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The Windmill doesn’t look like a music venue really. It looks like a 1960s prefab that’d fall over if you poke it quite hard. There’s also a massive Alsatian on the roof that’s barking at me, not something I typically associate with music venues. I’m sat across an increasingly damp table from Stephen Davidson, lead singer and one of the 2 songwriters in indie-rock band Tellison. In fairness Davidson doesn’t really look like a rockstar, but as with The Windmill looks can be deceiving. We’re here for the “feel warm event of the winter”; Alcopopalooza. Curated by the Oxford-based Alcopop! Records, the event serves not just as showcase of their formidable roster but also as a celebration of everything that’s…

February 1, 2016

Jazz at The Bullingdon

By - on 01/02/2016 at 11:42 pm

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  I want to come clean about something. This Tuesday, at 8:30 pm outside the Bullingdon, I was nervous. Tuesday is jazz night at the Bullingdon, and I’m not a jazz man. Am I jazzy? Of course, but I’m not a man of jazz.  I pictured myself surrounded by the hippest of teens and 20-somethings, each and every one of them casually nursing their beverages and taking slow, purposeful draws from a wood panelled vape pen while music too complex for my simple ears played in the background. Thankfully, this was not the case. It turns out that I could not have been more wrong about the target demographic for jazz night. Of the 45 or so people attending, only…

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  Lineup: MagZen Marie Naffah The Fusion Project Duotone   On Tuesday night Worcester College’s darkened grandeur lit up. Since its set up in 2010, Sofar Sounds – or Songs from A Room – has exploded into a global organization, and now spans 300 cities worldwide. The format is secret, unplugged performances for audiences and artists jaded by the conventional gig experience. Past lineups have ranged from the undiscovered to James Bay: anything can happen.   The Oxford branch’s January edition was underscored by the intricate beauty of Worcester chapel. Its golden interior is adorned with illustrations on the theme of creation (including, allegedly, a flying dodo…), and encourages a generous, reverberant acoustic.   Up first, London girl Maggie Zenwa…

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“This song is all about friendship,” says a bright-eyed Frenchman. “This stage belongs to us all, I want to see some STAGE DIVES!” he continues, as the signature down-tuned riff of ‘In Friends We Trust’ kicks in to the apparent approval of the assembled crowd, most of whom ended up on the stage for the majority of the song (causing much consternation in the lone security guard). Thus ended a night of pop-punk revelry, spearheaded by French upstarts Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! Rewind a few hours and there’s a 30 man-strong queue snaking round the block outside the innocuous entrance to the basement of Manchester’s premier live music venue; Sound Control. The notable sporting of le tricolore on t-shirts and…

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“You’re 2 years too late for that”’ chuckles Parker Cannon, lead vocalist with The Story So Far, in response to yet another plaintive cry for them to play early fan-favourite ‘680 South’. It is a very different band that stands before us this evening compared to the one which put out those early demos; surely Cannon and Co. couldn’t have predicted as they recorded (whilst high) those early tapes that they would be heckled to play them from a stage thousands of miles from their home? Yet here they are, stronger than ever and headlining one of the best bills of the year. As was the case with the Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! gig last night, the pop-punk masses were…

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The city of Chennai which was recently victimized by the disastrous floods found itself bouncing back to normalcy and putting all its pieces together, only to be perfectly glued by Parvaaz’s enthralling performance at Phoenix Market City, Chennai. While half the city continued to prefer staying indoors, the rest of them were waiting for the Bangalore-based experimental band to finish their sound-check and bring the tunes of a mélange of languages, inspirations and genres. Parvaaz, yet again bewitched a whole new audience with an extremely tight performance, thereby gaining a bigger fan base in one night. The evening kicked off with a progressive yet bluesy riff that led to ‘Itne Arze Ke Baad’. The song possessed the right level of…

November 29, 2015

Vulture Sessions Live at The Holywell, Oxford

By - on 29/11/2015 at 6:35 pm

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If you were to name Michaelmas term 2015’s ‘top trenders’, the Vulture Sessions boys Jack Saville and Nick Hampson would undoubtedly top the list. Launching in January this year, the two New College students have taken Oxford University’s indie scene by storm: filming and promoting otherwise hidden musical stars in the city’s beautifully unique surroundings, and then releasing the videos on all platforms of social media. The formula has become a viral sensation, and the success of its first live event (18.11.15) was the ultimate validation of their brand’s skyrocketing popularity. With the promise of a seven-act strong line-up, the Holywell Music room filled up with ease. Saville and Hampson, accompanied by their dedicated team, rose to the occasion with…

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Photo Credit: SE10 Despite it being November, the streets of Oxford were buzzing with festive anticipation as the crowds flocked to The Cellar on Tuesday night. It was the night of ‘Oxmas Eve’, and Oxford’s favourite underground venue was hosting a night entitled ‘Once in Royal (Craig) David’s City’, courtesy of SE10. The night delivered exactly what the event name promised; namely, a hearty blend of garage, grime, and Christmas cheer. Classic garage and grime tunes were played: ‘Movin’ Too Fast’ by Artful Dodger, Dj Pied Piper’s ‘Do You Really Like It’, and of course, a handful of Craig David’s garage staples. But the set was littered with Christmas surprises; the highlight of the night being a remix of ‘All…

November 26, 2015

Communion’s New Faces Tour 2015 at The Bullingdon, Oxford

By - on 26/11/2015 at 10:13 pm

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Communion’s New Faces tour hit the Oxford Bullingdon once again last Monday with its strongest line up yet. Fast developing a reputation for showcasing the hottest new acts around, New Faces has previously acted as a springboard for the likes of Frances, Eliza and the Bear and Kimberly Anne. On this third outing, the tour met high expectations once again with a lineup of unfaltering musical talent. Jack Watts kicked off the evening with tracks from his debut EP Red Shortbread. Silence fell as Brighton-born 20 year old stunned with a vocal versatility that paired warm hushed tones with a stunning falsetto that falls somewhere between Buckley and James Blake. The EP overall is a beautiful portrayal of heartbreak and redemption,…

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As boys who love a good punk gig, we’re used to a crowd brimming with nervous energy, waiting for the first note to start jumping like someone put Flubber on a poor rabbit’s feet. The atmosphere around the Bullingon when we arrived, however, was very subdued. A casual milling is the best way to characterise everyone in the bar: audience, barman, musicians. No black eyes and shooting arm pains for us the day after… Truckstop Honeymoon ambled onto the stage, almost instantly creating a connection with the audience through their warm manner. This Kansas-based duo played a by-the-numbers country style of music, but regularly switched it up with more rockabilly sections. The harmonies throughout the set showed a near-perfect complimenting…