Oxjam Interview

There’s a pretty interesting event happening Aberdeen soon and Still Burning caught up with Andy Kite (Oxjam Marketing Coordinator) and Laura Darnell (Oxjam Regional Manager) to find out just what Oxjam is all about.

Oxjam Aberdeen 2010

Oxjam… what’s it all about? How long has it been going now?

Laura – This is Oxjam’s fourth year. It has come from very small beginnings but is now a month long music festival throughout October culminating in a multi-venue music festival which takes place on the same day in each city.

So its a national event, as opposed to just being something we have in Aberdeen?

Laura – Absolutely! There are 28 other cities doing exactly the same as we are. Encouraging their local music scene to get involved and raise money and awareness for Oxfam. Our motto is Local Music, Global Impact.

Do you have set target of £££’s in mind?

Laura  – Oxfam have set us a target of £4179, it’s quite high but with the great line-up that Shawn our Production Coordinator has organised we are very confident!

Did I see something about a Guitar Hero event?

Andy – Yes, we held a Guitar Hero tournament a couple of weeks ago.  It went really well and we had the Van Halen’s of video game world competing!  We’ve also had a music quiz, a gig at Cafe Drummonds and attended the International Fun Day at the Duthie Park.  One of our committee members also got waxed and raised over £100 for us.

Are there any other local events planned?

Andy – Yes, we have a gig at the Dirty Hearts Club on the 7th of October with JJ Bull, The Scandal Extracts and Jamie Rodden.  We’re also going to be organising the live music at the Global Climate Change day at Union Terrace Gardens on the 10th Oct.  On top of this we are having another pub quiz on the 15th of October in the run up to The Takeover.

Where does our hard-earned go?

Laura – As we’ve been able to fundraise to cover the costs of the festival all £5 of the ticket price goes directly to Oxfam’s work here and abroad. Oxjam’s focus this year is climate change. People are being affected by climate change right here, right now. The money we raise will go to buy things like drought-resistant crops and raising people’s homes to help during floods.

And I believe Saturday the 23rd of October is when it’s all happening up here?

Andy – That’s correct, our main festival day is called The Takeover and is what we are building up to.

I’ve had a scan of the poster and I must say its a damn fine line-up you have there. Or should I say line-ups? Five venues and five bands or artists per venue?

Andy – Thanks!  We really feel we’ve got a great bill with 25 acts performing across five city centre stages.  We have both Tunnels, Cafe Drummonds, The Blue Lamp and Enigma with bands on each stage being quite similar in terms of genre to fit in well with each other.  Our headliners are Le Reno Amps, Weather Barn (formerly known as Cast of the Capital), The Wildcards, Gerry Jablonski and Jo McCafferty whilst we also have appearing Turning 13, The Deportees, Cuddly Shark, Marionettes, The Lorelei, The Kitchen Cynics, Kashmir Red and The Oxbow Lake.

What time does it all start?

Andy – Doors open at 7pm with the bands taking to the stage soon after.  The bands will finish between 11.30pm and midnight and we are holding an aftershow party at the Tunnels.

And its five pounds per ticket, which allows you access to any of the venues? Is it best to buy in advance, or will there be plenty for sale on the day?

Laura – With such a great line-up the tickets have been selling really well already. They are available from WeGotTickets, One Up and Dirty Hearts Club night at Snafu. It should be possible to get tickets at the door but always best to book early!

It’s a kinda cool name, will there be t-shirts and stuff for sale?

Laura – We are making Oxjam Aberdeen tote bags to sell at the festival and if you want to get your hands on an Oxjam t-shirt you can buy them from the Oxfam website.  We are also running a scheme called a visual petition where instead of signing something to campaign against climate change and poverty you can have your knuckles inked with “Fair Deal” and get your picture taken.  The photos are then put into a collage and sent off to show everyone supporting our cause.

Is there a sampler cd happening? Where does one find it?

Andy – Yes, we’ve produced a compilation album featuring tracks from Weather Barn, Katerwaul, The Kitchen Cynics, Eric Euan, The Oxbow Lake, Turning 13, The Scandal Extracts, Emerald Sunday and The Deportees, all of whom are performing at The Takeover.  The CD costs £3 and is available at The Takeover and all of our other events.

There is a special Aberdeen Events podcast as well?

Andy – Yes, we recorded a podcast with Billy Sangster from Aberdeen Events.  It will be available to download the week before the Takeover and feature interviews and tracks from about half a dozen bands.  It was good fun to record and is going to be very informative about the bands and Oxjam.

Update: You can now download the Aberdeen Events Oxjam Podcast here.

Do you still need any helpers on the day?

Laura – Yes, we still have volunteering opportunities. We need people to exchange wristbands, help with additional fundraising, Street Team etc. If you’d like to get involved email us at oxjam.aberdeen2010@gmail.com We will be having a training event so no experience necessary!

Please don’t get all holy willy with me, but how can folks help `the cause` after the event?

Laura – There will be Oxfam campaigners at the Takeover, they will be happy to speak to anyone who would like to get involved. Alternatively check out Oxfam’s website, it has all the information on campaigning and fundraising.

We have to give this interview our wee FnS stamp so we’ll need your five desert island tracks?

Laura – 1.  Ny Batteri – Sigur Ros; 2.  Nights of the Living Dead – Tilly and the Wall; 3.  Hope There’s Someone – Antony and the Johnsons; 4.  Only You – Flying Pickets; 5.  Case of You – Joni Mitchell

Andy – 1.  Paranoid Android – Radiohead; 2.  Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley; 3.  Svefn-g-englar – Sigur Ros; 4.  Runaway – The National; 5.  Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

And finally… your favourite flavour of crisps?

Laura – Tomato Ketchup

Andy – Chilli Heatwave Doritos for me!

Lets hope as many of you as possible can make it along to this as I’m sure there’s something for everyone there.

We (Flares n Seagulls) would like anyone who is going and fancies doing some short reviews and taking some pictures of the event to get in touch. We will be in attendance of course, but it will be impossible to be at all five venues at the same time. Just chuck a wee email in the direction of info@flaresnseagulls.com   Cheers, SB.

Oxjam (Aberdeen) Facebook

Official Oxjam Website


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