Monday, 21 January 2013

FEATURE: OMB's guide to Oxford #3

*Originally published for Artrocker (21/1/13)

Scientists claim that today is the most depressing of the year. Crap weather, empty wallets and a lack of upcoming holidays are but a few of the reasons behind “Blue Monday”. To top it all off, there’s a chance that none of us are allowed to use our HMV gift vouchers (did you actually get any for Christmas? Yeah, didn’t think so).

In cheerier and more relevant news for the Oxford Music Blog's guide to Oxford, the city’s only independent record shop, Truck Store, will be celebrating its second birthday on 10th February. Blessing Force’s “sad disco” lot Trophy Wife will headline with support from Rhosyn, Salvation Bill, New Carnival and Jordan O’Shea. It’s a stellar line-up to say the least, and one that will nicely celebrate the city’s illustrious music scene. You should probably thumb through some records while you’re there, too.

If, like others of the 21st century convenience mindset, you prefer to get your music from the comfort of your sofa, then be sure to download the exciting freemixes of Kill Murray’s latest single, ‘For The Kids’. Ambient-pop newcomers, The Sea The Sea, have done a smart remix of the track. The man behind it, Dave Freeman, said: “I spent my teenage years before I learned to play guitar producing electronic music, so it was fun to go back to.” He also cites the support Kill Murray have given the band: “They headlined our first gig and helped us organise it. Aaron mastered our first single. It's nice to know other bands in the area because you can help each other out.”

Kill Murray were in session for BBC Introducing in Oxford last week and you can download the podcast for free from the Introducing website.

Saturday night also saw one of the biggest turnouts for Introducing in Oxford’s monthly Upstairs at the O2 Academy nights, with an explosive, sold-out headline set from Falmouth’s Tall Ships. One of the highlights of the evening was, undoubtedly, the performance by Introducing in Oxford’s adopted sons, Stratford-upon-Avon’s My Grey Horse. The show’s producer, Liz Green, has tipped the harmonic-pop lot for 2013. Local favourites Wild Swim and the elusive but rather wonderful Salvation Bill are also on the list.


Liz added: “We’ve also got a great electronic scene emerging in Oxford. Artists like Theo Bass and After The Thought are certainly doing things differently.”

Other local releases to get excited about in the coming weeks is the new single from The Scholars, ‘Love The Thunder’, Pixel Fix’s video for new song, ‘Rosa’ and the debut EP from cellist and “multidimensional artist”, Rhosyn.
Seb Reynolds of The Epstein and Flights Of Helios is also launching a monthly charity remix project. Proceeds from the downloads will go to Helen & Douglas house and the first instalment, a remix of ‘Dearly Distracted’ by Edinburgh’s Meursault, is available from his bandcamp.

Lastly, with Truck Store defying the digital age, the new online magazine for local music and culture, Spires, has announced plans to go into print from April. Editor Matt Ayres said: “I still see the value of print media in the digital age. To me, there's something timeless about leafing through a nicely written, well designed article on your favourite local or national band/artist when it's on paper. It feels more permanent.”

February’s issue sees an exclusive interview with local heroes Stornoway, who are playing two headline gigs at the magnificent Oxford Town Hall on 14th and 15th of February.

Who said January was depressing?

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