three of the finest British acts of pop and dance music in intimate south London venue

Oxjam 2009 review

published: Tue 6th Oct 2009

around the venue (people)

Monday 28th September to Wednesday 28th October 2009
various locations around the UK, UK
varies - depending on event
last updated: Wed 21st Oct 2009

Bidding farewell to September 2009 in style sees three of the finest British acts of pop and dance music in the last 20 years come together in an intimate south London venue. How was it? Pretty much as expected and plenty more besides – read on for more!

around the venue (people)
The gig is part of a series of shows under the banner of Oxjam, which sees some truly huge names in modern music get to together in the name of raising money for charity. The theme was campaigning "until you're blue in the face" which explains the sudden outbreak of blue face paint that produced a great sea of patterned faces.

Oh, did I mention that as part of the festival, all the gigs have to be done in Oxfam shops? I've been in some strange places for gigs, even a converted public toilet in Whitechapel (Public Life), and raving in the Oxfam shop in Tooting Broadway is certainly up there with the weirdest places. Those low ceilings make for a very hot environment though – probably not the greatest place to hold a dance night in retrospect. As the venue hadn't been disclosed before the event, I doubt anyone could have even guessed where it was going to be held if they did want to crash it!

Loads of cheery staff were on hand to point out that anything on the shelves was for sale during the night, such as rare vinyl (a mint 12" copy of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up included!), CDs, books, clothes, board games, the list goes on. It's certainly a unique plan to attract young people into an Oxfam shop and there was plenty of rummaging to be had before the show kick started. I just wish all Oxfams were full of such great second hand stuff.

Stereo MCs
The delegation of Rob Birch from Stereo MC's plus rapper/MC support were first up to the wheels of steel and to be fair, I didn't know what to expect. Stereo MCs are mid 90s, Get Connected and so on – what could they start with that would be on par with the heavyweight players? The answer is of course a riotous collection of dubstep, bashment, electro, house and all things banging. In an intimate gig of maybe 100 people, Rob got the first people dancing and really livened up the place. I have a lot of respect for these guys – being able to put a huge smile on so many people's faces on a cool Wednesday evening is no easy feat.

Basement Jaxx (DJ set)
By the time the dust settled after the first set, it was clear that the night was going to be something special. There was a good vibe going and it only got better with Basement Jaxx starting off with a great salsa/latin track. Even Felix had admitted it was going to be tough to follow up the bomb that ambled off into a trademark assortment of eclectic house and electro beats, including a great thumping version of Bohemian Rhapsody, getting everyone dancing with Do Your Thing and finishing on classic Where's Your Head At? It was clear that they were only just getting going by the end of the allotted time and I think another chance to see them is in order! Other point to note – a signed vinyl copy of their album went for 100 notes in an auction, so well done lads for raising so much.

Fatboy Slim
Of course, the headline player a hard act to follow and the incredible response Fatboy Slim got just for stepping up to the decks is testament to his widespread and enduring popularity. And what exactly is he popular for? Well, namely for dancing like a nutter and playing some great party tracks – sometimes, that's all you need! Highlights included the classic Michael Viner cover of Apache, a storming mashup of Splack Pack vs Mylo (Shake That Ass & Drop The Pressure – nice pelvic thrusts, Fatboy!) and a rocking remix of Rockafella Skank. If you want an idea of the crowd reaction, just check out the photos – everyone in the place was out for a good time with a smiley face on and made sure everyone else was too. That's how good his sets are and I encourage you to go to see him if he's in town!

With only an hour to play with each, time was tight for their DJ sets and all three did not disappoint, and so in a place full of old records some people came to listen to some new ones in the name of raising money. A great night out and proof that midweek clubbing can really be an awesome thing.
review by: Chris Smout

photos by: Chris Mathews

Monday 28th September to Wednesday 28th October 2009
various locations around the UK, UK
varies - depending on event
last updated: Wed 21st Oct 2009


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