If like me you managed to miss out on the Oxjam Cardiff Takeoff for 2014, then I think it’s fair to say that we missed out. I saw Dominic Griffin play not too long ago, and he (and his band) were pretty immense. On the night Dominic was giving half of the cash raised from selling his Yangshuo EP to Oxjam, and if you get a chance I strongly suggest that you invest in it. The combination of lush production and beautiful melodies give it an epic sound, which is strange given the stripped back nature of the arrangements.
We didn’t just miss out on good music though, we also missed out on the latest Oxjam line-up announcements. As if the line-up wasn’t already strong enough, there’s a load more awesome people that have been added to the bill. For those of us that missed it, the rest of the line-up is being formally announced on Wednesday. But in the meantime, here’s some people who are on there that are well worth checking out.
Rhodri Brooks has been pretty incredible whenever I’ve seen him in Cardiff. It’s easy to label any musical outfit as having an individual sound, but I genuinely think that Rhodri does. Both his solo stuff and full band efforts draw on elements of lo-fi, Americana and country. His sound is unique without ever going so far as to be twee or quaint, which so many bands end up doing when they go down the road of making country influenced music.
Since getting involved with the Oxjam stuff, I’ve seen and heard a lot of Albatross Archive’s material. They seem to be doing well for themselves since winning the big gig, and it’s not hard to see why if you see them live. The quirky piano lines, big vocals and what sound like spontaneous rhythms (but that I imagine are bloody well-rehearsed) make for a big sound, and their use of visuals also mark them out from the crowd. So I’m massively intrigued to hear how Richard Jackson’s solo show goes down at Oxjam. I’ve never had the chance to see him solo before, so this should be well worth going to.
So to keep up to date with what’s going down, the best thing to do is to like Oxjam Cardiff on Facebook, where you’ll hear the announcement as soon as it’s out in the wide world. And if you still haven’t done it, chuck 16 November in your diary and get involved with Oxjam. Great bands, even greater cause.