By the way, I heard (for the first time in a long while, if ever) the whole of the Tennyson poem which that line comes from at a wedding last week – I seriously recommend you to look it up and read it.
Anyway, the String Project are first off the mark claiming attention for activity in 2016. And our gig on the 8th of January contains more Oxford music scene institutions than you can shake a tremolo arm at.
First off, the night is hosted by Phil and Sue of the Mighty Redox as part of the truly legendary Klub Kakofanny. All four (Phil, Sue, Redox and Klub Kak – come on, keep up) have been around for longer than anyone would care to admit and influenced more musical careers than could possibly be counted, my own included.
Headlining are the Shapes, who may be just about the comparative new boys of the evening as far as date of forming are concerned (I’m not kidding) but are certainly an Oxford staple, combining many cumulative decades of classic rock-n-roll and Americana experience between their members (one of whom happens to be my neighbour!).
Before them are our very good selves; at five years on the go, pretty much every major venue in Oxford under our belt and a slightly eye-watering list of former members (most of them left the county or even the country to get away from us; new addresses include London, the Irish Republic, Indonesia, and Cambodia, besides the sometime keys player headed to Canada this coming summer), we must surely have earned institutional status by now. Anyway, it’s our second Klub Kak slot, so bite me.
Opening up a long bill for a pub gig are two long-term associates of the Redox-centred scene (in its more hippified incarnations): Moon Leopard, whose guitarist Jeremy practically incarnates unreconstructed hippydom as found on and around the Cowley Road, besides being one of the most expert instrumentalists to be found in his field; and the Mark Atherton Band, who among an ever-changing lineup, oft-shifting instrumentation and gradually evolving repertoire are responsible for pulling me out of the obscurity of open mike solos to start roaming across Oxford’s gigging band scene. You might say that the rest is history.
All in all, you could hardly get a more thorough cross-section of my home city’s unsigned music scene in its idiosyncratic eclecticism. Be there or, as the saying sometimes goes, be an equilateral rectilinear quadrangle.