Oxjam 2016 review

Oxjam Leicester Takeover review 2016

Second edition: 15th October

Here is the second draft of the report.  Still a lot more writing to come.  And more photos.  Maybe some videos too.  Come back for more over the next few days.


Music in Leicester magazine had its reporters and media crew present at Oxjam 2016 throughout the day. This is our report on what we saw: it might not have captured the whole of the event but it represents a lot of it.

Oxjam Leicester Takeover took place on Saturday 8th October 2016. Tickets for the event were £8 in advance and £10 on the day for a wristband allowing entry to all the venues.

There were six music venues, one comedy stage and one venue that provided an artist-led gallery with some experimental electronic performances alongside exhibitions.

This was the seventh year that Leicester provided an Oxjam festival. The aim of the event was to raise money for Oxfam, the charity that provides relief to people in poverty. The majority of artists, bands, singers and acts that took part in this year’s festival were from Leicester and Leicestershire.

The venues listed in the programme were Exchange bar, Manhattan 34, Soundhouse, The Shed, Midas bar, Two Queens gallery, The Ale Wagon and a performance stage in Orton Square. As in previous years, when the event took place in the city centre, the venues were in the Cultural Quarter, providing a fairly compact area so that all of them were within easy walking distance.

Enter Edem performing in Orton Square. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Enter Edem performing in Orton Square. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The centre of Leicester is well provided with buses and is not far from the main train station.

Thanks are due to our media team at this year’s event: Kevin Gaughan, Pascal Pereira and Trevor Sewell.

Trevor Locke presents his personal reflections on the artists he saw; a random sampling from the various stages.

It was at The Ale Wagon that I saw Tony Alles, the widely celebrated blues singer. A good start to the day’s programme. Alles is an artist of long standing and high calibre; noted for his excellent guitar playing and exceptional ability to sing the blues.

Tony Alles at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Tony Alles at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Not all the festival was about music; the one stage that offered an alternative was Manhattan34, where over 20 comedians were ready to make people laugh.

Comedy at Manhattan34. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Comedy at Manhattan34. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

After a warm-up from the compère which included a series of one-liners about vegetables, it was time to welcome the first act of the day – Dan Wallbank. He started with some jokes about ‘Tinder‘ (whatever that is) and did some political material before moving on to cats and dogs. Check out the Autumn Fridge – from 8th October to 13th November. A colourful season of enhanced comedy nights, half term Kids’ shows and one-off comedy events. Taking place at various venues. Watch out for the flyers which might well be around the venues.

Just round the corner at Midas I found Becky Edwards singing to a small audience; still it was as yet early on in the day.

Becky Edwards at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Becky Edwards at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Becky is a well established singer and songwriter whose work is widely admired on the Leicester scene.

Another singer at Midas was Kaitlyn Elverson.

Kaitlyn Elverson performing at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Trevor Sewell

Kaitlyn Elverson performing at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Trevor Sewell

Before I forget let me thank (on your behalf) all the sound engineers who gave up a day of their busy schedules to support the festival; having almost a dozen sound sets to manage they all did a really splendid job of keeping those glorious sounds coming. Well done to all of them.

Greg Poole was at the Exchange Bar, plying a goodly gathering with his characterful voice.

Greg Poole at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Greg Poole at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Greg Poole is an acoustic performer and is known also as a gig empresario at the Soundhouse. Greg performed at the Simon Says festival earlier this year.

Out in Orton Square there was a theatrical performance. Members of Enter Edem were presenting their show Origins, a family show about a young girl who goes on a whirlwind adventure with an eccentric explorer.

Enter Edem theatre group at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Enter Edem theatre group at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

 

Enter Edem perform,ing in Orton Square. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Enter Edem performing in Orton Square. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Enter Edem is a collective of artists whose theatrical works tell stories about human experience, philosophy and the fantastically abstract; its artistic director is Emma Fay.

