OXJAM returned for a second year last Saturday and offered a sparkling line up of bands, showcasing some of the best talent in Huddersfield across six venues in town.
With more than 40 bands playing the only catch is that there is too much choice and not enough time.
Choosing to stay at the top end of town I spent the night jogging between Sleepers and Little Buddha Bar which were predominantly home to indie rock plus acoustic and folk acts for the night. Luckily for me the line-up at Sleepers had been put back an hour meaning I managed to catch more than I’d hoped.
Little Buddha Bar, 7.40pm. David Mctea dons an acoustic guitar, his hair is in a middle parting and he stands tapping his winkle pickers. He is almost like a snapshot of the 60s which is an era that seems to be a running theme throughout his set.
He sings about bus drivers from his childhood and talks about writing songs with his father. Originally from Chile, Mctea’s music is a rare mix of blues and ragtime with an American country twang and a lot of finger clicking. While I don’t manage to catch any song names, it is an enjoyable upbeat set that more than pleased the modest but very captivated crowd.
Across at Sleepers, the crowd were spilling outside as young indie band Dirty Green Vinyl rocketed through their set. Despite an impressive 11-song setlist, I only catch the last two tracks but thankfully I didn’t miss the wonderful cover of 50 Cent’s ‘This Is How We Do It’.
Frontman James Finn may only be 15 but he exudes confidence as he strums his guitar (which in true Alex Turner style is right under his chin) and sings to the packed room.
Their closing track ‘Dark Of Town’ states obvious inspiration from Yorkshire’s own Arctic Monkey’s with jaunty guitar riffs and simplistic drum beats.
Tokyo Corner change the pace of the night as they take to the stage at 8.30pm. They are a lot louder than the previous bands, instantly filling the room with sound and unfortunately feedback from the mic. Despite minor technical hiccups and, as singer Luke noted, “not much room to dance” up on the stage, Tokyo Corner do a brilliant job. Luke fills the little space he has on stage with Ian Curtis-esque dance moves and Kasabian inspired vocals.
Despite having recently parted with their bassist, Aged Yummy are on top form as they take to the stage an hour later than planned, effectively headlining the night at Sleepers.
Rightly so too as they are one of Huddersfield’s most unique bands, flying the flag for a math-surf-rock-punk mash up.
The majority of Yummy’s tracks (in true punk form) are less than three minutes long. ‘Bon Pomme’ is over in a flash but still stands out as a favourite of the night, with unbelievably danceable guitar parts and obscure lyrics. ‘Benjimino’ really showcases singer, Adam Smith’s raw talent as a vocalist and gets the crowd up on their feet. The highlight of the band though, is their ability to have fun whilst they play. Smith has a tendency to take to the area in front of the stage to give himself room to pull shapes to the bands jittery sound and there is always some joking about – a noteworthy performance to end a superb night of live music!