Willy Mason rounds off OX4 with a cracking set

OX4 Festival review

By Sarah Thomas | Published: Mon 11th Oct 2010

Willy Mason

Saturday 9th October 2010
East OxVarious venues along the Cowley Road, Oxford, England MAP
£15, concessions £12
Last updated: Fri 7th Feb 2014

OX 4 festival is run by the people behind Truck. It is held in Cowley Road in Oxford, which is a vibrant hub of an area, and has many different venues up and down the street. OX4 this year fell on John Peel Day, which is rather apt for the Cowley Road. It all kicked off in the O2 Academy, where you could go and get your tickets from 2pm onwards. However, most of the entertainment was not due to start until 3pm.

around the festival
I went along to the Bookbinders, which is a lovely venue very bright, and welcoming. However, it was empty. Entertainment was due to start here at 3, with question and answer sessions from various people including Tim Turan, Andrew Mitchell, and Sam Williams, who produced 'I Should Coco' by Supergrass. At 3.15 one of the staff came over, and said they would be starting in 5 minutes. By half past they had still not started, so I decided to leave. This venue was not on the Cowley Road, and I did wonder if it had enough signs to let people know where it was. I did not see any, but there was someone putting them up when I left.

Steph West
I went down to Cafe Tarifa. What a totally different story. This is located in Cowley Road, but almost at the opposite end to the O2. However, there were lots of people there, and happy to be there. People were happy, and drinking, and generally having fun. I stayed here and watched Steph West, who is a harpist and singer. She told us she was also a harp teacher, and went on to tell the crowd about the harp, and the different music she was playing. It was lovely, and I could have listened to her for very much longer than what she was allowed to play.

So, it was time to go up to the O2, which opened its doors at 5.30pm. This is a two floor venue, with the bigger area upstairs, and the smaller one downstairs. However, you could go from upstairs to downstairs and vice versa as often as you liked. The first band up were Fixers, who are a local band, and got good support from the local crowd. Upstairs we had band from the Midlands called Boat To Row. Very chilled band, and very easy to listen to. I would recommend going to see them. Good rapport with the crowd, and generally well accepted especially with a local band playing at the same time downstairs.

Next up, downstairs was Glitches. These guys really got the people watching dancing. THe venue was filling up, and most were watching and dancing along.

After these guys, I went back upstairs to see Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. The jury is still out on these guys.. Sorry.

Willy Mason
Back downstairs. By now the downstairs venue was running very late, so I went back upstairs to see Willy Mason. A cracking set from Willy, playing to a packed out venue, rounded up the evening's entertainment, and he was very well recieved.

Overall a good day out. But the venues were all quite a long way apart from each other. This would make it difficult for someone with limited mobility to access everything. Also, with both floors at the O2, I was unsure if it has a lift for people to get upstairs.

It all ended by 10pm. The O2 then started its weekly club night, and the aftershow party was to be held in the Regal, again along Cowley road. However, you had to pay more to get into there, and it looked as though more people were heading home.

If you go, be prepared to do some walking!
review by: Sarah Thomas

photos by: Sarah Thomas

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