes something
 always does it with righteous passion.                                                                  be worth an evening of anyone’ time.
                                                  even worse – jazz-rockers Palladium. Imagine a
                                                  cross between Level 42, Toto and Zoot Woman.
                                                  Now go and fetch your gun.                            JOHN SPIERS & JON BODEN: Nettlebed
                                                  ELECTRIC JAM: The X, Cowley – Open jam                Folk Club – Squeezeboxer Spiers and fiddler
                                                  session with in-house band The X Men.                 and singer Boden return to their old stamping
                                                                 MONDAY 8th                             ground.
                                                  ROB TOGNONI: The Bullingdon – Driving                               TUESDAY 9th
                                                  blues-rock from the Tasmanian guitarist and his       LOS CAMPESINOS + YOU SAY PARTY,
                                                  power trio band.                                      WE SAY DIE!: The Oxford Academy – A little
                                                  KING CREOSOTE: The Oxford Academy –                   bit of autumn sunshine courtesy of Wales’ cutesy
                                                  Lovely, leftfield folkiness from Fife’s Kenny         seven-piece indie sweeties Los Campesinos,
                                                  Anderson, on the up and up with new album             falling somewhere between Tilly & The Wall and
                                                  ‘Bombshell’ and rousingly ace single ‘You’ve No       Broken Social Scene.
                                                  Clue Do You?’.                                        TURIN BRAKES: The Zodiac @ The Oxford
                                                  LAURA MARLING + NOAH & THE WHALE                      Academy – More earnest emoting from Olly
                                                  + KING CHARLES: The Jericho Tavern –                  Knights and Gale Paridjanian, out on tour in
                                                  Country-tinged folk-pop in the vein of Joni           support of their fourth album ‘Dark On Fire’.
                                                  Mitchell and Carole King from the Reading-based       CHARLIE HAYWOOD: The Port Mahon –
                                                  songstress who’s spent much of the past year          Pioneering drummer with This Heat, Quiet Sun
                                                  touring with Jamie T, Rufus Wainwright and Jack       and Camberwell Now. Haywood is currently
                                                  Penate.                                               working as a solo artist whilst pursuing
                                                     GREEN: The Cellar – New hip hop club                THE SKIES + NOT MY DAY + THE
                                                     night with live set from human beatbox star         BLACK HATS: The Bullingdon – Reading
                                                     Killa Kela.                                         rockers The Skies headline.
                                                     OPEN MIC SESSION: Folly Bridge Inn                  BOSSAPHONIK: The Cellar – Live jazz
                                                     OPEN MIC SESSION: Temple Bar                        dance with guests Manteca.
                                                                 THURSDAY 11th                           THE RUINS + LIDDINGTON + NO
                                                     TUNNG: The Oxford Academy – Spooky                  MACHINE: The Jericho Tavern –
                                                     electro-folk and rural diabolism from the           Shoegazey indie rocking from The Ruins, plus
                                                     bleakly lovely Tunng, drawing on the darker         downbeat guitar pop from Liddington
                                                     side of traditional English and Scottish folk.      REDOX + THE PETE FRYER BAND +
                                                     JACK PENATE: The Oxford Academy –                   FILM NOIR: Magdalen Arms
                                                     Intimate but geezerish mix of soul, jangle-pop,     THE COOKIE MONSTERS: Fat Lil’s,
                                                     ska and skiffle from young master Jack.             Witney
 Saturday 6th                                        JOBY BURGESS: Modern Art Oxford –                   BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon
 EDITORS: The                                        Special children’s and family show from the                     SATURDAY 13th
                                                     renowned percussionist.                             THE CRIBS: The Oxford Academy – The
 Oxford Academy                                      SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf – With               brothers Jarman return with their third album
 Editors can now claim to be the first band          guest Tim Whitehead on tenor sax.                   of simple, spiky, Strokes-y indie-punk,
 ever to sell out the new Oxford Academy –           ELECTRICITY: The Cellar – New electro               ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’,
 just the latest milestone in a journey that,        dance club night with Hannah Holland and            produced by Franz Ferdinand’s Alex
 since sublime early singles ‘Bullets’ and           Emily Williams.                                     Kapranos.
 ‘Munich,’ has seen them rise and rise               PROJECT:DISCO: The Bullingdon                       STEPHEN FRETWELL: The Zodiac @ The
 through the indie rock ranks with the               ANTON BARBEAU + SCRIFT +                            Oxford Academy – Acoustic pop miserablism
 nonchalant ease of Ronaldinho dancing               ENDGAME: The Jericho Tavern –                       and unlucky in love stories from the bard of
 through Macclesfield’s back four. Because           Psychedelia-tinged folk-pop from Californian        Scunthorpe.
 class speaks volumes and Editors have               pop troubadour Anton and guests.                    JABERWOK + MR SHAODOW + RUBBER
 shown that class with new album, ‘An End            CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD:                             DUCK + THE SWAMIS: The Bullingdon –
 Has A Start’, already a number 1 hit and,           Gladiators Social Club, Iffley Road – New           More Oxjam action, this time promoted by the
 with its title track, spawning one of the           club night from the Truck crew featuring live       Selectasound crew with psychedelic funk and
 truly great singles of 2007. Editors’ skinny,       music from recent Magic Numbers support             rock from Jaberwok, plus excellent old skool
 soberly-dressed demeanour points to a love          Danny & The Champions of the World. The             rap from Mr Shaodow, and funk and ska from
 for all things Joy Division and Echo & The          night also includes a cheese auction                Rubber Duck.
 Bunnymen and that’s pretty much exactly             apparently. Those crazy Truckers….                  JOHNNY’S SEXUAL KITCHEN: The
 where you’ll find their music emanating             OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon                     Wheatsheaf
 from. But where their main inspirations             SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks                           VON BRAUN + THE MARK BOSLEY
 found fulfilment in introspection, Editors                         FRIDAY 12th                          EXPERIENCE: The X, Cowley – Wittstock
 increasingly look outwards, with Chris              HEADCOUNT + BEELZEBOZO + JUNKIE                     Festival fundraiser.
 Urbanowicz’s expansive, cascading guitar            BRUSH + DEATH VALLEY RIDERS: The                    COO COO CLUB with MORRISON
 sound counterpointing as well as                    Wheatsheaf – Punky-metal party night as             STEAM FAYRE + TRISTAN & THE
 complementing singer Tom Smith’s                    Headcount launch their new album, ‘To The           TROUBADOURS + LITTLE FISH +
 romantic, poetic lyrics. With the new album         Point’, getting angry about stuff in the style of   ROXANNE: THE EARLY YEARS: The
 Editors could have taken the easy route and         Killing Joke. Monolithic metallers Beelzebozo       Jericho Tavern – West London’s roots
 simply replicated debut ‘The Back Room’;            and old-school punkers Junkie Brush provide         revivalists MSF return to town, mixing up
 instead they’ve moved on to a higher plain.         suitably heavyweight artillery back-up.             lively southern-friend rock, ska, skiffle and
 Two years ago they were tucked away on              SLIDE: The Zodiac @ The Oxford Academy              country. Local indie-ska youngsters Tristan
 the Barn stage at Truck Festival. Now, major        – Electro-house stars Hot Chip play a special       and the Troubadours support, alongside
 festival headline slots can’t be far off.           guest DJ set at tonight’s Slide.                    utterly ace garage-rocking duo Little Fish.
                                                     MR SCRUFF: The Oxford Academy –                     ABORT, RETRY, FAIL?: The Cellar -
                                                     Another quirky, eclectic and doubtless              Electro, grime and beats with live bands and
collaborative projects with the likes of Bill        marathon DJ set from Manchester’s tea-              DJs.
Laswell, Fred Frith & Hugh Hopper. Tonight           guzzling, marine life-obsessed Andy Carthy          THE INCREDIBLE EVOLUTION: Fat Lil’s,
playing solo and with Oxford Improvisers Pat         with a sometimes surreal selection of               Witney
Thomas, Pete McPhail & Viv Corringham.               tunes.                                              LEE DAVIES & NIKKI LLOYD: Temple
JAZZ CLUB with THE NUMBERS                           THE UNDERTONES: The Zodiac @ The                    Bar
RACKET: The Bullingdon                               Oxford Academy – The punk-pop legends,                            SUNDAY 14th
SHUSH OPEN MIC SESSION: The X,                       long-since reformed sans Feargal Sharkey but        SPIERS & BODEN: The Bullingdon –
Cowley                                               instead led by someone who sounds uncannily         Squeezeboxer Spiers and fiddler and singer
DANIEL HAMMERSLEY + BEN GRIFFITH                     like him, make their first visit to town,           Boden play their first Oxford gig since the
+ MARTHA ROWSELL: The Jericho Tavern                 showing off timeless classics, from ‘Teenage        Oxford Folk Festival.
INTRUSION: The Cellar – Goth and                     Kicks’ and ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ to ‘Here Comes             3 DAFT MONKEYS: The Oxford Academy
industrial club night.                               The Summer’ and ‘True Confessions’ plus             – Cornish folk-punks and regular support act
OPEN MIC SESSION: Far From The                       plenty of new material. Gentlemen of a certain      to good buddies The Levellers, drawing on
Madding Crowd                                        age can be forgiven for getting extremely           traditional English and Celtic folk as well as
           WEDNESDAY 10th                            excited and trying to pogo like they’re still 14.   Balkan, gypsy, reggae and punk music.
JJ SOUL with THE PAUL JEFFERIES                      C’mon, give us a break, eh?                         BUTCHER BOY + LES CLOCHARDS +
QUARTET: The X, Cowley – Jazz club night             GAMMY LEG PROUCTIONS with THE                       COLLEGE FALL: The Port Mahon –
at the X with guest JJ Soul joining Paul             DRUGSQUAD + LOOPY + CYRUS: The                      Whimsical and jangly 80s-style
Jefferies’ in-house band.                            X, Cowley – Ska-punk party sounds from              guitar pop from Glasgow’s string-drenched
STAFRAENN HAKON: The Wheatsheaf –                    local vets The Drug Squad headlining tonight’s      cuties. Local Gallic country popstrels Les
Delicate, ethereal effects-laden pop fro Iceland’s   GLP session. 80s-styled jangle poppers              Clochards support.
Stafraenn Hakon at tonight’s Vacuous Pop             Loopy support alongside acoustic pop                The X, Cowley The X, Cowley – Acoustic
promotion.                                           chappie Cyrus.                                      night.
              MONDAY 15th                                           TUESDAY 16th
FOALS: The Oxford Academy – Jerky                    SETH LAKEMAN: The Oxford Academy –
versions of the dream from Oxford’s latest pop       Poster boy for the new wave of English folk
triumph – see main preview                           returns after a summer of festivals – see main
FIGHTSTAR + THE SLEEPING + EMANUEL                   preview
+ YOU ME AT SIX: The Zodiac @ The                    SHACK: The Zodiac @ The Oxford Academy
Oxford Academy – Charlie out of Busted               – Strange to imagine that a band that almost seem
continues his credibility-saving journey into rip-   to bring bad luck and underachievement upon
snorting punk-rock mayhem. Or, in the real           themselves at every turn should just now be
world, sounding a tiny, weeny bit faster than        releasing a Best Of (not a Greatest Hits,
Busted.                                              obviously). Still, it’s an encouraging sign of their
IAN PARKER BAND: The Bullingdon – Blues              resilience, gathering together songs from their 19-      Monday 15th
and roots guitarist with a serious reputation on
the European festival scene, mixing up standards
                                                     year, five-album lifetime, including the sublime
                                                     ‘Streets Of Kenny’ from their masterpiece -
and originals in the style of Eric Clapton, Stevie   ‘HMS Fable’. That the new collection is released         Saturday 27th
Ray Vaughan and John Mayall.                         on Sour Mash – the record label run by Noel
SHOW OF HANDS: Nettlebed Folk Club –                 Gallagher, who was initially inspired by the
Virtuoso roots folk from Steve Knightly and Phil
                                                     brothers Mick and John Head – is testament to            The Oxford Academy
                                                     the fact their influence and the loyalty it inspires,
                                                                                                              If Oxford has excelled at anything recently
                                                     goes beyond mere trifles like commercial success.
                                                                                                              it’s in producing some of the best
 Friday 7th                                          THE HALF RABBITS + EDUARD
                                                                                                              experimental rock bands in the country. The
                                                     SOUNDING BLOCK + WINCHELL RIOTS
                                                                                                              fate of Foals and Youthmovies have so often
 THE DECEMBERISTS:                                   ACOUSTIC: The Port Mahon – Oxjam gig
                                                                                                              been closely tied, from the latter’s mentoring
                                                     organised by, featuring
 The Oxford Academy                                  fizzbomb gothsters Half Rabbits, plus
                                                                                                              of the former in their early Edmund
                                                                                                              Fitzgerald incarnation, through to
 The current vogue in music may be for tales         heavyweight math-rockers Eduard Sounding
                                                                                                              Youthmovies singer Andrew Mears being
 of cashpoint machines, visits to burger bars        Block and former-Fell City Girl chaps Winchell
                                                                                                              part of Foals’ initial line-up. As things
 and watching girls in nightclubs, but               Riots playing an acoustic set.
                                                                                                              currently stand it’s the apprentices who are
 Portland, Oregon’s Decemberists are rather          ACID WAX: The Cellar – Electro, broken
                                                                                                              on the cusp of greatness at the moment,
 less prosaic in their songwriting. Creative         beats, techno and more with South Africa’s The
                                                                                                              being the name to drop in cool musical
 writing graduate Colin Meloy’s lyrics deal          Bulgarian and the Fresh Out Of Death System.
                                                                                                              circles – something compounded recently by
 with pirates, Spanish child monarchs,               JAZZ CLUB with KATYA GORRIE &
                                                                                                              their live appearance at a party in the new
 soldiers fighting in the trenches of WW1,           DENNY ILETT Jr: The Bullingdon
                                                                                                              series of Skins. Prodigious guitar talent
 sailors’ widows and on the band’s new               SHUSH OPEN MIC SESSION: The X,
                                                                                                              Yannis Philippakis has had the makings of a
