Over 20 unique gigs and club nights are taking place across London throughout October as part of Oxfam’s annual Oxjam music festival. Bound by a love of music and fundraising, volunteers are booking and promoting local musicians, DJs and comedians across London to raise money for the charity.
Now it its fifth year Oxjam has already raised over £1.5 million for Oxfam, with an aim this year to achieve £350,000 nationally. But those expecting typical indie gigs in sweaty venues should think again - previous Oxjam events have taken place at the super club Matter in the O2, and even on the top of Ben Nevis!
Oxjam 2011 got going with a series of gigs in the converted Oxfam shop in Dalston featuring performances by Fat Boy Slim, 2011 Mercury Prize nominee Ghost Poet and Suede’s Brett Anderson. We saw wonderfully intimate performances amongst the vintage shoes and CDs by Benjamin Francis Leftwich and rising star Gabrielle Aplin.
The highlight of London’s events are the Oxjam Takeovers, a series of gigs across multiple venues in a specific area with one wristband giving access to all events - think the Camden Crawl or Stag and Dagger festivals. This year’s Takeover locations include Stoke Newington, Brixton, Shepherds Bush, Chiswick and many more locations, each featuring the cream of the area's grassroots artists.
Volunteers book all the artists and venues themselves, with training and advice from high profile industry professionals including Live Nation and The Academy Group available to promoters. Oxjam Manager, Nick Bryer, said, “it's local promoters who know their area and its artists that really matter and it’s this grassroots approach which makes Oxjam such a success.”
As well as the Oxjam Takeover events one-off gigs and club nights are taking place across London with all music tastes covered, including Jazz nights, Techno events, and of course some indie gigs in sweaty venues. We've identified three events reflecting Oxjam’s diversity, but there are plenty more taking place near you. Events can be found through the Oxjam site:
Stoke Newington Takeover - October 22.
Artists include the XFM John Kennedy supported Kat Vipers: A genre hopping Hackney artist with a bleepy Keyboard. At Jack and the Box, the 1Xtra showcased, and Rinse FM DJ, Shox, brings dubby electro to the Takeover. More details available through the Stoke Newington Takeover website. Tickets £5.
Lockside Lounge, Camden, Dance and Tecno DJs - October 8
DJs include Chris Stanford (Jaded / Lost Souls) Ben Gomori (Data Transmission Round-up) Sam Hedworth & Darren Lee Fenton (Motion) Milton (Electronic Sessions / Do Not Disturb). £5 donation on the door, doors 8pm. Lockside Lounge is at 84-87 West Yard, Camden Lock Place NW1 8AF.
Bread and Roses Clapham, Comedy Club - October 6
Comedy from: Howard Read - CBBC's Little Howard's Big Question , Ellie Taylor - ITV's Show Me The Funny, Tommy Rawson, Matthew Giffen, Stu Turner, with resident hosts Leanne Scott & Sion James plus free lollypops. Tickets £7 adv, £9 on the door. Doors 7.30pm. The Bread and Roses is at 68 Clapham Manor Street SW4 6DX.
Oxjam takes place throughout October at various venues throughout London. Details of events near you can be found here.
By Dave Newbury