Oxjam Bournemouth Takeover 20th October 2012


After months of organising, negotiating, preparation and loads extremely hard work the volunteers of the Bournemouth Oxjam team of Geoff Birchenough, Elizabeth Emery, Livi Page, Andy Stock, Joanne Tyler along with a host of others have put together something that they and Bournemouth can be very proud of. 40 bands in 4 venues over one day with the aim of raising as much money for Oxfam as possible. The team I’m sure are feeling the pressure, as last year Bournemouth town raised the most money of any in the UK, at just over £11,000 which was a staggering effort. The entertainment is spread over 4 venues which includes the prestigious Pier Theatre, Sixty Million Postcards, On The Rocks and Smokin’ Aces.

As you look at the days programme of events, there is a mouth-watering selection of top local music artists and the question is where do you start 1st. The great thing about Oxjam is that everyone who attends this events will have their very own personal experience from what they did, you can stay in the same venue all day or you can energetically flit from one venue to the other to catch all your favourites, the choices are endless and at only £6 for a days pass which gets you into all four venues you can’t go wrong.

The day starts off on the Pier Theatre with Martin Roberts and his band “Powdered Cows” who open the event with some style, today Martin is casually dressed for a change away from the usual fancy dress attire, but he is joined on stage by a crocodile and a lion who provide some percussion to this rather odd style of lofi music. The band perform songs from the recently released album “Solitary Reptile” including some zany songs such as “The Lobster” and “Sharks In The Water” with invited accompaniment from the audience using a variety of provided percussion instruments. The last song “Balloon For A Head” was just a hilarious song with some very interesting ad hock lyrics that ended the set off perfectly making way for The Boolays. The Boolays perform some really nice acoustic guitar lead harmonies with a decent varied selection of covers. Jack Grace seems very a home in a large venue such of this and has brought a fair bit of support with him in the form of friends and family, the acoustics in this old theatre are just a perfect platform for him to perform. Jack’s skilled use of the loop pedal and his excellent vocals impress everyone in the place, performing his own well written original songs ‘Remember Me” and “Days Like These”. There is a quick switch to an electric guitar to perform the new single “406” which Jack has recorded with a full band for release very soon. After a short intermission the music continues with “Daniel & The Lion” a folk duo in the form of Daniel Duke and Ross Mclaughlin who perform some supremely well constructed original tunes, which are delivered with some great passion.

Oxjam Bournemouth: Daniel And The Lion
Oxjam Bournemouth: Daniel And The Lion 123

A quick dash over to Sixty Million Postcards to catch the end of the Jack Vallier set, a young guy showing lots of promise with a great voice, but too many covers, it would be great to hear more of his original material. Steve Perry has been a supporter of this event for many years in various guises including his band “Disco out(Murders In), this years he is playing twice and the first is with his new solo acoustic project “Citizen Perez”. This is a solo project that Steve has wanted to create for some time and has now finally found time to get this started after recently getting married. The biggest smile in Bournemouth performs a great set with just an acoustic guitar and a kazoo playing songs from the new EP “Other Thoughts” as well as a few “Disco’s Out(Murder’s In)” classics to keep the locals happy. Sixty Million Postcard’s is packed and local musician and today’s compare Si Genaro is encouraging everybody to dig deep into there pockets, to throw all their loose change in the buckets for this great cause. The music continues with Aaron Gregory and Annie Winter who both show that local Bournemouth music scene is flourishing with some really top acts all of whom can produce quality music.

Another dash in the pouring rain back to the now much fuller Pier Theatre to catch “The Chicken Soup Choir” who give a really emotional performance of Elbow’s “One Day Like This” along with other super versions Radiohead’s “Creep” and Ash’s “Shining Light”. The Choir was a complete mix of people of all ages from all walks of life brought together in this musical community, they all sing their hearts out giving a really positive uplifting spin on these classic songs and got lots of applause as they leave the stage. “Susbus” took over next, headed by the very well dressed Paul Tucker of the Southern Ukulele Store in Boscombe(www.southernukulelestore.co.uk) with an army of musicians(and customers) with ukuleles(Sold By Southern Ukulele Store) who provide some really fun entertainment with special versions of classic songs “Stand By Me”, “I Will Survive” and with Jonty on vocals leading in a mass sing-a-long to the Tom Jones classic “Delilah”. The next band I had really been looking all day to see, Mutant Vinyl are one of Bournemouth finest and always provide maximum entertainment each time they perform, however tonight things did not quite work out, due to some technical problems, lead vocalist Ed Pope decided that the sound was not right and did not want to put on a below par performance To make up for this Ed’s other band County Hospital were in the wings really to take over at the last minute, Ed took over on drums and lead singer Tim Smart read his lyrics from a Blackberry, I don’t think anybody knew what was going on with this rather impromptu performance, but after one song the band left the stage to a rather confused crowd.

