October 6, 2013 by Robb Powell
Wow. I have let the whole month of September pass by without publishing a post. Not even a brief passing ‘hey’. Indeed, this is not good. Where the hell have I been, you may or may not ask? As an Oxjam Music Festival gig maker I’m afraid ALL of my time is currently occupied with that. I knew it was going to be a mission and a busy one. I don’t think I expected it to swallow up quite as much time as it has done thus far. Still, it is all for a really great cause and as mental as things are I am really quite enjoying it. In order to crack on with lots more promo, given my first gig is fast approaching in now less than two weeks (scary) this will be a brief-ish post. Or at the least it will be waffle-lite you’ll be glad to discover. It will also be bit of an Oxjam Northampton special featuring music, videos of and links to some of the musicians and bands kindly performing at the events currently planned. I will have shared a few of them before, perhaps even more than once but it’s all about sharing great music here as you know.
A quick waffle about September then before I crack on with things. The month started in spectacular fashion for me when I went to see the legend that is former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant in Wovlerhampton. Magical, fantastic and with enough awe to make mountains crumble to the sea…..oh hang on, apologies I seem to have just clicked into the lyrics to Thank You there. Starting with the Led Zep classic Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You, the goosebumps started and I don’t think they left me for the entirety of the night. Plant and his current band The Sensational Space Shifters played a few other Led Zep favourites including Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Ramble On but for me the icing on an already delicious monster of a cake was the stunning version of Going To California. The set list was golden with both new tunes, covers and some from Plant’s solo back catalogue, including an enticing version of Big Log to finish before the encore. Magnificent!
The following night I was awestruck while watching the Sigur Ros live stream via iTunes. The band had performed at The Roundhouse for the iTunes Festival the previous night while I was at the Robert Plant gig. Incredible! This band have to be possibly my favourite live act ever. It takes something to reach such a top spot considering how many bands and musicians I see these days and have seen over the years. I saw them in March and while I cannot really afford to see them on their return tour which is imminent, watching this made me want to anyway. In fact, I was even toying with the idea of combining a trip to Norway to see them there. Two birds, one stone and all that but let’s not get murderous with the birds now, eh? That’s just not very nice is it? Instead let’s play the birds some Sigur Ros. An amazing band. Madness given how busy I am I still haven’t yet got hold of that latest album. I’m on it. Thinking of it, there’s much and more I’ve not managed to listen to yet. The 30 Seconds To Mars album has passed me by, as did their iTunes Festival live stream which I really wanted to see. Hopefully it may still be available. I hope so. Either way and if I don’t buy it right away I need to get back on to Spotify to check out the album. I wouldn’t call myself a mad for it Arctic Monkeys fan by any stretch but I do like checking out their stuff so I would like to check out their new record too. I think I’m lining up December for all this. A hibernation, catch up and chill out month. I’m trying to get in as many episodes of the New Who (Doctor Who) before the 50th Anniversary extravaganza as well but I’m still only mid way through series 2. Amongst watching other things but I won’t wander down that road here. Time is of the essence.
The live music continued on Saturday 7th. This time it was a trip down to Oxford to see the relatively new band Wild Swim at The North Wall Arts Centre. These guys really impressed me as they opened up Truck Festival’s Market Stage in July. The power behind Richard Sansom’s voice is honestly like no other I’ve heard recently. In fact, the whole collective ensemble feel generated from all band members is just perfection. I see a lot of bands and while the chemistry is often evident from the music, this is possibly the tightest I’ve seen a new band look and feel together. It’s as if they are somehow psychically linked. It was spectacular and you really need to check them out. Their brand new track New Dawn is below and while their recorded sound is spot on trust me when I say they are a phenomenal live band. Miss them at your peril!
Fast forward a week and it was nice to stay home as Nick Harper played the Legendary Northampton Labour Club. It’s a shame more people weren’t there although there were a good few and we certainly made him feel welcome. Again, power seems to be a word I use frequently but you cannot help but be transfixed when hearing it from these singers. That is power, right? I ended up not talking to myself (erm?) after the gig because of just how amazing Nick was and the fact I’d not seen him live since catching him supporting The Levellers back in 2008 at their 20th Anniversary special show at The Royal Albert Hall.
Earlier in the month also saw the release of the White Clouds And Gunfire debut album For All The Non Believers. Absolutely love the record and here’s an acoustic video you need to check out before you go buy it from their website.