 album, ‘The Crane Wife’, ancient Japanese           Cowley
                                                                                                              rock hero since he fronted local starlets
 folk tale tragedy, all delivered in baroque         OPEN MIC SESSION: Far From The
                                                                                                              Elizabeth as a 15 year old but with Foals’
 style over a soundtrack that marries                Madding Crowd
                                                                                                              ditching of math-rock structures for a more
 antiquated instrumentation (hurdy gurdy,                        WEDNESDAY 17th                               uptight disco-pop sound, they’ve really
 accordion, upright bass) with modern                NIK TURNER’S SPACE RITUAL: The                           nailed something fresh and new. This
 electronics. So, they’re a quaint, bookish          Oxford Academy – Founding member of                      month’s Nightshift cover stars Youthmovies,
 bunch, The Decemberists, but they’ve also           Hawkwind and composer of classic tracks like             meanwhile, remain a restless beast with their
 got one of the most fanatical cult followings       ‘Master Of The Universe’ and ‘Brainstorm’, Nik           next album steering into predictably
 in rock (famously when all their equipment          Turner returns to Oxford for the first time in           unpredictable territory, straight-down-the-
 was stolen after a gig in 2005 their fans           many years (in fact for the first time since he          line indie rock sweetness all messed up by
 quickly raised £8,000 to replace it all). ‘The      played the Zodiac when it was still the Co-Op            odd prog, jazz and psychedelic excursions.
 Crane Wife’ is The Decemberists’ fourth             Hall) with his musical project of the last few           Both bands have mastered the fine art of
 album and continues the band’s carefree             years, Space Ritual, bringing some serious free          balancing experimentalism with accessibility
 marriage of wonderfully catchy, folksy              jazz into the space-rock party. Expect plenty of         and are both now inspiration for a whole
 melodies, olde worlde psychedelia and               old Hawkwind numbers amongst the new                     new wave of UK guitar bands.
 effusive rock. Here is where Robyn                  material.
 Hitchcock’s arcane vision and The Go-               JIM WHITE: The Zodiac @ The Oxford
 Betweens’ joyous pop spirit meets 80s               Academy – Forty years old before he released            FOURTH CHAMBER: The Wheatsheaf
 college rock and 60s folk revivalism. They          his debut alum (1999’s excellent ‘Wrong Eyed            HIT & RUN: The Cellar – Hip hop with DJ
 make a great team.                                  Jesus’) Florida’s Jim White has plenty of stories       Nicky Blackmarket.
                                                     to tell, mainly spooky, rambling tales of the           ONE NIGHT STAND: Fat Lil’s, Witney
                                                     Deep South, religion and drugs, all delivered in        OPEN MIC SESSION: Folly Bridge Inn
                                                     his hazy stream-of-consciousness style. A               OPEN MIC SESSION: Temple Bar
                                                     downbeat sense of humour infects his
                                                     spiritual songs that have been
                                                     variously described as hick-hop or
                                                     ghost-funk. Labels, eh? Don’t we just
                                                     love ‘em.
                                                     WITCHES + HARRY ANGEL +
                                                     RICHARD WALTERS +
                                                     MEWGATZ: The Port Mahon –
                                                     Oxjam action with recent Nightshift
                                                     cover stars Witches plying their
                                                     perfect country-tinged pop. Virulent
                                                     goth-core noise from Harry Angel in
                                                     support plus sublime acoustic pop
                                                     from Richard Walters and electro
                                                     experimentation from Mewgatz.
                                                     BEAR IN THE AIR + TOY #1 +
                                                    Vacation. Headliner Alexander Thomas creates                     SATURDAY 20th
                                                    blissful orchestral noise using theremin, loops     GRINNING SPIDERBALL: The X, Cowley
                                                    and delays, while Shaggy Parasols make a ore        (12pm) – Full day of live music from Grinning
                                                    raggedy racket with just guitar and drums. Synth-   Spider.
                                                    drone minimalism from Euhedral, plus ambient        ED HARCOURT + THE VEILS: The Oxford
                                                    electro noise in an Aphex Twin from opener          Academy – Ed’s been around long enough to be
                                                    Stray Ghost.                                        releasing a Best Of album this year, following on
                                                    SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf – With               from last year’s ‘The Beautiful Lie’, although
                                                    guests The Kate Williams Band.                      since his 2001 high point – the Mercury-
                                                    PROJECT:DISCO: The Bullingdon                       nominated ‘Here Be Monsters’ – he’s moved
                                                    KING FURNACE + SAVAGE HENRY + DR                    from being the new Tom Waits to a more middle
                                                    SLAGGLEBERRY: The Cellar – Heavy rock               of the road terrain, still managing to spice things
                                                    and funk night at Big Hair.                         up with the odd waltz, tango or music hall
                                                    PORT ERIN + BLINDRIDE + RUBBER                      number. Glammy goth-pop support from The
                                                    DUCK: The X, Cowley                                 Veils.
                                                    ALAN TYLER & THE LOST SONS OF                       MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE: The
                                                    LITTLEFIELD + THE MARMADUKES: The                   Zodiac @ The Oxford Academy – It is
                                                    Jericho Tavern – The former-Rockingbirds            categorically impossible to dislike any band
                                                    frontman returns to town after a decade and a       whose singer goes under the name of Little
                                                    bit’s absence, the pioneering north London          Jimmy Urine, and the fanatical reception given
 Tuesday 16th                              songwriter back with a new band.        MSI last time they played the Zodiac is
                                                    OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon –                   testament to their good taste-baiting iconoclasm.
 SETH LAKEMAN:                                      Oxjam special.                                      A messy mash-up of electro, hip hop and punk,
                                                    SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks
 The Oxford Academy                                                FRIDAY 19th
                                                                                                        they’ve managed to support System Of A
                                                                                                        Down, Rammstein, Iggy Pop and Marilyn
 Even with competition from the likes of his
                                                    GRINNING SPIDERBALL: The X, Cowley –                Manson, although it’s Little Jimmy’s onstage
 old musical cohort Kate Rusby, Seth
                                                    First night of Grinning Spider’s weekend mini-      behaviour that’s as much of a pull as the music –
 Lakeman is the brightest star in the new
                                                    festival. Set times to be confirmed but bands       setting fire to his pubic hair, drinking his own
 English folk firmament. Like Pentangle in the
                                                    performing over the weekend include The             urine or simply inviting audience members on
 60s and The Pogues in the 80s, Seth
                                                    Cheesegraters, Space Heroes Of The People,          stage to punch him in the face, it’s all part of the
 Lakeman brings such a freshness and
                                                    Novakicks, The Dirty Royals, Kate Chadwick,         routine. Wouldn’t it just be fantastic if Jay Kay
 attitude to traditional folk music that it’s
                                                    The New Moon, Fork, Beaver Fuel, Script, Joe        from Jamiroquai invited the audience to punch
 hard to believe what you’re hearing is
                                                    Allen & Angharad Jenkins, Gwyn Ashton,              him in the face? The queue for tickets would
 essentially music that’s hundreds of years
                                                    Shirley and The Corvids.                            stretch for miles.
 old. His last two albums, the Mercury-
                                                    SEASICK STEVE: The Oxford Academy –                 SMILEX + FIGMENT + THE FOURTH
 nominated ‘Kitty Jay’ and last year’s superb
                                                    Three strings and an old wooden box – shouldn’t     CHAMBER: The Cellar – Smilex should
 ‘Freedom Fields’, cover such long-lost
                                                    make for this month’s most rockingest show, but     probably be supporting Mindless Self Indulgence
 subject matter as ghost stories from
                                                    it bleedin’ well will do – see main preview         tonight but instead they’re headlining their own
 Dartmoor, tales of Civil War battles and
                                                    OCEANSIZE: The Zodiac @ The Oxford                  evening of rock and roll mayhem, coming on
 handsome soldiers courting young maidens,
                                                    Academy – Convoluted, grandiose prog rocking        where The Stooges meet Motley Crue.
 continuing a generations-old storytelling
                                                    from the occasionally awesome Glaswegian rock       AN EMERGENCY + MEET ME IN St LOUIS
 tradition, but now with a 21st Century
                                                    behemoth that is Oceansize. Either the unlikely     + THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS: The
 rocket up its backside. Given the West
                                                    meeting point between Yes and Tool, or Black        Wheatsheaf – All angles covered at tonight’s
 Country shares as much cultural history
                                                    Sabbath infected by Tortoise, depending on your     Vacuous Pop gig with Exeter’s sharp-elbowed
 with Scotland and Wales as it does England,
                                                    point of view.                                      punk rockers An Emergency making it hard and
 it’s no surprise that there’s a rich celtic vein
                                                    REPUBLICA: The Oxford Academy – Hard                spiky in the vein of Q & Not U, while Meet Me
 running through much of Seth’s material.
                                                    house and trance club night featuring guest set     In St Louis spazz out in their wiry At The
 Lakeman is a powerful, emotive singer and
                                                    from Judge Jules.                                   Drive-In way, plus local indie rockers TTNG.
 guitarist but it’s when he picks up his fiddle
                                                    THE BLACK HATS + SEVEN YEARS ON +                   THAT FUCKING TANK + HREDA +
 that he really dazzles, with a style of
                                                    DAVE CORRIGAN: The Wheatsheaf – 60s-                CAPEMAN! + SHIELD YOUR EYES: The
 playing as close to Roy Williamson or even
                                                    inspired indie rocking from The Black Hats, plus    Port Mahon – Titanic sludge-metal onslaught
 John Cale as, say, Dave Swarbrick,
                                                    Swindon rockers Seven Years On. Dave Corrigan,      from Leeds’ monstrous duo That Fucking Tank
 emphasising its droning, psychedelic
                                                    son of Manchester City goalkeeping legend Joe,      at tonight’s Poor Girl Noise club. Math-rocking
 capabilities. A real star and a sure-fire bet to
                                                    opens the show.                                     support from local newcomers Hreda and
 be the first poster boy for the new folk
                                                    NURU KANE & THE BAYEFALL GNAWA:                     Preston’s Capeman!
                                                    Northwall Arts Centre, Summertown – Blues           TIM BRADY: Modern Art Oxford – New York
            THURSDAY 18th                           fusion from the Senegalese guitarist and guimbri    composer and songwriter (not to mention human
PREFUSE 73: The Oxford Academy – Man of             player.                                             rights campaigner) mixing up classical, electronic,
many faces Scott Herren brings his Prefuse 73       TAILFIN + NOVAKICKS + ATTIKA STATE                  jazz and world sounds into an edgy, eclectic
project to Oxford for the first time, promoting     + MICK WILSON DUO: The Jericho Tavern               whole.
new album ‘Preparations’, mixing up his             – Epic indie jangle from Wycombe’s Tailfin, with    SIDI GOMA & THE BLACK SUFIS OF
trademark glitchy beats with various guest rap      support from Slough-based emo crew Attika           GUJARAT: Wesley Memorial Chapel –
appearances.                                        State.                                              Exuberant devotional music and dance from the
PANIC CELL: The Zodiac @ The Oxford                 GYPSY JAZZ: Woodcote Village Hall – With            Sidi African-Indian band.
Academy – Vengeful thrash metal from London’s       rising UK gypsy jazz stars Robin Nolan and Ian      MELTING POT with RAY + SHALLOW
Panic Cell, promoting new album ‘What Doesn’t       Cruickshank.                                        CALL + TIM MATTHEWS: The Jericho
Kill Us’. What doesn’t kill people probably         FRESH OUT OF THE BOX: The Cellar –                  Tavern – Dark, sweeping indie rock influenced
wouldn’t be allowed on their album to be honest.    Rave special with a night of acid house tunes.      by the Bunnymen and Chameleons from Ray at
ALEXANDER THOMAS + SHAGGY                           GRIN CITY: Magdalen Arms – Funky blues              tonight’s Melting Pot. Trashy indie noise from
PARASOLS + EUHEDRAL + STRAY                         rock and pop.                                       Shallow Call.
GHOST: The Port Mahon – Another quality             THE BIG BLUE: Fat Lil’s, Witney                     UNDERGROUND ZERO + DR HAS BEEN +
bill of experimental noise from Permanent           BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon                     ASSASSINS OF SILENCE: Drayton Hall,
                                                    THE CORAL: The Oxford Academy –                       Mannequin State, plus jerky At The Drive-In
                                                    Merseyside’s eccentric sons seem to have grown        influenced noisemongers HPR and expansive
                                                    up with their new, fourth, album, ‘Roots &            indie rockers Kill The Arcade.
                                                    Echoes’, taking a turn, as the title suggests, into   JAZZ JAM: The X, Cowley – Jam along with
                                                    classic 60s-styled songwriting. Possibly because      Paul Jefferies’ in-house jazz band.
                                                    it was recorded at Noel Gallagher’s studio with       VINCENT VINCENT & THE VILLAINS +
                                                    The Magic Numbers’ producer behind the desk.          THE ANYDAYS: The Jericho Tavern – Fast-
                                                    There are more ballads than before but tonight’s      rising London cult stars, recently signed to EMI
                                                    gig should still feature plenty of their old          for whom they released ‘Johnny Two Bands’.
                                                    psychedelic soul and sea shanties.                    Following in the footsteps of The Libertines et
                                                    MR HUDSON & THE LIBRARY: The                          al. theirs is a more old-fashioned sound, with a
                                                    Oxford Academy – Former Oxford University             heavy 50s rock’n’roll twang and rolling surf
                                                    graduate Mr Hudson returns to his old stamping        rock rhythms.
                                                    ground with his odd mix of lounge jazz, soul, hip     CLUB DUB: The Cellar – Reggae club night.
                                                    hop and showtunes. Like Cole Porter crossed           OPEN MIC SESSION: Folly Bridge Inn
                                                    with The Streets.                                     OPEN MIC SESSION: Temple Bar