Oxjam Bournemouth: Chicken Soup Choir
Oxjam Bournemouth 123

After a short break we return to Sixty Million Postcards for the start of the bands, the volume is turned up a notch and yet another member of the extended “Disco’s Out (Murder’s In)” family takes to the stage “Head Of A Cuban Trojan”, with the rib shattering bass, drums played like machine guns and the ambient guitars, they are reminiscent of 90’s sub grunge bands “Pavement” and “Sonic Youth”, but there is more to them than this with other not so obvious influences taking shape. Vocalist/bassist Imogen gets out a trumpet to give the band yet another original dimension to impress the very appreciative crowd. Once again it’s time for Steve Perry to step up again with his band “El Bosco”, the three piece keep up the momentum and power through a set of great original songs from their debut EP “In Fez”, but wait they have been busy writing some more new songs…where on earth do they find the time?

Back again to the Pier Theatre again to catch the evening’s compare Timo Peach and his full band Momo:Tempo on stage performing his new single “Nudge”, the band were made up of a brass section, with a percussionists and electronic beats. Timo was energetically leaping all over the stage like a mad man to this mass of genres colliding to produce a sound that you have never heard the like of before.The organisers of the event should be congratulated at the diversity of acts that are at this years event, a band call was put on before the event with all bands invited to send them details for their consideration, the band’s picked is always something for debate as you can never please everybody, but to be fair everybody that were picked was certainly worthy of their place on these stages, if you were unhappy that your band or your favourite artist did not get to play there is always next year.

Oxjam Bournemouth: El Bosco
Oxjam Bournemouth 12

My last dash of the evening was up the steep hill past the Bournemouth International Centre to On The Rocks, to see a hotly tipped band The Deltorers a four piece grunge style band who after a few local gigs seem to be making a name for themselves, the 1st couple of songs went well and the band sounded really good, then things started to go wrong with equipment failures happening left right and centre, to their credit the band carried on regardless, but you could see they were getting more and more frustrated with things, the compare Aaron Gregory politely asked them to end their set as their time was up, instead of stopping they just carried on encouraged by some of the crowd, disappointingly this cut the final bands set short which seemed a little unfair. The final band were possibly Bournemouth happiest band Escapefrom’98. The now four piece showed no frustrations they just got on with the job in hand, yet another band form from the family of “Disco’s Out (Murder’s In)”, lead singer Lee sings “All I Ever Want Was To Be In A Punk Rock Band” and now he is contented or what!! The band are tight and seem much more comfortable with their new fourth member James on guitar who bolsters the band’s full sound. With well written songs such as “Ben’s Mum”, “The Wrong Side”, and a brand new song “Chorus” Escape From ’98 leaves the audience exhausted after making them jump around for much of their set. The band’s sense of endless fun must be applauded as far too many bands take themselves far too seriously.

So yes I am absolutely exhausted at the end of this fine day, so I did not get see all acts that I wanted missing top class acts like Know One, Yellowgroove, Not Made In China and many more, but what I did see was how lucky we are to be living in an area with such a diverse and evolving music scene and this is only the tip of the iceberg, next time you are bored with nothing to do in an evening check out the Rock Regeneration gig guide as you could virtually find a gig to go to 7 days a week featuring some really good quality local artists. The Oxjam team raised a massive amount of money by selling wrist bands, CD’s, T-Shirts along with plenty of generous donations from the public. With debates raging on and on about lots of various subjects surrounding this event, I look on with some pride that we have caring people out there willing to make an effort to make other people lives that much better by these selfless efforts with little or no reward……..Oxjam Team Bournemouth you guys are amazing, I am so proud off everyone of you……you pulled it off and with some style!!!


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Review, Pictures & Video By Dave “I can do it all me” Chinery (Chinners)

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