Okay, okay – the way things are going that’s a whole post right there but hold on. You must know me by now and after such a long time I have so much more for you. Let’s crack on with some tunes from the Oxjam lot shall we? I think so!
OXJAM NORTHAMPTON TOUR 2013
SATURDAY 12th OCTOBER
8, Alexandra Terrace, Northampton, NN2 7SJ
Acting as a launch for the Oxjam Northampton Tour, this will be an informal in-store acoustic busk event between 12 & 5PM. Local musicians are welcome to come along and sing some light tunes on this Saturday afternoon. Donations from the public/shoppers/audience will be most welcome of course and tickets for a couple of the Oxjam events will be available to buy in-store.
FRIDAY 18th OCTOBER 2013
LIVE AT THE PICTUREDROME
222 Kettering Road, Northampton, NN1 4BN
Get yourself down to The Picturedrome on Friday 18th October and enjoy an evening of fantastic live music. As part of the month-long nationwide Oxjam Music Festival, this local event promises to be spectacular. Singer-songwriter Will Rogers will be opening followed by alternative rock band Party In Paris. Visiting band Puppet Rebellion take the first headline slot before indie trio The Scholars close the night.
Tickets £7/£5 NUS – Doors Open 7:30PM. 18+
Spectacular online ticket offer for £3 each at www.buytickets.at/oxjam
Tickets will also be available on the door on the night.
There has been a superb offer for online tickets recently for just £3 each. Bargain when you’re getting such a quality night of live music at a top local venue. The offer ends Monday 14/10 at midnight so there is still time for you take advantage of this amazing offer. Quick. Hurry. Bag yourself a fantastic bargain. From Tuesday 15/10 the online tickets will rise to £5 each. Still a fantastic price for a night of quality live music at such a stunning venue.
Must just say a big well done to Will for making it through to the Area Finals of Open Mic UK last night at the NEC Regional Final. It’s attending such events that makes you realise just how many talented musicians there are out there who are in it for the need and want to live their music as opposed to the desperate wannabes of a certain ‘talent’ TV show that is back for its *yawn* tenth year. All the best to Will for the next stage.
PARTY IN PARIS
SUNDAY 20th OCTOBER 2013
ACOUSTIC NIGHT AT THE PENNY WHISTLE
31-33, Abington Square, Northampton, NN1 4AE
Fresh from opening the gig at The Picturedrome on the Friday night, the ever busy Mr Will Rogers will also be performing at this acoustic night at The Penny Whistle pub. The second Oxjam event and in association with Closer To Home Promotions, this will bring you a variety of acoustic artists to get you in a nice chilled out mood. Also performing are local musicians Lou Bird, Sam Amos, The Attempt & Ian Bourne.
Tickets £2 ENTRY ON DOOR – Doors Open 8PM. 18+
OXJAM AT THE RACEHORSE
**Following the recent closure of The Racehorse pub it was hoped and believed up until only yesterday that this event would be good to go ahead there as planned on Sunday 10th November. Sadly, it has now been confirmed that The Racehorse is unlikely to be reopening any time soon and so this particular Oxjam event is currently in jeapordy. Local venues have been contacted but nothing has been agreed as yet. All updates will be at the Facebook page and even if the date cannot be held at another venue there is hope the event can perhaps be rescheduled for another time once a venue has been fo. It is really sad this has happened but I’ll still share some music from some of the bands who were to perform.**
Bands that had kindly confirmed and been announced so far included Kalashnicult, Dead Frequency, Distilled, Of Blue Skies And Youth & The Young And The Restless.
OF BLUES SKIES AND YOUTH
THE YOUNG AND RESTLESS
These guys are brand spanking new and currently working on their EP.
FRIDAY 15th NOVEMBER 2013
ACOUSTIC FOLK NIGHT AT THE LABOUR CLUB
95-97 Charles Street, Northampton, NN1 3BG
This live event as part of the Oxjam Northampton Tour is set to become a bit of an acoustic folk marathon. It will see 5 quality local acts take the stage at The Legendary Labour Club. Performing on the night will be Lew Bear, Phoebe Louise, Fran Taylor, Kenneth J Nash (featuring Fran Taylor) Apollo’s Mob. Having recently seen the awesome Nick Harper at this venue, I can guarantee the acoustics are sublime.
