Oxjam is one of the most heartening festivals around – providing performance opportunities for up-and-coming local acts as well as raising tons of money (£2.8 million at the last count) for the essential work that Oxfam does. What’s not to like?
This year’s event takes place throughout October and sees festivals happening all over the country, and all over London (Camden, Clapham, Crystal Palace, Hackney, Islington, Peckham, Shepherd’s Bush and Southwark), so wherever you’re based, there’s gonna be one pretty close to you!
Here, the good folk of Oxjam talk us through a bunch of their favourite acts that have played Oxjam before or are playing this year.
1. BABE PUNCH – STANFORD
Babe Punch are part riot grrrl, part pop-punk, and their new single ‘Stanford’ has an element of Goat Girl thrown in for good measure. We saw them at Outlines earlier this year and were blown away by their ramshackle brilliance. They’ve just played an Oxjam fundraiser in Liverpool for us and will be at the Nottingham festival in October too, but for London folk we suggest satisfying yourself with this latest single.
2. ESTHER JOY – FRIENDLESS NECESSITY
We’ve been recommending Esther Joy Lane to anyone who will listen since we saw her perform at Oxjam Oxford back in 2015, and we tried to take some of the credit when she returned the following year to a packed out room. Since then she’s dropped the ‘Lane’ from her name, been recruited by Charli XCX, steered her talents into darker electronic territory and released an incredible new EP called Psychic Tears. ‘Friendless Necessity’ is the closing track.
3. BEACH FOR TIGER – SOMETHING GOOD
Our Peckham Festival team introduced these guys to us. They play slacker-psych, but not in a conventional ‘it’s good but we’ve heard this before’ way. This latest single has a few surprises and shifts in tempo along the way. Definitely ones to look out for.
4. GHOSTPOET – IMMIGRANT BOOGIE
We had Ghostpoet play a launch show for us way back in his Peanut Butter Blues days, but can honestly say that this latest album is our favourite. We just love that slightly unhinged quality it has to it, and ‘Immigrant Boogie’ encapsulates that nicely.
5. KELLY LEE OWENS – LUCID
It’s a bit early for albums of the year, but when asked, the debut from Kelly Lee Owens immediately springs to mind. We just love the ambient tones and lush electronic vibe, and this track sees her at her dreamiest before the killer closing beat kicks in. Too good.