Every year, Isis magazine manage to gather the best music talent Oxford has to offer. From folk, to funk the crème de la crème of Oxford’s musicians really give the regulars at Cellar Bar an awesome show.
Kicking off was Zander Sharp. Sharp has fantastic vocal control, being able to dance in the upper ranges of his voice without a single duff moment. Along with his solid guitar playing and uplifting melodies, Sharp treated the growing audience with his remarkable musicianship. Active on the Oxford and London music scenes, Sharp seems set to be a big presence wherever he goes.
Similarly impressive were St Peters folk band The Manatees. An amass of violins, trumpet, guitar, banjo, flute, penny whistle and djembe, their combination of sweet vocal harmonies with stomping country tracks enraptured those listening. And of course song ‘Mimizan’ drew a rousing chorus from their scattered admirers.
Moving from folk to hard rock, Noé and the Pastel Frontier were a three piece band who made a hell of noise. Their performance was the tightest of the night, with every riff and change in rhythm or speed being absolutely outstanding. With influences ranging from Muse to The Police, it was a revitalising change in pace and sound. It was a shame that the Brian Molko-esque vocals barely carried across the room, but that didn’t stop the mosh pit of four at the front.
And then, to funk, soul and ska. Dot’s Funk Odyssey’s four vocalists and big band of substantial size could be unmanageable, but DFO pull it off with perceptive elegance. Similarly, the funk-soul sounds of Garfunkel whipped the crowd up further. Hannah Ross pulled off solo duties brilliantly, arguably being the best vocalist of the night. Her performance on the Justin Timberlake medley was outstanding.
And finally, to Marvellous Medicine. With most members having graduated, it was a sign of their enduring impression left on the Oxford scene that they returned, to tumultuous applause. Every time Robb Yates broke out in blistering rap, Cruickshank pulled off an eye-melting solo, or George Cooke stood on a box to better address the crowd, the whole room went crazy. Marvellous Medicine remain the biggest and best known student band in Oxford, and in all likelihood they stand as the best you can see across the city.