 Friday 19th                                        SUB POP SUNDAY + VESTIBULE + 13                                   THURSDAY 25th
                                                    GAUGE: The Port Mahon – Bishop’s Stortford
 SEASICK STEVE:                                     power-rock trio who don’t sound like a Sub Pop
                                                                                                          KATE NASH: The Oxford Academy – She
                                                                                                          must eat so many lemons because she is so
 The Oxford Academy                                 band at all.
                                                    SIMPLE REASON: The Bullingdon
                                                                                                          bitter, but she prefers your friends because they
 If you’re wondering why the Academy,                                                                     are much fitter – cockney kitchen sink drama
 having installed the best state-of-the-art PA                    MONDAY 22nd                             from the MySpace queen – see main preview
 system available, are playing host to a sixty-     GILES HEDLEY & THE AVIATORS: The
 something former-hobo armed only with a            Bullingdon – Midlands-based guitarist, singer
 three-string guitar and an old soapbox, you        and harmonica player and UK blues veteran with         Thursday 25th
                                                    a career going back to the 60s. Long-standing
 obviously didn’t catch any of Seasick
 Steve’s incendiary performances at various         favourite on the European blues festival circuit,      KATE NASH: The
                                                    Hedley’s rootsy slide and bottleneck guitar
 festivals this summer – from the Carling
                                                    playing, along with his simultaneous mouth and
                                                                                                           Oxford Academy
 Weekend to Green Man – or his astonishing                                                                 Love her or hate her – and some people
 appearance on Jools Holland’s last                 nose harp playing draws on traditional Delta and
                                                    Chicago blues, but given a funky edge by jazz-         really, really seem to hate her – Kate Nash is
 Hootenanny show. Seasick Steve (real name                                                                 now an unavoidable pop phenomenon and
 Steve Wold, so nicknamed because, “I               styled bassist Richard Sadler.
                                                    THE HOOSIERS: The Oxford Academy –                     it’s no surprise that tonight’s gig is already
 always get seasick”) left his Mississippi                                                                 sold out. The temptation to call her this
 home at age 13 and travelled the States as a       Exuberant melodic post-punk pop in the vein of
                                                    Squeeze, Dexy’s and XTC from London’s                  year’s Lily Allen (who initially championed
 hobo for years, in that time playing guitar                                                               her) is difficult to resist and it’s been
 with the likes of Son House and Lightning          Hoosiers.
                                                    THESE NEW PURITANS: The Jericho                        mentioned several hundred dozen times
 Hopkins. In the 60s he lived in Haight-                                                                   before but Kate is probably closer to The
 Ashbury; in the 70s he was resident on             Tavern – Fall-inspired pop weirdoes, coming on
                                                    with an oblique fusion of electro-funk, post-          Streets or Jamie T in her oddly
 Paris’ Left Bank and in the 90s he lived in                                                               conversational style, tales of crap
 the flat below Kurt Cobain in Seattle. He’s        punk and trance. That their debut album has been
                                                    produced by Gareth Jones, who has previously           boyfriends and whimsical observations
 been a session musician and a producer                                                                    backdropped by pubs, kitchens and the top
 (including working with Bikini Kill and            worked with Liars, Wire and Einsturzende
                                                    Neubaten, should tell you plenty about their           deck of the bus. Indeed, Kate’s celebration
 Modest Mouse) and, fifty years after                                                                      of the humdrum makes Arctic Monkeys
 leaving home, he released his debut solo           quality.
                                                    ALTAN: Nettlebed Folk Club – Gorgeous                  sound like Scott Walker. Her overt cockney
 album at the end of last year, having decided                                                             accent (real or assumed depending on who
 to return to his “song and dance” roots.           Scottish-Irish ballads and traditional jigs and
                                                    reels.                                                 you believe, and heavily mocked on the
 Playing with various three and even one-                                                                  ‘LDN Is A Victim’ single) is probably what
 string customised guitars and what he dubs a                     TUESDAY 23rd                             divides opinion the most and will doubtless
 Mississippi drum machine, his raw, fiery,          IAN HUNTER: The Oxford Academy –                       limit her shelf life, but here at Nightshift
 wonderfully emotion-packed blues                   Former-Mott The Hoople frontman Hunter                 we’re really rather fond of the ace
 nowadays sounds like a sound from another          celebrates his longevity and enduring cult             ‘Foundations’, although debut single
 planet.                                            popularity, kicking out those old 70s glam-rock        ‘Caroline’s A Victim’ was even better. Kate’s
                                                    hits as well as songs from his extensive solo          debut album, ‘Made Of Bricks’ was rush-
Abingdon – A space-rock spectacular in aid of       career, including his long-term collaboration with
Oxjam, featuring local psych-rockers plus special                                                          released by a record label obviously worried
                                                    the late, great Mick Ronson.
guest appearance from Hawkwind’s Hugh Lloyd                                                                she’d go out of fashion before the summer
                                                    JAZZ CLUB with THE HOWARD
Langton.                                                                                                   was out and 18 months from posting her
                                                    PEACKOCK QUINTET: The Bullingdon
OX4: The Bullingdon – Drum&bass club night                                                                 first song on MySpace to topping the charts
                                                    NIZLOPI: The Jericho Tavern – Low-key gig
with Prolific, Madcap, Ben E, DJ Lax and                                                                   is some going. Maybe she’ll be forgotten as
                                                    from duo Luke Concannon and John Parker who
Elements.                                                                                                  quickly as a Big Brother evictee, but for now
                                                    hit the number 1 spot a couple of Christmases
GRIN CITY: Temple Bar                                                                                      she’s worth enjoying.
                                                    ago with ‘The JCB Song’. Soulful folk-pop with
TALC DEMONS + ADAM MATTHEWS +                       an odd array of instrumentation (including
ALPHABET BACKWARDS + LEVERS +                       Parker’s human beatboxing and double bass).
YORKSHIRE LUKE: British Legion,                     VERTIGO: The Cellar – Indie club night.
Abingdon – Skittle Alley bands night.               SHUSH OPEN MIC SESSION: The X,
THE JOHN COUGHLAN BAND: Fat Lil’s,                  Cowley
Witney – Blues rock from the former-Quo chap.       OPEN MIC SESSION: Far From The
REDOX + THE PETE FRYER BAND: The                    Madding Crowd
Cavalier, Marston                                              WEDNESDAY 24th
               SUNDAY 21st                          MANNEQUIN WOODS + HPR + KILL THE
GRINNING SPIDERBALL: The X, Cowley                  ARCADE: The Wheatsheaf – Oxjam gig with
(12pm)                                              Local classic 70s-styled heavy rockers
CAPDOWN: The Zodiac @ The Oxford                    GAPPY TOOTH INDUSTRIES with THE
Academy – Final ever Oxford show from the           EVENINGS + LAST DAYS OF LORCA +
south Wales combat punks, out on their farewell     SPIDERWOODS: The Wheatsheaf -
tour after a heroic decade trying to smash the      Krautrock grooves and electro noise from The
system with the power of punk rock.                 Evenings, now reduced to a three-piece.
THEO: Modern Art Oxford – Inventive                 Angular, spiky guitar pop from Last Days Of
loops’n’drones’noise post-rocking from Theo.        Lorca, plus gothic trad folk from
THE SIRENS CALL + TIM MATTHEWS +                    Spiderwoods.
The X, Cowley – Oxjam event with local rockers      Port Mahon / The Duke – St Clement’s erupts
Sirens Call headlining.                             in rock and roll noise in aid of Oxfam’s Oxjam
SPIN JAZZ CLUB: The Wheatsheaf – With               festival with punk and metal bands playing           Friday 26th
The Paul Booth Band.                                across both venues.
PROJECT:DISCO: The Bullingdon                       COO COO CLUB with THE LONG
                                                                                                         SUPER FURRY
ELECTRICITY: The Cellar – Electro and
breakbeats with Slide’s Lee Mortimer.
                                                    INSIDERS + OX + THE RELATIONSHIPS:
                                                    The Jericho Tavern – Cinematic lounge pop
NINE-STONE COWBOY + OWEN                            and country rocking from the brothers Kenny.         The Oxford Academy
TROMANS + CAT MATADOR: The Jericho                  Psychedelic 60s-styled pop from The                  What’s left to say about a band who have
Tavern – More elegantly drunken rocking from        Relationships.                                       consistently been one of the most
NSC.                                                UNITING THE ELEMENTS: The X, Cowley                  innovative, inventive, eclectic and eccentric
OPEN MIC SESSION: The Half Moon                     – Return of the ever-touring German Euro-            in recent British pop? It’s perhaps ironic
BLUEGRASS & APPALACHIAN JAM                         rockers.                                             that the Welsh heroes were born into life at
SESSION: Fox & Hounds, Abingdon Road –              GET MASHED: The Bullingdon – Mash-up                 the same time as most of the Britpop crowd
Oxford’s only monthly old time American music       of hip hop, funk, reggae, electro house, breaks      and have existed in uneasy parallel ever since
jam session.                                        and drum&bass.                                       – similarly defined by their regional origins
SKYLARKIN: The Brickworks                           DANIEL KAYE + SCELFIE: Temple Bar                    but never constrained by the retro musical
               FRIDAY 26th                          HQ: The Cellar – Hip hop club night featuring        traditions of those other bands. The band’s
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: The Oxford                     the Shogun Assassins tour with Alix Perez, Icicle    oddly-compiled 2004 greatest hits,
Academy – Still away with the rock and roll         and Spectrasound.                                    ‘Songbook Volume 1’, is probably only
fairies, and thank goodness for that – see main     SHAKER HEIGHTS +                                     equalled by Supergrass’ ‘Is 10’ compilation
preview                                             SUPERDEADLYNINJABEES +                               in its buoyant celebration of everything a
SHY CHILD: The Zodiac @ The Oxford                  BEELZEBOZO: Stocks Bar, Abingdon –                   great modern pop band should be about –
Academy – New York duo who are leaders of           Mixed bill at tonight’s Skittle Alley gig with       always reinventing themselves and drawing
the American branch of nu-rave, if we’re to         Aylesbury’s melodic roots rockers Shaker             on myriad influences to make for a genuinely
believe what we’re told. What we know for sure      Heights, funk from SDNB and riff-heavy metal         original sound. Last month SFA released
is they have a guitar synth. Which makes them       from Beelzebozo.                                     their eighth studio album, ‘Hey Venus!’,
retro-futuristic cool in our book.                                 SUNDAY 28th                           having changed record labels, spent much of
JEFFREY LEWIS BAND + PROFESSOR                      AGAINST ME!: The Oxford Academy –                    the previous couple of years involved in
LOUIE: The X, Cowley – MyAnalog night               Florida’s melodic anarcho-punk pranksters            various solo projects (Candylion, Acid
with New York anti-folk singer Jeffrey Lewis        celebrate their major label debut, ‘New Wave’.       Casuals, Y Peth and Neon Neon) and
over in the UK to promote his new album, ‘12        ELECTRIC JAM: The X, Cowley                          working on an orchestral piece with
Crass Songs’ on Rough Trade. Supporting him                       MONDAY 29th                            composer Charles Hazelwood. They also
tonight is his uncle Louie, who’s been a spoken     ROB ZONCA BAND: The Bullingdon –                     recorded another album in tandem with ‘Hey
word and political rap cult favourite on the NY     Italian blues singer and bassist now hitting out     Venus!’ which will be released shortly. Busy
scene for the past twenty years.                    with his own band after 25 years as a session        chaps. So, psychedelia, melancholic acoustic
EVAN PARKER & STEPHEN GREW:                         man.                                                 folk, pristine guitar pop, nosebleed techno,
Jacqueline du Pre Building – Part of a UK           SANCTITY: The Oxford Academy –                       punk and plenty of lateral lyrical thinking.
tour by sax maestro Evan Parker with pianist        Anthemic metalcore from North Carolina’s             It’s all here if you want it. Along with stories
Stephen Grew and the string trio of Philip          Trivium-endorsed thrashers, over in the UK for       about dogs, Newton’s theory of gravity,
Wachsmann (violin), Dominic Lash (bass), Bruno      a short tour in support of debut album ‘Road         alien abductions, war and the weather. Some
Guastalla (cello).                                  To Bloodshed’.                                       of it in Welsh, some in English. Whatever,
THE WINCHELL RIOTS + 50ft PANDA +                   CUT OFF YOUR HANDS + THE ADS +                       they speak a universal language of brilliant
VON BRAUN: The Cellar – Big Hair club               THE PISTOLAS: The Jericho Tavern – New               pop music.
night with ex-Fell City Girl chaps Winchell Riots   Zealand new wave and 80s indie-inspired pop
headlining, plus rifftastic rocking from recent     types, fresh from supporting Foals on tour and
Nightshift Demo of the Monthers 50ft Panda.                                                             new depths of intensity, touching on such
                                                    sporting a distinct Cure feel.                      extreme bases as Swans, Sunn0))) and Carcass
FAIRPORT CONVENTION: Fat Lil’s,                     BRASS MONKEY: Nettlebed Folk Club
Witney – Special low-key show from the                                                                  along the way to total and utter oblivion.
English folk legends.
                                                                  TUESDAY 30th                          JAZZ CLUB with THE OXOFRD JAZZ
CONTRACT + THE MOTION +                             THE BLUETONES: The Oxford Academy –                 ORCHESTRA: The Bullingdon
PEACEMAKERS: The Jericho Tavern                     Once more into the Britpop breach, you noble        SHUSH OPEN MIC SESSION: The X,
SAM KELLY’S STATION HOUSE: The                      indie foot soldiers! Never let the world’s          Cowley
Bullingdon – Early show with lively funk rock       apparent apathy steer you from the undeniable       OPEN MIC SESSION: Far From The
from the renowned jazz drummer and                  truth that people really don’t care. But, hey,      Madding Crowd
band.                                               that mortgage ain’t gonna pay itself now, is it?                  WEDNESDAY 31st
BACKROOM BOOGIE: The Bullingdon –                   SEXTODECIMO: The Cellar – The mighty,               HIT&RUN: The Cellar
With guest DJ Aidan Larkin.                         monolithic Sextodecimo make a rare live showing,    OPEN MIC SESSION: Folly Bridge Inn
                                                    taking stoner metal and sludge-core to              OPEN MIC SESSION: Temple Bar
             SATURDAY 27th
YOUTHMOVIES: The Zodiac @ The Oxford
Academy – Quick-witted guitar mangling from         Nightshift listings are free. Deadline for inclusion in the gig guide is the 20th of each month - no
the mighty Youthmovies, now angling in proggier     exceptions. Call 01865 372255 (10am-6pm) or email listings to
waters – see main preview                           All listings are copyright of Nightshift and may not be reproduced without permission
TRUCK 10                                                The Cut Outs                                           Paris Motel

