With 30 acts over five venues, there was a lot to look forward to at this year’s Oxjam takeover. For anyone not familiar with Oxjam, the idea behind it is to have a massive month of live music across various towns and cities, all to raise money for Oxfam’s causes around the world.
On Saturday, it was York’s turn, and five beautifully intimate venues put on an all-dayer of supreme local and visiting talent. We run down some of the highlights.
Taking the early shift was Sotano, a cosy cellar venue tucked away on Little Stonegate. Kicking things off there was Zak Ford. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Zak was joined on stage by Jennifer Chubb on cello, which added a dark depth that you don’t get with a standard acoustic set. From the slow Americana of Hold the Lineto the ghoulish, galloping and captivating Feel Again, Zak displayed an impressive vocal range and an absorbing storytelling ability. His set closed with a big finish with tracks from his latest EP Within the Hook of Hope.
We next caught Toby Burras. On a little earlier than advertised, he was cracking out a unique cover of TLC’s No Scrubs when we got back to Sotano. A genuinely charismatic performer, Toby was easily able to work the crowd to perfection, especially later in his set during a fun and self-deprecating version of Wheatus’s Teenage Dirtbag (audience participation a must). A master of his guitar as well, he also displayed incredible percussive talent on original song and title track of his EP Ciara Star.
Amy Greene at The Yorkshire Terrier
Two Reasons Why at 1331
By this time, things were kicking off in the tiny upstairs room of the Yorkshire Terrier. We squeezed in to catch a bit of Amy Greene‘s set. An enchanting performer who played a range of covers on her ukulele, Amy had a voice akin to Kate Nash and a penchant for obscure, vintage tunes. All in all, a delight.
As the evening set in, the takeover moved onto 1331. Opening their stage was male/female duo Two Reasons Why. Accompanied by Joe Baker on guitar, singer Lucy Williams astounded with her powerful and soulful voice. Having been playing together for only a year, it’s clear to see that the best has yet to come for this duet.
According to Eve are making a habit of appearing in all our reviews, so it’s hardly surprising that they get another mention here. They entertained a crowded upstairs room at 1331. Outstanding performers as ever, According to Eve worked their way through a set of originals and covers, a articular highlight being Nina Simone’s Feeling Good which showed off the full power of singer Eve Maule-Cole’s voice.
Next up at 1331 was headliner, Kymberley Kennedy. A precocious talent, Kymberley is still in college, but has a powerful voice that will give you goosebumps. Kymberley and her band played a funky set, even getting some of the appreciative crowd dancing.
Finally, over at Dusk cult favourites Bull were settling into a swaggering set of 90’s-influenced grunge rock. The upstairs room was packed out with grooving festival goers, and the youthful 4-piece did not disappoint.
Kymberley Kennedy at 1331
Bull at Dusk
A big thank you to Oxjam York for organising such a great day. We eagerly await to see what the fundraising total will be!
Oxjam York Takeover 2014 took place at Sotano, The Yorkshire Terrier, 1331, Dusk and The Spread Eagle on Saturday 25 October 2014.