Yesterday, Oxjam came to Chiswick and Paul and I were there to be part of it.
The adventure started with a chance meeting last weekend, when we saw two musicians playing in the window of the Oxfam shop on Chiswick High Road. Before we knew it, we were talking to a man who was giving out leflets, little did we know he was Julian, the ‘Take Over Manager’ for the Chiswick Oxjam; how cool was this.
We knew that our favourite young band, The Carnabys, were playing at the Packhorse and Talbot the following Saturday, and we were really really excited about seeing them play again. Whilst talking to Julian we soon put two and two together, realising The Carnabys were part of Oxjam. This was getting better and better.
After talking to Julian we became excited by the whole idea of Oxjam Chiswick. By the end of our conversation, we had offered our services to help where we could, by blogging about the event.
So, yesterday, Saturday 20th October dawned, and we found ourselves doing a quick jog up Chiswick High Street towards The Hogarth Health Club, where Iron Maiden’s vocalist, Bruce Dickinson was to open the festival at 12pm.
One of my most embarrassing moments came when I saw Julian at The Hogarth Health Club, I went over to wish him good luck for the day. The man he was talking too, looked up at me in a slightly annoyed fashion. He was wearing an Oxjam T-Shirt, and I thought he may be part of the crew. To my dismay, no he wasn’t. It turned out that he was Bruce Dickinson, and I had just blanked him. Oops. Not my finest journalistic moment.
Let’s move on shall we…
The Chiswick Rock Choir were first up, and they were very cool. They weren’t your ‘traditional’ choir. According to the Rock Choir website: http://www.rockchoir.com/home.html
” Rock Choir offers a very different experience to the traditional classical or community choir, pioneering a new approach to vocal training and entertainment.”
The choir tem leader, Katy Seath, was great at leading them, and also starred by performing a solo for one of the songs. They all looked to be really enjoying the moment and their singing.
Next up was the Hammersmith Ukulele Group aka H.U.G. We loved them. We have badges which say, that we’ve been H.U.G.GED.
They all wore brightly-coloured tops and jerseys, which were great fun (my favourite was a bright orange number)
They were brilliant, starting their set with ‘I want to be like you’ from Jungle Book. They sang and they played. They were fun, professional and great to listen to.
Time was pressing as we wanted to make it to the Packhorse and Talbot on time, as we hoped to meet up with The Carnabys before they went on. The guys were running a bit late, but we were not too bothered as a glass of wine, a pint of Guinness and a sausage and chip platter beckoned.
This also gave us the opportunity to hear two more fabulous bands! Red Rose Empire and the Move-Ons.
Red Rose Empire are a 3 piece acoustic band who rock. We loved their energy and their style. Check them out on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/redroseempire
“If John Lennon and Morrissey had a love child…this is what it would sound like!!!”
Red Rose Empire
They were one of the musical highlights of the day for us. I briefly spoke to the lead singer Paul and he was kind enough to give us one of their cd’s, which we have been playing all day. We hope to tell you a lot more about them very soon!
The other band we really enjoyed were ‘The Move-Ons’ They drew us into their performance, and again another CD to our growing collection of hidden talent. On their website: http://www.themove-ons.co.uk/ they say the following about themselves:
“The Move-ons from Brighton are an unsigned four piece alternative indie rock band with songs that range from acoustic chill out to heavy riffs and atmospheric breakdowns.”
Then Carnabys arrived, and then it was time for them to perform. They played music from their first EP, which Paul and I know know very well, so we were singing along…
These 5 young guys are so talented that they make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
When they play, you just know that it’s not going to be long before they are huge! Each time we see them perform they get better and better.
They are in the process of recording their next EP, which is due to be released soon; personally we can’t wait!!
Our favourite song of theirs is called, ‘Sharp Rose’ which is on their website. Do yourself a favour and have a listen: http://www.thecarnabys.com/. You need to click the WATCH button to view the video of ‘Sharp Rose’.
Paul and I were lucky enough to have a brief interview with the guys after their set – much more to follow!!
Shakey with excitement, we left the Packhorse & Talbot and decided we needed a more chilled vibe, so we moved on to The Old Packhorse. I have to admit that by this stage we were a little bit knackered and almost ready to head for home.
It was a pleasant surprise when we got to listen to Kit Richardson and her band.
Kit had experienced a nightmare journey to get to Chiswick (I think she said 3 buses,1 train and a 3 hour travel time) but as soon as her boyfriend got her a gin and tonic she said she felt better. Her second violinist was still enroute when they started their gig, but Kit did not let this phase her.
Listen to her on her sound cloud website: http://soundcloud.com/kit-richardson
“Kit Richardson is a singer/songwriter/occasional trombonist from London, via Birmingham. She likes alternative hip-hop, mathcore and Neil Finn.”
After Kit and her band finished, we decided it was time to call it a day, although there was still so much more to see and hear.
We had such a fabulous day, so thank you to Julian and all of the Oxjam volunteers and a BIG thank you to all of the fabulous bands, choirs and music groups that entertained us and gave us such a thrill, and a musical high.
If there is an Oxjam near you, we recommend giving them your support, as well as the performers who work so hard to achieve their dreams.