Hill Farm, Steveton
Arriving early for Truck on Saturday morning is
usually a good idea; you get to beat the queues,
pitch your tent somewhere that isn’t bristling with
thistles, and you get a couple of minutes to relax
before the marathon begins. This year it would
appear that the idea of having a festival in
September has put quite a few people off. Parking
is a doddle, the campsite is nearly empty, and as for
queuing, there’s no problem at all. After the literal
wash-out of the festival’s original July dates, is it
possible that this rescheduled Truck is going to turn                                                          Quarter Finals
into a metaphorical one?
 There have been plenty of muttering pre-festival
that this year’s line-up is a regression from past
years, but the organisers have been talking about
taking Truck back to its roots and, this being its       Fuck Buttons
tenth anniversary, apparently the aim is to bring
back a good few ‘old friends’ from past festivals.
While this does mean there’s precious little on
show you haven’t already seen before, or have no
desire to ever see, as ever with Truck, the joy is in
seeking out, or simply chancing upon, neat little
treats tucked away on the bill, below the radar of

Things don’t get off to the best of starts, though,
with Actress Hands in the Lounge Tent. Having
impressed us with a dimly remembered single some
time ago our spirits are dashed as they churn out
insipid indie that lacks charisma and decent vocals.    Do we really want to hear sensitive post-grunge,      means it’s mostly dumb, but you’d have to be a
Actress Hands: thumbs down; pull your fingers out;      fronted by a man whose voice cracks every other       pretty miserable soul to actively dislike it.
read the manual. Oh, somebody stop us!                  syllable? We don’t, which is why we shan’t be         Meanwhile, we’re going to start a support group
 Another band who impress us only to fall at the        seeking The Holy Orders out again. We                 for people like us who loved Piney Gir’s debut
final hurdle are The Gog. Catching their sound          preferred it when the Barn was full of metal bands    electro album, and have become deeply
check at the Market Stage they sound like a band        - even if they were rubbish they were at least fun.   disillusioned with her myriad novelty projects
drowning. The vocalist is hacking at her neck to         We promised ourselves we wouldn’t spend all          ever since. Can this cod C&W Roadshow
produce the kind of stuttering cacophony that           Truck watching our favourite local bands, and yet     malarkey and get back to the keyboards, woman!
you’d only find in the worst kind of porn movies.       somehow here we are before the mighty                 After that it seems only right that we go and see
When we catch their actual set, they’ve taken to        Stornoway once again. Maybe the main stage            some properly apocalyptic, hellfire preacher
wearing orange afros and descended into funk            sucks a little intimacy from their winsome folk       country. With the biggest beard at Truck, and the
grooves, which is something of a let down.              pop, but eco-jazz shuffle ‘The Good Fish Guide’       loudest acoustic guitar in the hemisphere, Josh T
They’re like forgotten local oddballs Dog, but not      still sounds gloriously like The Proclaimers played   Pearson smashes out his Bible-black dirges with
as good…until we see the programme and discover         by The Grumbleweeds, via The Divine Comedy,           arresting intensity. The cavernous sound is
that they are Dog. But not as good. That’s a bit        and we leave with a broad smile.                      strangely like Merle Haggard having a crack at
sad, really.                                             As Morrison Steam Fayre take to the stage the        drone-core, and as such is the best act so far.
                                                        sun is out. The Met Office, however, disagrees,
Enemies of lispers the world over, Restlesslist         suggesting rain. It’s as if they don’t have windows   Some respite from the folk appears in the form of
are an unusual bunch. Their first number is a limp,     there and just make it all up. Sun is definitely      Paris Motel. A nine-piece band featuring violas,
tinny post-rock bounce, a sort of 65 Minutes Of         needed for Morrison Steam Fayre, though, as           cor anglais and a host of other instruments create
Static, but then they suddenly throw in some big        their country rock sounds as if it’s been plucked     quite stunning orchestral rock. That might well
band samples, drag on a trumpet player, and it all      from the southern states of America. They then        conjure up images of Meatloaf, but the reality is far
sounds rather wonderfully like the incidental           go on to cover a Creedence Clearwater Revival         less contrived and infinitely more charming.
music to Batman. Things taper off again, but            tune and start a countrified folk theme that runs      Just when we thought things were getting just a
that’s probably because all the machines break,         throughout the weekend.                               little too relaxed this year, Blood Red Shoes
along with some of the guitar strings.                   On the Market Stage The Quarter Finals are           come along and shake things up. Performing to a
  Country rock is really the lingua franca of           kicking up something of a storm. Their Stooges-       Trailerpark tent that simply can’t cope with the
Truck, and Babel have a fair crack at it. There’s       lite punk pop is slightly incongruous for a tent      sheer number of people packed in to it, they
some enticingly slurred fiddle, but they really take    where the audience is normally sat down and           rampage through their garage punk. It’s the first
off when they get that floor to the floor hoe-          possibly sleeping. No matter, they deliver a clutch   time we’ve witnessed crowd surfing in the tent
down groove going. Hey, look, we’re literally           of pop-punk songs with plenty of attitude and         and as the barriers threaten to buckle and break
tapping our feet! Now we’re really in the festival      grace. If you needed a sleep at this point, you’d     things are starting to feel just a little bit chaotic.
vibe.                                                   have been well served at the main stage watching      A half hour of pandemonium later and it’s obvious
                                                        Monkey Swallows the Universe, who are                 that we’ve probably seen the best performance of
On the main stage the first highlight of the day        nowhere near as exciting as their name suggested.     the day, if not the weekend.
belongs to The Cut Outs. Yes they look a bit                                                                   To paraphrase a review of Waiting For Godot, at
goth; yes the power punk/pop is a bit obvious, and      When A Scholar And A Physician rap, it makes          a Fuck Buttons show nothing happens,
they are a little bit rough around the edges but they   Morris Minor & The Majors look like Public            perfectly. Huge distorted keyboard drones swirl
do at least try to inject a bit of energy into          Enemy. There are millions of them, and the            around the tent, punctuated by occasional
proceedings with a sound and look that is mere          whole experience is akin to a techno revue            percussion loops that all sound like the opening
steps away from Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.          performed by the cast of Why Don’t You? Which         of ‘Iko Iko’ by The Dixie Cups, for some
 Glenn Tilbrook                            Foals