Back at Midas I was delighted to see Fullfathom5, featuring one of my favourite singers Jake Manning accompanied by Simon Matthews (or vice versa.)

Fullfathom5 at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

Fullfathom5 at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

They sang Jake’s song ‘The Mutineer‘. Oh how I love that song! Jake Manning has been performing his songs in Leicester for many years.

Jake Manning at at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

Jake Manning at at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

A group called Bowbridge played at Midas.

Bowbridge band at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

Bowbridge band at Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo Trevor Sewell.

I think they were part of the Bowbridge Band, a local ensemble that has played at many venues in the city over the years.

The first bands of the day were at The Soundhouse. I was there to see Once Vagrant Souls, led by David Lewis.

David Lewis of Once Vagrant Souls. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

David Lewis of Once Vagrant Souls. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Once Vagrant Souls performed at the massive show held on Good Friday in Humberstone Gate; over one thousand people were there to see the live music artists and celebrate what Good Friday is about. Once Vagrant Souls said they have a new EP coming out in December which features Casual Lover and Captain, songs they performed for us today. Very good they were too. Melodies with plenty of appeal and good vocals from Mr. Lewis. The band has a Glastonbudget audition coming up so that’s another date for the diary.

Once Vagrant Souls. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Once Vagrant Souls. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

They came on just after a performance by Yoda Club which, I was told, was pretty good.

Yodaclub at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Yodaclub at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

We reported on a gig in May when Yodaclub played in Leicester.

Yodaclub plays songs that are edgy indie pop and rock in genre. Its home town is Corby. They have a page on Bandcamp. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Yodaclub. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Yodaclub. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Such is the life of running round festival stages. You just can’t be everywhere at the same time – not for want of trying. It was good to see bands and singers that I know well and a few that were somewhat unfamiliar. Oxjam is a good opportunity to sample of musical life of Leicester and its surrounding areas. It is rare that such a wide variety of artists and bands come together for a day to offer their artistic delights.

I got to the Shed, in Yeoman Street, in time to catch one of the most impressive singers of the local scene.

James Cull at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

James Cull at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Round at The Shed, James Cull was in full swing. His megawatt vocals powered the whole of Yeoman Street. A spectacular performance from this renown singer.

Oxjam festival is a good opportunity to discover some of Leicester’s many live music venues; for people who are new to the scene, getting to a bunch of venues on the same day is an opportunity to find out what they are like.

This year the festival included The Shed, The Soundhouse, Exchange bar, Midas, Manhattan34 and the Ale Wagon.

The Scrubs at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Scrubs at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Scrubs is a young Leicester band who demonstrate just how amazing young musical talent can be in this city. If you missed them today they are back at the Shed again on 19th November for the big show with Jonezy. The four guys were fronted by their singer who had shed loads of energy (I wish I had a set of jump leads) and they play with considerable confidence. Their own songs were supplemented with covers of Rage Against The Machine and Nirvana. It was a fervent demonstration of teen spirit.

The Scrubs at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

The Scrubs at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

I arrived at the Ale Wagon just in time to see Dawson Smith and his band packing up their amps at the end of their set. Ah well, better luck next year! I have of course seen them many times before and have said on many occasions how good they are as a band.

Before I go… let me say that there were some very good bands that I missed: Arc Isla, Little Dead Town, Beneath The Lights, her Burden, Dead Question, The World Can Wait, being along them. Fortunately, they are all bands I written about before in the pages of this magazine. That’s what the search button is for!

Highlights from the Exchange Bar

Blue Skies In June at Oxjam 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Blue Skies In June at Oxjam 2016. Photo: © Pascal Pereira Photography.

This group appeared at the unPlugged show at the Musician in February 2015; we said at the time:  ‘The four- to five-piece group from Leicester describe their music as ‘Fresh twists on covers of pop, indie, rock, blues, dance, rock ‘n’ roll, bluegrass.’  Offering a good vocal layer to their songs, they delivered a vibrant and enjoyable set.’

