Hilary 2014 Gig Guide

Eleanor Hall gives us a glimpse of next term’s greatest-looking gigs from across the musical spectrum…

With the end of the Christmas vac drawing ever closer, the dread of another term of deadlines, drizzle and dodgy dinners is probably starting to creep up on you. But it’s not all bad news as Oxford’s vibrant and eclectic music scene has plenty to offer this coming Hilary term. Banish those post-Christmas blues and get booking!

Hot Hooves – Jericho Tavern, Saturday 18th Jan, £5

Veterans of the Oxford music scene, middle-aged punk rockers Hot Hooves are back at the Jericho Tavern to promote the release of their third album Nutritious Cascades and raise some money for Wittstock festival.

Winnebago Deal/ Desert Storm/ Flack Blag – The Cellar, Saturday 18th Jan, £5

Oxford-grown, hard rock band Winnebago Deal provides the perfect release for essay angst and finals fears. Teamed with stoner metal group Desert Storm and a drolly-named Black Flag covers band, expect mosh pits, slamming and plenty of hair…

City of Oxford Orchestra Viennese New Year Concert – Sheldonian Theatre, Saturday 18th Jan, from £8

For a more refined and relaxed start to the term, seek the peace and beauty of the Sheldonian Theatre. The 41st Viennese New Year Concert from the City of Oxford Orchestra sees distinguished flautist Graham Mayger and sparkling harpist Lucy Wakefield perform Mozart’s popular Flute and Harp concerto, followed by a collection of Strauss favourites from Stephen Bell and soprano Pamela Hay.

Spring Offensive – The Cellar, Sunday 19th Jan, £15 through pledgemusic.com, includes copy of debut album

One of the most exciting new bands to emerge from the dreaming spires, effortlessly inventive guitar-band Spring Offensive play a special album preview show at one of their first gigging venues. Ingenious harmonies and beautifully crafted lyrics set to pounding rhythms with an energy that is utterly compelling live. Not to be missed!

Julian Lloyd Webber – Oxford Town Hall, Tuesday 21st Jan, from £20

Known as the “doyen of British cellists” Julian Lloyd Webber and his wife Jiaxin bring a beautiful new concept of classical music performance to Oxford. Featuring world première recitals and accompanied by pianist Pam Chowhan, the couple perform duets for two cellos and piano from a baffling variety of composers including Vivaldi, Arvo Pärt, Dvorak and Bach. A rare and intimate insight into the musical milieu of one of the most celebrated cellists of our time.

Kairos4tet – North Wall Arts Centre, Wednesday 22nd Jan, £11

MOBO’s Best Jazz Act of 2011 return to North Oxford to showcase their critically acclaimed 3rd studio album “Everything We Hold”. Tackling contemporary social and political issues with mesmerising vocals, blinding improvisations and beautifully crafted lyrics courtesy of writer, filmmaker and actor Rupert Friend (Pride and Prejudice, Homeland), this is surely a must-see for any jazz enthusiast.

After The Thought – Port Mahon, Friday 24th Jan, free

Matt Chapman (aka After The Thought) calls his work “ambient-electronic-dronegaze-minimalist-fuzzcore-experimentalism”, and while that may sound slightly pretentious, this free gig promoting the launch of his new EP offers a cheaper and much more unusual alternative to queuing in the January frost outside Wahoo.

Warpaint – Oxford O2 Academy, Saturday 25th Jan, £15

All-girl, Los Angeles quartet promote the upcoming release of their second album. Carving intricate guitar licks, intoxicating melodies and minimalist beats into deep, sprawling dreamscapes, Warpaint’s self-titled new album is a highly anticipated release of 2014.

Fairport Convention – St. John the Evangelist, Tuesday 4th Feb, £20

Legends of the English folk-rock scene, Fairport Convention celebrated their 40th anniversary back in 2007 and show no signs of slowing down. With fiddles and fogeys galore, this may be a good one to take the parents to.

Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Zebrahead – O2 Academy, Tuesday 11th Feb, £18.50

An evening of funk-filled ska and punk from the sunniest states of America. Not known for taking themselves too seriously, these 90s throwbacks promise a night of skanking and silliness that is guaranteed to be highly entertaining and lot of fun.

The Evenings featuring Tiger Mendoza / The Half Moon All Stars – The Wheatsheaf, Saturday 15th Feb, pay what you want

Having played 86 gigs between 2002 and 2007 with 60 different musicians, The Evenings aren’t afraid to experiment. With a pay-what-you-want-to policy for entrance and merchandise, this is a great chance to check out the electronic-pop beats of three highly innovative groups.

Ian Bostridge (tenor), Elizabeth Kenny (lute) and Fretwork – Sheldonian Theatre, Friday 21st Feb, from £5

With a longstanding career as a soloist and opera star, Bostridge has been described as “one of the finest song interpreters of his generation”. Along with Europe’s leading lute player Elizabeth Kenny and viol consort Fretwork, he performs a selection of pieces by English Renaissance composer John Dowland.

Temples – O2 Academy, Monday 3rd March, £11

Reinvigorating the psychedelic-rock of the 1960s, Temples have been praised by Robert Wyatt, Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher. With their highly anticipated debut album due for release in February, this is the perfect opportunity to catch the kaleidoscopic sun-soaked tunes of a band about to make it big, for a very reasonable price.

We Are Scientists – O2 Academy, Thursday 6th March, £15

Fancy a dose of nostalgia from your teenage years? New York-based indie stalwarts We Are Scientists are back, promising a show full of old favourites and also showcasing new material from their recent EP Business Casual.