 Piney Gir

inexplicable reason. It’s something like rave          SUNDAY                                                  instead of a band. If Oliver Postgate had made Twin
without the drums and something like death metal       Sticking our heads out of the tent on Sunday we’re Peaks in his shed after The Clangers, it would
without the songs. Ah, it’s just fucking great, go     shocked to see a Police Forensic Unit van parked        probably have sounded like this.
find out for yourselves. Most people watching,         up on the camp site. It appears these folk fans are      Hurrah for Mules! And furthermore, yippee!
though, seem to be in the tent to get in early to      worse than we expected and Truck has turned into        These are the kinds of things you’d be saying too,
ensure they see Foals, who are on next. Arriving       a lawless state overnight. This might explain the       if you saw this implausibly awesome band. If
early doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get to see       loss of 24 cans of lager that we had yesterday, but     inside of two minutes you don’t feel the urge to
the band. With the tent swelling to bursting point     are now inexplicably gone. That headache must be dance to their insane-o jittery beats, then it is
a decision is made to evacuate and ultimately pull     the result of a mugging.                                official: you are clinically dead. I’m sure this is
the gig. Moving Foals to the Barn for a later slot      Okay, what the fuck are Keyboard Choir doing what people in the States would be doing jazzercise
still doesn’t help matters. Before ¡Forward,           playing (a) at 11am; and (b) at the same time as to, if they only knew about it. Simply brilliant.
Russia! have even taken to the stage people are        Witches? It’s a disaster of barely manageable In the world of post rock, Hreda manage the
queuing outside to see Foals, and ultimately will      proportions. Anyway, it seems that the best cure for tricky art of being both pensive and cathartic.
fail to get in. As Foals’ set kicks off with those     a Boeing-sized hangover is to dance like your life Their guitars have obviously had a good massage
spidery little guitar riffs that intertwine and wrap   depends on it. So that’s what we do. And Keyboard by Steve Albini and they know how to work the
round eminently danceable riffs the room seems         Choir’s glitchy electronica provides the backdrop hypnotic angle to a tee. The slower sections of
to breathe a sigh of relief that anticipation and      for dancing like a loon. Their success lies in picking, their set give the odd feeling of being underwater,
high expectations do sometimes go rewarded. If         magpie style, from a wide range of samples and while the more textured blasts are akin to being
the hysteria that seems to surround the band           layering them, texture after texture, to create brought upwards to glide low over the ocean. No,
today is anything to go by, Foals will be the          something uniquely their own. Plus they have dancing scratch that: Hreda are the ocean: a large,
biggest band in the country by this time next year.    robots on stage, and what’s not to love about that? exquisite, glistening expanse that is all too easy to
As usual Yannis is the centre of attention, full of     On a more organic bent, Witches have also              get carried away by.
swagger and rock star poses. This seems to             cherry-picked a richly varied plethora of influences The Winchell Riots, meanwhile is the band
polarise his audience, but you can’t deny that he      and the resultant music is, quite frankly,              formed by halfof much missed locals boys Fell City
looks like he was born to front a rock band. Tear      astounding. Their ability to meld dark with light       Girl. They pretty much pick up where FCG left
your eyes away from him, and the stage is full of      has rarely been done better and they have a strange off, but have swapped some of the epic guitar
energy. Fingers cascade over fret boards and           power to totally and utterly rock, without ever         crescendos for stabbing snare rhythms. It’s
guitars are pounded with fists and all of it is done   sounding the least bit angry. Really, could there be a extremely promising stuff, with one drawback: it
with an air of total nonchalance. Despite the          better local band right now? Somehow we doubt it        may be the hangar-like reverb of The Barn, but
theatre of it all the best thing about Foals’ set is                                                           every song feels a tiny bit overly emotive. Stop
that here is something we can finally dance to.        Nostalgists that we are, it’s good to see a proper      twisting our arms, and start leading us by the hands,
                                                       old-fashioned backing tape, none of this laptop         we’ll end up coming a lot further with you.
Finally we make our way back to the tent, passing      nonsense. Unfortunately, Napoleon III’s beautiful
a young man being carted off in handcuffs. We          vintage reel to reel overshadows his songs, which       We feel bad that so few people investigate the
ponder that after years of metal and punk acts         are fine, but all sound a bit like Pink Floyd’s         Theatre tent, so we make another foray into it.
(including those supposedly notorious hell raisers     ‘Corporal Clegg’ without the chorus.                    Biggest cunting error of the weekend. Sunshines
Towers of London), whose fans are supposedly            Maybe some of us stayed up last night, but             is two drunk men, one of whom is wearing a dress.
wild and irresponsible, it takes a day packed with     Thomas Truax looks like he hasn’t slept in weeks. Think about that for a second – a man in a dress!
acoustic folk acts for us to witness what might        It doesn’t affect his fantastic performance any,        Anything could happen! It’s all wild and
well be the first arrest at Truck.                     though, which is a wobbly stroll through Tom            improvised! Fuck Thatcher! And so on. After
                                                       Waits’ notebooks with mechanical machines               they’ve spent ten minutes making the sound of a
 A Silent Film                                            Rolo Tomassi

                                     Baby Gravy

                                                          Idlewild                                                  Rachelle Van Zanten

cyborg farting from a little machine, and giggling,      playing along with a car alarm. We can’t get              just saying the words would lead you to believe.
we back swiftly away.                                    enough of it, frankly.                                    Imagine Melt Banana, The Locust, Mr Bungle as
 Ineptitude of a different sort in the Quilting Bee       We weren’t expecting a lot from Glenn                    your starting points. Then think of every single
tent as Seb from The Evenings and The Keyboard           Tilbrook but he manages to surprise us. He plays          other band you have ever heard of and pile them
choir sings whilst Chris from Harry Angel                and sings with an absolute passion. Obviously he          on top of each other in a crazy mish-mash
accompanies him inaudibly. It’s bloody awful, but at     breaks out old Squeeze numbers, but there’s no            of…craziness. Now you’re at least part way there.
least it’s unpretentious.                                harm in that; after all Squeeze did have the odd          This is like 1,000 years of teen angst condensed
  Having had their set rained off at last year’s truck   good song or ten. He closes with a cover of ‘Funky        into several short bursts of superhuman strength
(well before being flooded out became trendy) A          Town’ (which is unfortunately lacking anything in         invective. Sublime stuff, if you can handle it.
Silent Film are taking no chances, and are               the funk department) and the old Squeeze classic,
appearing in The Barn. Their epic pop benefits           ‘Tempted’, which manages to soar dramatically.            Over on the Main Stage headliners Idlewild keep
from being on the big stage. It allows the songs to      Tilbrook and his band inject some real energy into        everyone waiting for far longer than is polite.
breathe and in this room A Silent Film are bathed in     a song that is normally quite sedate and laid back.       After all, good things come to those who wait.
grandeur. One of the great things about Truck is         Performance wise it can’t be faulted, although it         Idlewild, though, are far from inspiring, seemingly
the way it can veer from such grand sounds to            does make us start to feel quite old to think that        going through the motions, Roddy Woomble in
something more quirky almost instantly. Baby             some bloke from Squeeze just played one of the            particular seems totally disinterested. They do
Gravy have had a line up change recently but it          sets of the weekend.                                      have some great tunes though, and as they launch
has changed none of their charm. Vocalist Iona            After a ‘severe weather warning’ we pack the tents       into ‘You Held the World in Your Arms’ you
exudes exuberance and attitude, pulling the band         away only to discover the loss of all our Pringles and    remember that Idlewild were always a great band
through their set of barbed off-kilter pop songs.        Haribo sweets. We vow to smash the next acoustic          who somehow always got overlooked. As Nought
You either love them or hate them; we assume the         guitar we see, but decide we’d rather see Pull Tiger      play to an almost empty Barn, the Main field is
girl who runs out screaming doesn’t like them too        Tail than Electric Soft Parade. Pull Tiger Tail sound     heaving. It would appear that this year’s Truck was
much; her loss.                                          amazing, taking all the best bits from grunge and         not the wash out it so easily could have been.
 We approach Rachelle Van Zanten with a little           layering a post-rock delayed guitar all over the top.     And then, finally, it’s nervous_testpilot who is
caution. That is an acoustic guitar and a distinctive    These are lush pop songs filled with just enough clout    essentially just a funny little man playing
country lilt we can hear after all. Just as we’re        to make them irresistible. Winnebago Deal follow          prerecorded music and doing a silly dance, but he’s
deciding to move on, she breaks out some of the          this polished sound with something that sounds like a     still a cracking end to the festival. High points on
most spine-tingling blues slide guitar we’ve ever        meat grinder hurtling through a crowded train carriage.   his hardcore odyssey are when he (ahem) “drops”
heard. It’s guttural and primal and dripping in          Raw and visceral as always, it almost doesn’t matter      `Apache’, and the brilliantly original sound of a
grime. We absolute love it. Unlike Piney Gir’s girl      that the only time you can hear Ben #1’s vocals over      squeaky toy making an acid house riff: all hail
pop ensemble The Schla La Las, who are                   the wave of sonic brutality is when he’s screaming        breakbeat Sweep! Standing at the back of the tent
basically a joke, and like most jokes, they don’t        like his lungs might escape through his twisted mouth.    watching the weekend’s casualties trying to dance
work a second time. Apparently this is their last        In fact that only makes us like them more. Older          to music that is officially too fast provides the
ever gig – hark to the rustle of a thousand Truckers     numbers like ‘Did It. Done It. Doing It Again’ get the    most wonderful memory to take home from the
shrugging.                                               biggest reaction, which consists of a swirling mass of    festival. It wasn’t the best lineup Truck’s ever had,
 The unwritten rule of Truck is that you’ll find         sweaty teenagers. The desired effect, then, for one       we’ll admit, but we’re still glad that the festival
your favourite act when least expecting it. We were      of Oxford’s hardest partying bands.                       managed to claw itself from the brink of its demise.
thinking time was running out for this epiphany,          And suitably, here come Rolo Tomassi to SCARE            We wonder what next year shall bring.
when we stumbled on Italy’s Disco Drive. There           THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE. This is a band
are three of them, but sometimes two of them play        for which the word frenetic was invented. Their           Words: Sam Shepherd, David Murphy, Matt
drums. All their songs sound like Q And Not U            material is so much more insane and complex than          Bayliss. All photos by Sam Shepherd
                                                                                                  YOUNG KNIVES / LITTLE FISH
Photo: rphimages

                                                                                                  The Carling Academy
                                                                                                  And so Little Fish become the first Oxford band to play the new
                                                                                                  Academy. But that’s the least of the reasons to remember their name. If
                                                                                                  Little Fish haven’t exactly come out of nowhere (singer/guitarist Julia
                                                                                                  Heslop and drummer Neil Greenaway both have local history with Dolly
                                                                                                  and Vade Mecum respectively) they’re one of the most fully-formed new
                                                                                                  bands to hit the scene in an age. Looking like The White Stripes in reverse,
                                                                                                  they make an almighty clatter for a two-piece, Neil thrashing his drums
                                                                                                  mercilessly even as he cradles his sticks like a lazy jazzman, while Julia’s
                                                                                                  voice is simply astounding – a raw but malleable mix of Janis Joplin and
                                                                                                  Sinead O’Connor that morphs to accommodate garage punk, gutter soul,
                                                                                                  strident folk and even Flamenco as the needs takes it. In a twenty-minute
                                                                                                  set there are at least three chill-down-the-spine moments. Most bands
                                                                                                  wouldn’t manage that in a lifetime.
                                                                                                   If we’d forgotten in any way, even for a few moments, just what a great
                                                                                                  band Young Knives are, tonight reaffirms everything we ever loved about
                                                                                                  them. Having taken a break from incessant touring to record their new
                                                                                                  album, they’ve regained that freshness and subtle lunacy that first made
                                                                                                  them local stars. Henry and House bicker and verbally joust throughout the
                                                                                                  set and seem, for the first time on a while, to really be enjoying themselves.
                                                                                                   Tonight is mostly about showcasing new material, and even on first
                                                                                                  hearing it stands up there with long-time favourites like ‘Here Comes The
                                                                                                  Rumour Mill’ and ‘The Decision’, both kicked out early: two near-perfect
                                                                                                  pop moments. Tonight’s opening track is dark and robotic, synths almost
                                                                                                  on an equal footing with the guitars, like Blur at their most experimental.
                                                                                                  New single ‘Terra Firma’ follows this trend, so militaristic you fully expect
                                                                                                  it to invade Poland before its three minutes are up. ‘Counters’ sounds like a
                                                                                                  frustrated bank clerk trashing the office in the middle of a nervous
                                                                                                  breakdown, while even the initially slight ‘Fit For You’ is deceptively
                                                                                                  hypnotic. It strikes you just how adept Young Knives are at cramming so
                                                                                                  much into consistently short, sharp hits, knocking you backwards with a
                                                                                                  killer hook or chorus even as they’re jittering around the fringes of post-
                                                                                                  punk’s confrontational awkwardness. ‘Coastguard’ is frenetic and
                                                                                                  cacophonous, while set closer ‘She’s Attracted To’ keeps a tight grasp on
                                                                                                  the handle of the mad-sane door. Fifty-five minutes, non-stop: short,
                                                                                                  sharp, sweet and not a little sublime.
                                                                                                  Dale Kattack