Lambone Splinter at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Lambone Splinter at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Lambone Splinter played at last year’s Leicester Oxjam and in 2014. The band has also performed at several festivals including Glastonbudget.

JNCTRE at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

JNCTRE at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

This oddly named group plays music they describe as ‘electronica dark pop indie alternative’ and they are from Derby. They have various songs available on Spotify.

The Earliest Beings at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

The Earliest Beings at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

This band played at Hose Fest in June this year.

Nile McGregor at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Nile McGregor at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Nile is a force of nature; singer, songwriter, sound engineer, gig organiser… he must be one of the best-known musical personalities in the city. Famed for his postings on Facebook, he is a busy person who finds time to do a lot of things.

On the Orton Square stage

Jack Cahill at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Jack Cahill at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography.

 

Idle Empire at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

Idle Empire at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

 

The Whiskey Rebellion at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. No Reproduction or Manipulation Without Prior Permission.

The Whiskey Rebellion at Oxjam Festival 2016. Photo © Pascal Pereira Photography. 

Highlights from The Soundhouse

Arc Isla at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Arc Isla at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Arc Isla. What a good band.  We have reported on their performances several times. an indie band from the Midlands. One of the members of the band is Matt Peach.  He can also do a great solo act.

Scribble Victory at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Scribble Victory at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

This band from the Notts/Derby area is a firm favourite both of mine and of many music fans hereabouts. Two superb vocalists and an unusual duo combination of guitar and drums.  We have reviewed them several times.

Beneath The Lights. This is a band we have reviewed before – many times. They exemplify the strong tradition of making good music that appeals to a wide variety of people. A firm favourite at festivals and many of the larger shows. They are one of our featured bands:  Beneath The Lights on Music in Leicester.

 

Beneath The Lights at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Beneath The Lights at The Soundhouse. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Highlights from The Shed

Damage Protocol at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Damage Protocol at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Phattfoxx at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Phattfoxx at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Damage Protocol at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

Damage Protocol at The Shed. Oxjam Leicester 2016. Photo: Kevin Gaughan.

 

Artists that participated in the festival.

This list was compiled from the printed broadsheet made available by the organisers; it shows which acts were billed; it does not confirm that they actually performed.

Abandon her
Adam Fisher
Andrew Geogeson
Arc Isla
Bartek Dabroski
The Bear & His House Rockers
Becky Edwards
Bellatones
The Bellevilles
Beneath The Lights
Blue Skies in June
Bowbridge
Cynthia Rodriguez
Damage Protocol
Dave McGuckin
Dawson
Dead Question
The Earliest Beings
Elysian
Fixation
Fullfathom5
Greg Poole
Her Burden
Hibword
Idle Empire
Jack Cahill
Jacob Addico
James Cull
James Neilson
James Watt and the Avenues
Jeevan Kaur Bal
Joe Doyle
JNCTRE
Jonathan Eve
Just Muz
Kaitlyn Elverson
Lambone Splinter
Little Dead Town
Leanne Moden
Matt Hellard
Matt Peach
MISS
Munroop Panesar
Nile K. McGregor
Ninja Bob
Once Vagrant Souls
Phattfoxx
Rhythmical Mike
Scribble Victory
The Scrubs
Tony Alles
Seth Faergolzia’s Multibird
South Congress
Stacey McMullen
Whiskey Rebellion
The World Can Wait
Yodaclub

Jonezy was booked but was unable to perform

There were also acts and performers and artists at Two Queens
Over 20 acts took part in the comedy stage at Manhattan34
Several people were involved in performances on the stage at Orton Square.

More

See the whole day’s programme laid out graphically. clashfinder-general-__-oxjam-leicester-takeover-2016-landscape

See also:

Our review of Leicester Oxjam in 2015.
All reports of previous Oxjam festivals publish in this magazine are listed on the contents page.