Oxjam: We’re back!

It’s May already and, as I write, people are peering at that strange yellowy thing in the sky and waxing lyrical about flowing things appearing all over the place. 

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Maybe, in your excitement at the sudden appearance of a phenomenon known as ‘Spring’, you’ve been anxiously looking around for signs that, despite rumours to the contrary, one of Beeston’s great institutions has survived the winter to re-emerge, leaner, fitter, and brighter than before. Well, look no more: this article is the ‘green shoot’ you’ve been eagerly awaiting: the Beeston Oxjam Music Festival is back!

From its modest origins six years ago the Festival – aka ‘Oxjam Takeover’ – has grown to be the biggest of Oxjam’s forty-odd festivals around the UK, raising a record-breaking £17K for Oxfam. For 2016 we have a Team of volunteers – some experienced Oxjammers, some new – who have already got a plan of events that we’ll tell you more about in the coming weeks. So get your diary out. Here’s how it looks so far:

  • Wednesday June 8 – official ’Beeston Oxjam Launch and Music Quiz’ at the White Lion;
  • Saturday July 2 – ’Oxjam Unplugged’ – Middle Street Resource Centre (a new Oxjam venue but easy to get to by tram or bus, which stop outside, or just a five minute walk from the Interchange) – with licensed bar;
  • Friday 16 September – ‘Oxjam Introducing…’ (Under-19 performers) – venue tbc;
  • Saturday 24 September – ’Oxjam Ceilidh’ – venue tbc
  • Saturday 15 October – Oxjam Takeover’ – venues and artists tbc
  • Saturday 12 November – ’Classical Oxjam’ – Beeston Parish Church.

For details of the above as they become confirmed – and more events – check our Facebook page and website (oxjambeeston.org). Tickets for some events will shortly be on sale from Oxfam Books and Music in Beeston or online from wegottickets.com (10% booking fee).

We are also looking for volunteers who could help with any aspect of the Oxjam Music Festival, from artists’ liaison to publicity to general helper. If you’d like to know a bit more, email beestonoxjam2016@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you.

It’s barely six months to go and only a few weeks to our launch event/pub quiz.

CT

 

Foreign Accent

The last Beeston Beats featured a promise by myself to root out all alternative music, a vow that led me to the ‘Boat and ‘ossess’ (horses) down on Trent Road in the Rylands.

Previously I have only ventured ito this establishment very rarely, with prior outings to the Degeneration festival last year and again more recently for a fantastic Sunday dinner (now sadly not available).

Within moments of stepping in the venue something didn’t quite seem the same, a change in atmosphere lingered in the air and then it hit me; the strong character of previous landlord Peter was missing, with him venturing off to pastures new. His dynamic and friendly personality added a quality to the ‘ossess that made strangers feel immediately welcome.

Hosts aside, the music element still remains, with the pub’s weekly open mic night every Thursday alongside a guest spot at 10pm for an assigned band/act.

Catching my interest was a four piece group called Foreign Accent who were due to perform the late spot: a Hungarian folk band on a U.K tour covering local venues across Nottingham – The Maze, Surface Gallery and Running Horse.

Within moments of their starting I was utterly entranced. Their beautiful sound consisted of an infusion of violin over plucked acoustic guitar, twinkling keyboards alongside a hauntingly emotive vocal.

Even the subject matter of the songs was deep and meaningful with verses based on poems such as ‘Prayer after war’ inspired by the work of Endre Ady, telling the tale of an ex soldier trying to make peace with himself after war.

There was also a rendition of English folk ballad ‘Scarborough Fair’ followed by an Indian folk song ‘Vasudevaya’. ’Blue violet’ is based on a Hungarian folk song about a small flower asking for dewfall as a broken heart seeks love  – the majority of mainstream  modern pop music lyrics just  fade in comparison.

The night was soaked in enchanting melodies, making it impossible to be occupied in anything else going on at the time. As for the next stop in my random music adventure, who knows where I will end up? This, was an amazing place to start, though!

Lulu Davenport

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