                   RUSSIAN CIRCLES                                                                JALI FILY CISSOKHO & THE
                   The Wheatsheaf                                                                 GRIOT GROVES BAND
                   It’s hot in here. It’s really, really   It’s 1972 again and Sabbath are
                   damn hot in here. Sweat drips from      reinventing hard rock. 1972?
                                                                                                  Burton Taylor Theatre
                   foreheads into pint glasses coated      Perhaps that’s also the temperature    Part concert, part gig and even          that his band utilises the bass guitar
                   with condensation. Over to one side     inside the Wheatsheaf in degrees       part lecture this evening is a           of Ame Diange rather than
                   there’s a behemoth of a man,            Fahrenheit. Listening to Russian       triumph for Jali Fily’s virtuoso         traditional West African
                   covered in tattoos, topless, stripped   Circles is like standing at an open    kora playing and warm resonant           instruments, alongside the djembe
                   down to his shorts and sporting         window listening to a storm. Like      singing voice. Jali Fily is a Griot      of Elhadji Seye. Ame and Jali Fily
                   muscles more at home at the rugby       the best storms they fall into         praise singer and a keeper of his        are sympathetic to each other’s
                   World Cup. Compared to Russian          pockets of calm, ponderous             culture’s oral history from a            playing, feeling each other out
                   Circles’ riffs, however, he’s a four-   contemplation. Now it’s like           family of Griots in southern             rather than clashing. I like the
                   foot midget.                            staring at the ocean: there’s no set   Senegal, and the evening shows           contrast of kora and Ame’s low-
                    Sometimes you don’t have to do         flow, just hypnotic eddies and         that for him music is a vocation.        key jazz and rock-inflected lines
                   anything too clever, just crank out     swirls and waves lapping closer to     His playing and singing doesn’t hit      and, also, the sparks when he and
                   those huge, all-consuming guitar        the flood defences.                    you over the head but captures           the excellent Elhadji improvise over
                   riffs and let them wreak their           Droplets of icy water trickle         you by stealth, even though you          Jali’s kora melody. For some the
                   damage; folks will be too               down your glass and through your       haven’t understood a word unless         bass guitar is too intrusive and they
                   preoccupied trying to prise             fingers. And then they’re lurching,    you know a smattering of                 are thankful when feedback
                   themselves from the back wall, or       like an ugly roar of thunder, back     Mandinka or Wolof. Suddenly you          gremlins end Ame’s contribution
                   simply too stoned, to care. Russian     into the billowing black clouds        forget that in the cramped seating       early.
                   Circles’ riffs come coated in soot      that mass as far as the eye can        of the sit-down, sold-out Burton         While not at ease doing the, “are
                   and volcanic ash; they’re black as      see. Forty minutes and it’s over       Taylor Theatre your knees are too        you having a good time?” ritual,
                   night and they cover you before you     and the silence is deafening. The      close to your chin and next door’s       Fily is relaxed, totally at home and
                   can run, like the hapless citizens of   prickly heat slowly dissipates as      elbows are in dangerous proximity        smiling when playing and singing in
                   Pompeii.                                people head for the exit.              to your ribs.                            his captivating, deeply traditional
                    The Chicago trio – over in the UK       Outside the air is cool and crisp,     Jali Fily has a very traditional kora   style. We are lucky he is now
                   supporting Tool and playing a           as only the greatest storm can         sound. Not for him adding extra          resident in Witney and part of the
                   handful of headline dates – match       make it.                               strings, or playing the kora through     local music scene.
                   the oppressive heat at every step.      Victoria Waterfield                    an electronic box. So it’s a curiosity   Colin May
                                                                                              THE GOLDEN W OK
                                                                                              Finest Chinese Cuisine Take-Away
GOBJOBS                                                                                              170 Cowley Road
The Cellar                                                                                                 (Opposite Tesco)
Never mind Dawn Of The Dead, this               parties and talks intensely and over-
evening it’s Night Of The Mental Singers.       earnestly to you about the cosmos and              01865 248158
One-man punch-up in an asylum Clanky            chakras. As her band play an odd funkified
Robo Gobjobs looks like a slightly              sort of art-punk, all bizarre jazz timings     Home Delivery Available
chubby, extremely camp jogger, dressed          and freeform jerkiness, she squeaks and
in tracksuit pants and dinosaur hoodie          makes breathless noises or recites poetry          Open 7 days a week
and is, incredibly, the meeting place           or simply blows a balloon up and makes it
between Anaal Nathrakh and the first            deflate noisily. It’s fun at first but soon
Depeche Mode album. Rinky-dink synth-           becomes wearing – they’re just too self-
pop is consumed by screaming and                consciously weird and she thinks she’s
hollering and nasty digital hardcore            Bjork.
beats.                                           Liam Ings-Reeves has his work cut out to
 When he’s not stomping around the near-        retain his crown as Oxford’s king of vocal
deserted dancefloor, Mr Gobjobs is              madness tonight then, but his Tom Waits-
convulsed onstage like he’s about to vomit      cum-Uruk-Hai bark is pretty peerless and
up his colon. And if that ain’t great           the band’s Parisian café band-kidnapped-
entertainment, what is? Occasionally you        by-Southern Baptist cannibals with a
wonder if it’s all just a pastiche of 80s       death metal fixation remains a wonderfully
performance art, but we make a mental           vile brew.
note to put the lad on in Borders at the         But tonight’s star is Eva Spence, petite,
next Oxford Punt. No, strike that, we’re        blonde teenage singer with Sheffield’s Rolo
going to market him as a children’s party       Tomassi, a girl who makes Linda Blair in
entertainer. There’ll be tears on the big day   The Exorcist sound like Judie Garland.
but you can guarantee the little blighters      The whole band look like they would be
will be quiet as mice for the next six          more at home sucking on lollipops than
months.                                         cranking out spazz-core mayhem and
 Abztraqt Sir Q are from Portugal and are       vomiting invective but for us they’re this
as unruly as their name suggests. They’re       year’s most startling new discovery. A
fronted by a strange woman in an ill-fitting    genuine extremeophile’s pop dream. Love
dress and crazy make-up, who looks like         them. Fear them.
the sort of person who collars you at           Dale Kattack

The Port Mahon
Pindrop Performance: what a fitting name        directions when one’s eyes remain
for late Sunday afternoon gigs. A lovely        closed. Brilliant.
earplugs-free affair, today’s gig is in          Whoever Barry Ray is, (whether he
collaboration with the experimental             exists or not), he must be a happy
Oxford/Wales label Fourier Transform.           chappy having a band dedicated to him.
Setting the norm for tonight’s ‘eerie’          The Australian/Swedish husband and
electronic improv mode are Divine Coils,        wife duo are eerie, yes, but enchanting at
an Oxford based bunch who excel in the          that.
creepy factor and not much else.                 The wife wields her weapon of choice:
Scratchy mosquito pulses are slightly           not a bow or plectrum, but a handheld
sadistic in their subtle affliction on the      electronic fan. With this she flitters
audience, and séance chimes put the             around a snare drum, creating relentless
listener on edge. Which leads to the            engine noises that sound piercingly
annoying nature of a lot of improvised          industrial but captivating and unusual.
live music: why does it all need to be so       FBD sound like a workaholic’s
flipping eerie?                                 daydream: tireless clutter and shuffling
 Welsh laptop improvisers Traw put on a         on a cold electronic desk, reverberations
rather more novel and entertaining              and warped splutters; it’s all very avant-
performance. Dominic Lash of Oxford             garde but definitely listenable.
Improvisers is at the forefront with his        Throughout their set a rather sweet
double bass, scratching and rattling away       toddler fearlessly traipses into the
whilst the three Welshmen get to work           stifling Port, indecipherably chanting.        ROCK-POP-DANCE-GOLDEN OLDIES-INDIE-
live-sampling him. The upshot is a              Hats off to a bloke who gave the mother       SOUL-TECHNO-HIP-HOP-JAZZ-LATIN-REGGAE-
succulent radiation from the Port’s PA,         a good telling off - and believe me you        DRUM&BASS-GARAGE—R&B-DISCO-1950s-
disorientating and feeding the imagination,     need to have balls to do that nowadays.         2000s. Brand new back catalogue CDs £4 - £7
which flies off in all                          Pascal Ansell                                     each. Brand new chart CDs £5 - £10 each
                            NEW YOUNG PONYCLUB
Photo: rphimages

                            The Carling Academy
                            First impressions? Shiny. Clean. Black. Tonight is the opening
                            night of the new Carling Academy Oxford (to give it its official
                            title) and it genuinely feels like the start of a new era. The main
                            downstairs venue bears no resemblance to what went before and
                            there are more subtle, but welcome, changes – you can get a drink
                            without queuing, and visit the loo without contracting typhoid.
                             Given the occasion New Young Ponyclub might simply be a
                            sideshow, but they exceed all expectations. Perhaps they lack a
                            bit of depth but they’re a class above the trendy Hoxton
                            playthings they’re sometimes dismissed as. Singer Tahita
                            Bulmer is the star of the show – a fabulously bored debutante
                            with a streak of dirty, low-down blues siren running through
                            her and the spirit of a young Debbie Harry in her veins. She’s
                            as much a cheerleader as vocalist, pumping the crowd up as
                            the band gradually up the tempo throughout the set, hitting
                            rich, electro-rock grooves and mining them with steely, robotic
                             Initially NYPC come across as some sort of hybrid of New
                            York New Wave and 80s synth-pop, Lou Hayter’s Numan-
                            esque keyboard lines dominating angular funk bass and guitar,
                            but as they crank up the party vibe, their disco edge comes
                            more to the fore, while Sarah Jones’ drumming becomes more
                            tribal and suddenly they’re the android Go! Team, infectious
                            and irresistible.
                             As Tahita herself points out, the Academy, whose stage
                            they’re christening tonight, is shiny and new just like New
                            Young Ponyclub. And she’s spot on. As the band kick out a
                            messy but fun cover of Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up The Jam’,
                            even those who’ve only popped into see what the new venue
                            looks like are moving their feet. After all the waiting, it’s a
                            near-perfect start to the modern age.
                            Dale Kattack