Tickets £3 – Doors Open 8PM.
Now, I did only share music from some of these acts in the last post but that was so long ago now, more needs to be shared.
Originals are always important to me but when covers are done so superbly and are of songs that are really important to me, they should get equal love and sharing. Like this one of Christy Moore‘s Ride On by Lew Bear and Will Rogers‘ cover of Pompeii by Bastille above. Just amazing!
As Phoebe has recently shared this full recoriding for streaming I just have to share the whole set.
So many stunning songs on Fran’s Soundcloud page but I have to share this one. I urge you to check out all the others though. Now!
KENNETH J NASH
So many works in progress going up by Kenneth lately as he records his next album. Some really superb tunes, I’m looking forward to this new record.
That about sums it up for the sharing from Oxjam Northampton for the moment. If you are local, into live music then don’t miss out. Come along and support Oxjam Northampton and by doing so you’ll be raising money for a great cause while also supporting the bands and musicians involved.
BEST OF THE REST…
Not done by a long stretch. Put up those feet, relax and enjoy a bit more music. As I’m so busy it could be a while before I post again so I just want to get in as much as I can. So much deserving stuff needs to be shared. I know some will get missed out but that’s just the way it goes, sadly.
Staying local with this singer-songwriter from Northampton. Jimmy combines elements of new wave and electro pop, adds in a heavy bassline and produces music to really get you stomping. Checking out his music on Soundcloud I must admit I found his dubstep-esque alternative cover version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit really refreshing.
It doesn’t just stop with covers though and there’s plenty of originality to wow and entertain you too. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jimmy/319966994772135
JAGGED LITTLE THRILLS
I’ve only just heard about these guys but their music is impressing me greatly. A collaboration between elements of two former Northampton based bands, The Tom Wright Band and The Dave Vegas Project have fused together to meld and combine their eclectic styles creating something new and exciting. As they say, this is the band wagon, jump on!
Still local but a hop, skip and a jump up the A43 to Kettering for this delightful sounding, unique and very special kind of gig. A house concert venue, Sofa Sessions aims to host the very best in original acoustic music live in their own home. There is no greater and more intimate kind of live event than one in a cosy living room. Indeed, I’m signed up to Sofar Sounds as well, which I’ve featured on the blog before. I was due to attend an event in Birmingham recently but had to cancel (which I did well in advance as these kinds of gigs fill up pretty quickly, so please if you ever do get to attend but are unable to make it, do let the planners know as well in advance as you possibly can). https://www.facebook.com/TheSofaSessionsKettering
For Sofa, I’m scheduled to attend on 7th November to see Mark Geary return to the venue. It is going to be sensational and I don’t think I’ll ever look at a living room quite the same again after attending for the first time. Also, Rachel Chadwick will have trouble getting rid of me because I think I’ll be turning up for as many as I possibly can after that. http://www.markgeary.com/
I’m still trying to entice myself down from the ceiling regards this steal. The John Smith live in a living room. Yes. I Know. 10th December in the next town. I cannot believe it. I cannot wait. I cannot get down from how high just thinking about this makes me feel. http://johnsmithjohnsmith.com/
Indeed, Dan will be supporting John Smith on 10th December and I’m grateful to Rachel for introducing me to Dan’s music so I may swot up a little beforehand. What I’ve heard and seen so far has been incredibly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable. http://www.danwilde.net/
I’m sharing Sean again here because I think he’s amazing and I’m gutted there isn’t time or room enough to feature him on the line-up for my Oxjam Acoustic Folk Marathon at The Labour Club on 15/11, as I’d intended. This live lounge session is just cast iron evidence of how amazing Sean is. Enjoy. http://seangrant.co.uk/
Damn time! Not enough of it and it’s been way too long since I shared some Andy Ruddy music. Here’s a recent video of Resolutions with another one due soon so keep a look out! http://andyruddy.com/
Every post should have some Josh Savage. He has recently finished a French EP, the first track from which is below. http://joshsavagemusic.com/
That’s it folks. Time is running out and I really should have been working on Oxjam rather than this but I couldn’t keep this in any longer. Hope you enjoy and please share with the universe. Peace to you all. Come to the Oxjam gigs!
ONE MORE THING
Just this to enjoy before leaving you as it had me in stitches when I saw it recently. I believe it was my brother who shared it on Facebook. Ciao.