                   ACTION BEAT / TRAKTORS /
                   The Port Mahon
                   There’s hardly been a shortage of       bedroom, but should probably
                   opportunities to see the avant          stay there, involving as it does
                   garde, the leftfield and the            hitting guitars and playing around
                   downright weird in Oxford over the      with effects pedals to no great
                   past few years, but an all-dayer of     overall effect. Following the
                   such wilfully outré delights is still   clarity and vision of Elapse-O,
                   something to treasure.                  there’s really nothing to see here.
                   Dipping into this Permanent              Headliners Action Beat are
                   Vacation-promoted mini-festival’s       fabulous – in essence, two
                   evening’s programme, there’s an         drummers and multiple guitarists
                   early highlight with Elapse-O, who      playing what Glenn Branca might
                   manage to encapsulate all that’s        have come up with if he’d been
                   good about drone and still find time    born in Bletchley. Taking their cue
                   to enlist a member who spends           from all things no wave and adding
                   most of her time making                 some hardcore aggression into the
                   portentous hand gestures and            mix, they’re happy to build on a
                   setting fire to things. There’s         single motif until it becomes a
                   feedback and noise, sure, but it’s      moment of violence and joy at the
                   controlled so tightly that there’s      same time. In places it’s as if there
                   substance, warmth and in places         are two bands playing prime
                   real beauty to be had. The whole        early-80sSonic Youth
                   affair is underpinned by simple,        simultaneously, and where we
                   subtle beats, lending them the          come from, there are few higher
                   urgency of Sunroof!’s explosive         compliments.
                   improv alongside the clinical           A cause for double celebration,
                   majesty of ‘Zuckerzeit’-era             then: that such bands are out there
                   Cluster.                                making wonderful music, and that
                    By contrast, Traktors play the         there are outlets in Oxford for us
                   kind of music that is obviously         to enjoy them.
                   loads of fun to make in your            Stuart Fowkes
The Cellar
Once again the best comes at us         comments from the stage like “So
first in the shape of Casiokid & the    this is Oxford on a Saturday
Ultimate Soundfuse, a low-fi synth      night?”. This is a shame, because
outfit from Northampton, barely         ‘She’s An Eyeful In The Alley’ is a
three months old. Impressively          really great single and they’d have
strong, clear vocals and catchy         done better just playing us their
tunes come courtesy of song-writer      set. London bands typically
Jack Sunasky, providing the human       display a touch of arrogance, but
counterpoint to the 8-bit               it’s something that needs to be
monophonic meanderings of Ben           earned. This also reveals the
Varnell. They cite computer games       downside of MySpace in that
as their main influence and write       bands now quickly build up
gems like ‘Crying Over Myspace’,        thousands of ‘friends’, mostly
a classic modern love song if a bit     other bands, and turn up to a gig
minimal to break the charts. Like a     like this expecting to be greeted as
low budget Daft Punk, they’re a         heroes.
genuinely charming alternative to        Brighton boys This City continue
the legion of similar bands with        in a similar vein, only wilder and
their heads stuck up the 80s.           less studied. Plus they have the
 Data.Select.Party are into dancing,    sense to keep their gobs shut
and want us all to join in. Not a bad   between songs. Not dissimilar to
idea, as the songs are sharp and        Biffy Clyro, who they’ve
punchy in a Hard-Fi vein with a         supported, they’re almost there
pleasing disco backbeat, played         with the catchy punk pop thing,
with precision and vigour.              but the songs let them down. They
Unfortunately tonight’s typically       also leave a nagging feeling that
laid-back Oxford audience are           they’re here for their own pleasure
happy just to look on, supping          more than ours. Our lesson tonight,
their drinks. An uncomfortable          brethren: turn up early.
stand-off ensues, punctuated with       Art Lagun

The Cellar
“I’m a fat guy in a blue hoodie,”       it’s easy to carelessly classify
says the hooded fat guy, aka            them. Problem being, however, that
Clanky Robo Gob Jobs, to the            the most interesting music can’t be
techno-threatened, painfully trendy     planted in crass NME pigeonholes.
crowd. By day, CRGJs is a film          Seemingly bright-eyed and bushy
production student, but once the        tailed, even having come all the
moon is up he’s often seen at the       way from the other side of the
Cellar. Albeit for some miracle of      world, New Zealand’s fantastic
genetic science he’s neither a twat     four-piece So So Modern weigh in
nor does he sit around adding half-     at a terrific 600lbs of supreme
met friends-of-friends on Facebook      synth-endorsed math rock. SSM
or perform that sacred Mighty           immediately get a front-row dance
Boosh ‘tasty soup’ sequence. The        session started once they commit
boy is hilarious, but is no fun if      to the Cellar’s two feet of fame.
taken seriously. Filthy slabs of        ‘The New International’ is an
techno, brilliant ‘I’m a troubled       innocuous Battles romp, following
videogame fanatic’ histrionics and      the restless syncopated climax
jittery screams. Puts to shame the      ‘Fire Fights’. They’re like an
dreadful Baby Gravy set that            intelligent, hyperactive and very,
precedes him.                           very good version of the
 Transgressive embarrassingly           egregiously poor Klaxons. The
describe So So Modern as ‘disco         Kiwis’ sudden time signature
emocore thrash’, but this is pure       changes neither willingly mess with
fawning over their latest signing.      the listener’s head nor sound
It’s understandable: So So Modern       contrived. SSM only endeavour to
are deceptively near looking so like    get your noggin bobbing. And in
any other dance-y guitar band that      trying, they succeed tremendously.
when they do whip out the tunes,        Pascal Ansell
JONQUIL                                                                        ERASURE
Jacqueline du Pré Music Building                                               The New Theatre
The brushed light wood surrounds       mode - letting the multiplicity of      We all know what Erasure sound         The World’, out are Andy’s
of the Jacqueline du Pré Music         instruments on stage almost decide      like, don’t we? This is, after all,    flamboyant leotards and feathers,
Building are extraordinarily apt for   for themselves what’s going to          one of the most successful bands of    but in are glittery camouflage gear
Jonquil: comfortable and safe,         come next - than in ‘pro’ mode. On      the late-80s / early-90s, with well    and Jackson Pollock-inspired
emanating a quintessentially           record, Jonquil’s songs are great;      over 20 chart hits to their name.      suits. A sense of humour pervades
Oxfordian air of refinement and        running the gamut from quiet,            Even though the arrangements and      – Andy prances, struts, joins the
quiet superiority. Tonight is no       delicate Hood-style pastoral            even instrumentation may change        backing singers in cheesy arm
seething mass of punk rock             sketches to thick slabs of layered      (they recorded an album of             movements and even introduces a
mayhem, nor is it a showcase of        sound seemingly equally influenced      acoustic country and western           lamb puppet called Mint Sauce to
cutting-edge experimental              by Brian Wilson, Polyphonic Spree       versions of some of their old songs    ‘help’ him sing. The costume
envelope-pushing. However, what        and the folk music of Vashti            last year), an Erasure song is still   change interval is accompanied by
Jonquil do well, at least as well as   Bunyan and Incredible String Band.      unmistakable – not least due to        a pages-from-Ceefax ambient track
many of their peers both locally       They can certainly pull off this        Andy Bell’s distinctive voice. He      and a stream-of-consciousness
and nationally, is to create a warm    combination in a live context; and      could sing the Chinese national        monologue from screens on the
cocoon of sound that’s as rich as it   it’s a mightily impressive display      anthem and make it sound like a        stage, encouraging us to wave our
is straightforward: an odd             of arrangement and performance. It      torch song of loss and redemption.     hands like we’re on drugs, among
combination of MOR coffee-table        seems slightly lacking, however. It      There was a point in the mid-90s      other random thoughts.
musicianship and lush, carefully-      might be the bored look on the          where Erasure became very               So what about the new stuff?
orchestrated instrumentation.          faces of half of the band; perhaps      unfashionable – and songs from         Well, surrounded by the soaring
 Bookending the show tonight with      it’s the relentlessly languorous pace   that era are noticeably absent         catchiness of songs like ‘Chorus’
firstly an improvised set recalling    of their songs; but such private        tonight. But the hardcore support      and the anthemic ‘Love to Hate
the swells of sound created by         music seems to lose something           (now far more the age for Radio 2      You’, it doesn’t fare too badly.
‘Meddle’-era Pink Floyd combined       when played out in public.              than Radio 1) meant they reached       ‘Breathe’ – the only track from
with the desolate nature of             A very ‘Oxford’ band, then:            a point where they could afford to     2005’s ‘Nightbird’ here – is easily
Godspeed! You Black Emperor;           literate, confident and knowing.        put out whatever music they            the best thing since their heyday,
secondly a structured reading of       But somehow slightly shallow.           wanted without having to rely on       but recent single ‘Sunday Girl’
tracks from their first and            Perhaps that’s my own faux-             commercial success – which meant       isn’t too bad either.
(launching tonight) second albums,     Northern attitudes at play, perhaps     they stuck around long enough to        Nothing exciting enough to draw
Jonquil prove that they can hold       not. If nothing else, Jonquil are       benefit from the 2000s’ synthpop       in many new fans – but certainly
their own in terms of musicianship.    certainly thought-provoking, and        resurgence.                            enough to keep the existing ones
It’s somehow more refreshing,          that’s got to count for a lot.           On this tour, in support of their     happy.
though, to hear them in improvising    Simon Minter                            new album, ‘Light At The End Of        Kirsten Etheridge

  Corner Cowley / Marsh Road
         01865 776431

  Every Monday - Poker Night 7pm
  Every Tuesday – Shush Open Mic – Come
  Sing / Play / Listen. 8pm FREE; All Welcome

 Wed 3rd Ally Craig / Beaver Fuel / Shirley 8pm £3
 Thu 4th Grinning Spider presents Mile High Young Team / Back Pocket
 Prophets / House of Blue Dolls 8.30pm £4
 Fri 5th OXJAM with Scrambler / Toulouse / Augustus Turtle. £4 8:30pm
 Sat 6th New Moon / The Marmadukes / Les Clochards 8.30pm £4
 Sun 7th Electric Jam - Come jam with the The X Men. 8pm FREE
 Wed 10th Jazz At The X presents J J Soul With The Paul Jefferies
 Quartet 8pm £5. Dinner Menu Available
 Fri 12th Gammy Leg Productions presents Cyrus / Loopy / The
 Drugsquad 8pm £4
 Sat 13th Wittstock Fund Raiser withVon Braun / Mark Bosley & more 8pm £4
 Sun 14th Heather Dale / Doug Hodge / Faceometer 8pm £4
 Thu 18th Port Erin / Blindride / Rubber Duck 8.30pm £4
 Fri 19th / Sat 20th / Sun 21st GRINNING SPIDER BALL 3 DAY BALL.
 Please check the website for the line up on each day nearer the time.
 £4 each day. Concessions for anyone wearing evening dress. In no
 particular order: Cheesegraters / Space Heroes of The People / Nova
 Kicks / Emerald Sky / Sam Pope & Elise / The Dirty Royals, Fork / Beaver
 Fuel / Kate Chadwick /Dan Austin / 100 Resolutions / The New Moon /
 Script / James Bell /Joe & Angharad / Gwyn Ashton / Shirley / Jeremy
 Hughes / City Lights Just Burn / The Corvids / Spokane & more!
 Wed 24th Jazz At The X Presents A Jazz Jam. Come and jam with the
 house band led by Paul Jefferies. 8pm FREE
 Thu 25th SelectaSound Presents - An OXJAM Fund Raiser with The
 Sirens Call / Tim Matthews Band & more TBC 8pm £4
 Fri 26th MyAnalog presents The Jeffery Lewis Band / Professor Louie
 & More TBC 8pm £6
 Sat 27th Uniting The Elements / The Spring Offensive 8.30pm £4
 Sun 28th Electric Jam. 8pm FREE
                                                                               DR SHOTOVER
          Your essential guide to Oxford music                                      Zodi-Ac-Ademy and the Love Reaction
Never mind MySpace and all that “we sound like John Lennon rocking                Yes, yes, it IS very exciting, I
out with Hendrix as Johnny Cash looks on approvingly” self-                       know, it’s just opening up again...
aggrandising bollocks. You want to know what all the local bands really           but mind you, so is my old war
sound like? Nightshift has the truth. We discovered it scribbled on the           wound. Anyway, I’m sure you’ve
back of a crumpled Campaign For Real Ale newsletter whilst picking                all been trying to get on the
ourselves off the pub floor one afternoon when we were meant to be                interweb to buy tickets for the
writing some proper reviews. Here’s the real lowdown on some of our               Led Zeppelin reunion (personally
local pop heroes. More next month if we can be bothered.                          I couldn’t care less - they were
                                                                                  called the New Yardbirds last time
BAND                         WHO THEY THINK WHO THEY ARE IN                       I looked). But here’s a bloody
                             THEYARE        THE REAL WORLD                        extraordinary thing I heard from
                                                                                  Tubby Marchington the other
Ivy’s Itch                   Babes In Toyland                 No Doubt            day.... Apparently the lead (or
The Walk Off                 Rammstein                        Yazoo               Led) singer chappie, Roger Plant
Headcount                    Killing Joke                     The Toy Dolls       or whatever his name is, has
The Joff Winks Band          Steely Dan                       Shakatak            bought a house in Yarnton. You           Jimmy Page is moving to Reading
Borderville                  Ziggy Stardust                   Alvin Stardust      know, the one with the Garden
Smilex                       The Stooges                      The Macc Lads       Centre... oh, hang on, I get it. This is a Plant joke isn’t it? Ve-ry fun-
Radiohead                    Autechre                         Vangelis            ny. I do not think. I suppose next you’ll be telling me George Bush
Baby Gravy                   X-Ray Spex                       The Mini Pops       has rented a cottage there too... Anyway, if by ANY chance it WERE
Young Knives                 The Pixies                       The Weather Girls   true about old Planty, perhaps he and the chaps could consider
Winnebago Deal               Black Flag                       Chas’n’Dave         playing at the All-New Carling Academy... I mean it would be just
Dive Dive                    Fugazi                           Fightstar           down the road, wouldn’t it? I might even stir me stumps to get along
Sunnyvale Noise Sub-         Kraftwerk                        Trio                myself, even if I can’t smoke in there any more... Meanwhile, I feel
Element                                                                           that this column should be sending its heartfelt sympathies to Mickey
Goldrush                     Flaming Lips                     REO Speedwagon      from Supergrass... I’ve had a few nasty sleep-walking accidents
Foals                        Battles                          Kajagoogoo          myself in my time, especially after a few brandies... my advice is,
Mr Shaodow                   Bruce Lee                        Hong Kong Fuey      always get some popsy to handcuff you to the bed if sleeping in a
The Relationships            The Relationships                The Relationships   room with a balcony. I learned that from a roadie (with the New
                                                                                  Yardbirds). Ahem.
(* - note to bands concerned - if you are offended in any way, it was all         Next month: Snarling at the Carling.
Mac’s idea, okay?)

             Red Mosquito Events present…

                     Wednesday 24 October
           The Wheatsheaf, High Street, Oxford
                  Doors open 7:30pm
                  Tickets £6 on door

                An Oxjam event for Oxfam registered charity number 202918
Please read the conditions below before submitting a demo,or we won’t
review it.

          Matt Winkworth claims that his demo is in a
THE MONTH bit of a different genre to most of what gets
          reviewed in Nightshift, so we’re expecting a
                                                  bit of Tuvan throat singing at the very least.
XMAS LIGHTS                                       Instead we get some piano-led pop with a
Help! The ceiling is caving in! War has           slightly fey indie-leaning feel to it. Which,
broken out and you can hear the screams of        unlike wide-mouthed frogs, you do tend to
the dying. Tall buildings collapse and flights of see quite a lot of round here. Admittedly
stairs fall down flights of stairs. It must be    Matt’s got a bit of a theatrical thing going
another Xmas Lights demo. No ballads yet,         on, whether it’s seemingly practising his
then. Thank the Lord for that. Instead it’s       scales in the shower as on winsome demo
maniacal spazz-metal, elegantly sombre            opener ‘Infatuated’, or leading the chorus
electronic drones and blast beats, all topped     line in an apparent audition for Any Dream
off with Marco Ruggiero’s alternately hellish Will Do on ‘Just Like The Movies’, that
yelping and Gregorian chanting. ‘You’ll Grow oddly ends up sounding like an old Belle &
Out Of Us In Ten Years’ is a shrieking and        Sebastian demo. ‘Prologue’ is his
growling contest over some bad-tempered           overwrought show-stopper number with its
doom-metal that discovers some previously         call-and-response vocal with a female
unnoticed proggy tendencies halfway through. backing vocal. Add in some hushed strings
Four tracks clocking in at a mighty 45            and brass, self-consciously quirky lyrics and a
minutes, Xmas Lights, as ever, give precious      final number that could well be Gong
little quarter, raging, screaming and             performing a provincial amateur dramatic
bludgeoning their way chaotically through the version of a Rodgers and Hammerstein
rest of this month’s demo pack who can            musical and you have to at least admire the
merely cower in the corner wishing they had       ambition in what is essentially a bedroom-
sharp-edged weaponry like this. When they do bound project. Doesn’t stop it all getting on
loosen their grip on the musical machete, on your tits a bit by the end, mind.
the overlong industrial funk meander of the
unnamed final track (including a narrative
from someone who apparently “fucking hates       AMV
that band Xmas Lights”), they do themselves Now, if Mr Winkworth really wanted to send
a disservice, sounding like a half-arsed          us something beyond our normal musical
rehearsal jam. At its best though, it’s like an   remit, he could take a leaf out of AMV’s
opera. Without the love story element. Or         book. AMV stands for Articulus Mediae Vitae,
the fat lady singing. Just the gory murder        which is what OMD were called in the late
scenes played out again and again and again       13th Century. Articulus Mediae Vitae actually
until the audience vomits up its G&Ts. Which means Mid-Life Crisis and is the project
Xmas Lights duly sample and spit back at the formed by local improv luminary and
hapless onlookers at terrifying volume until      Dubwiser keyboard player Malcolm Atkins
their eyeballs pop.                               who here revisits and updates four pieces of
                                                  music from the 13th and 14th Century,
                                                  performing them on violin along with
                                                  keyboards and tabla as well as vocals from
UNSPOKEN                                          Liz Hodgson. The end result is somewhere
                                                  between chamber music, monastic chanting
HEROES                                            and north African devotional music; it’s
Wahey! More screaming! Screaming is good. gently soporific in a not unpleasant way,
Especially if it’s the screaming of rightwing     although our knowledge of music 700 years
American politicians on the receiving end of back is patchy to say the least, although
rusty bayonets, but that’s just a jolly daydream apparently the must-have fashion accessory
we indulge ourselves in occasionally. This        amongst trendier members of Henry V’s
screaming is of the nasty hardcore angry          court was an early Circulus t-shirt sporting
young man variety – a bit like Xmas Lights        the legend Keep Music Med-Evil.
but without the feeling they could actually do
you some seriously bodily harm. Guitars
churn, drums thunder and crash and voices cry    TERMINAL STATE
out for vengeance and everything scurries past Terminal State is the solo electronic project
with great haste, like a completely batty bag     of Wadham College student Gianni Vesuviano,
lady running down the street warning of the       which is a great cool name, since it makes him
apocalypse whilst being chased by giant           sound like a volcano. And he’s drawn a picture
cartoon hammers. Doubtless Unspoken               on the front of the CD sleeve which we’re not
Heroes owe most of what they know to the          quite sure about. It might be the mushroom
likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, but if only a     cloud from a nuclear explosion, which would
few of the other bands on this page could         be in keeping with the band name, but equally
claim a similar debt, how the world would         it could be a chef’s hat. Or perhaps a
mend.                                             malformed and rather rudimentary penis. All
of which is as mixed up as the music on
opening track ‘Static Rush’, a suitably frantic   UXL
buzz storm of breakbeats and swarming              UXL’s album-length CD arrives in a
keyboard squiggles that trip frantically over      beautifully-presented package, complete with
each other in their blind panic to get to the      some full colour photos of the band, including
exit door before the nasty spooky voice from       one of the stylishly-coiffeured singer at the
‘A Force To Behold’ gets to them and cooks         microphone in a moment of intense emotion.
their livers for supper. The rabid gothic gabba    And he’s praying! Possibly calling on God to
assault continues through ‘I’m All Yours’          guide his lyrical arrows into the heart of some
before lurching into metal-bashing industrial      lucky, lucky lady. Or maybe he’s just praying
dub for ‘Discharge’ which initially carries a      that his daft manager won’t include any
similarly distorted punch and refuses to settle    embarrassing pictures of him when she sends it
into a comfortable groove, preferring to dig       off to Nightshift. Because then we might laugh
itself an ever deeper, darker hole to sit and      and point and call him a WANKER. And then
scowl in. Good stuff. Especially if you want to    we might laugh and point at his band’s
upset the neighbours at 4 in the morning.          billowing cloud of fart gas that passes for
                                                   music and sneer at the “wide and eclectic” list
                                                   of influences that range from Led Zep and
                                                                                                       THE COURTYARD STUDIO
DOTS AND STOPS                                     Pink Floyd to U2 and Muse (hey, that covers        PROTOOLS HD2, MTA 980 CONSOLE 32/24/
Talking of 4 in the morning, we’ve a feeling       everything from stadium rock to… er…                  24, OTARI MTR90 MK2 24 TRACK TAPE
that might have been the time Dots and Stops stadium rock! A-fucking-mazing). The reality               MACHINE, 2 TRACKING ROOMS, SUPERB
first turned on their tape recorder, the           of course is that UXL bare no resemblance           CONTROL ROOM WITH GOOD SELECTION
assorted musicians here doubtless having spent whatsoever to any of the above, sounding                   OF MICS & OUTBOARD GEAR, + MIDI
the previous few hours DRINKING! And               more like Robbie Williams making a vain and            FACILITIES (INC LOGIC AUDIO, AKAI
TAKING DRUGS! And here is an album-                ultimately teeth-grindingly awful stab at               S1000, OLD SKOOL ROLAND ETC.)
length demo of the ensuing semi-comatose           lightweight emo. Check out those constipated
chaos. At its best it sounds like a campfire jam power ballads, kids! Ooh, and what’s this?             Residential facilities included.
session by a group of Pavement fans,               Some more power ballads! Lighters aloft: 
doubtless revelling in its lo-fi ineptness while we’re gonna burn these fuckers alive.                     PHONE PIPPA FOR DETAILS
assured of its left-leaning authenticity. In fact,                                                            ON 01235 845800
had the band spent more times, making the
best two or three tracks here (the Velvets-y
folk of ‘For All The People Who Wear Their            THE DEMO
Hair’ and the 60s garage rock-leaning ‘Do We
Depreciate?’) sound less like something the            DUMPER
cat just mauled it might be less of a torture
session than it soon becomes. In the end it’s
little more than an exercise in over-indulgent    INLIGHT
whining and haphazard acoustic thrash, a           Well here’s a turn up for the books: after
private joke that gets lost in translation.        UXL’s barrel-scraping careerist rock
                                                   putrefaction has us frothing at the mouth in
                                                   almost neanderthal rage, here comes
THE ENDGAME                                        something that is, unbelievably, even worse.
It’s a brave band who send a demo into             Treading a similarly soulless MOR rock path,
Nightshift citing The Kooks as a major             InLight might as well tattoo “Mature” and
influence. Or perhaps a very stupid one. Why “Accomplished” on their foreheads, just so we
not just write, “Hello Nightshift, we rubbed       appreciate how, well, mature and accomplished
our CD in some dog poo before we sent it in        they are, as if it’s some kind of virtue and not
so you would like us even more”. Of course we an affliction worthy of a lifetime of solitary
make all sorts of enemies in these                 confinement and regular injections – just for
circumstances since we’re faced with a band        the hell of it, of course. Their CD collection
who play well, sound like they could be            obviously has no room for such giddy
bothering the lower regions of the charts with pleasures as The Dickies or Shonen Knife and
a bit of luck and could probably have a room is all the poorer for it. Instead we get an
full of eager, if naïve, young people bouncing overly-earnest bloke repeating the line
merrily up and down for forty five minutes.        “Don’t you see that I’m fragile” over and
But they sound like the bloody Kooks!              bloody over again alongside a histrionic guitar
Y’know, not just a little bit like The Kooks. A solo until you want to hurl him, like a twee
whole big fat lot like The Kooks. It’s slick,      porcelain ornament, across the room and
daytime radio-friendly harmony pop that            hope he breaks into tiny pieces. Of course
would sit snugly in a Woolworth’s advert for       there’s the inevitable piano-led ballad,
one of a dozen or so recent identikit Britrock `Bridges’, all twinkling electric keys and sub-
tryers whose injection of a few 60s vocal          Elton John lamentation, that so desperately
harmonies into some lightweight punk-pop is craves to be described as “soaring” but has
now passed off as alternative by a music media cliché crawling over it like lice on a sickly
desperate not to upset the corporate               dog. “You’ll miss me when I’m gone” whines
advertisers. And of course it’s completely out the singer on `Give It A Try’. Funny that
of order to heap so much guilt on a group of       since the CD has been in the bin for a good
cheery young chaps from Headington who just half an hour now and we’ve felt no urge to
want to play some pop songs and maybe get          retrieve it. A rotting banana skin, however,
some girls to love them. But, Christ, they         has started to complain that the
want to be The Kooks! Unforgivable.                neighbourhood has gone down the pan.

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. Nightshift accepts no responsibility for deflated egos.

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Description: Issue pmd night sweat