Oxjam - Reading 20/10/12
Article by Christopher Craddock
After hours upon countless hours of preparation and planning, Reading's first ever Oxjam Takeover Event took place on Saturday October 20th and everyone who was involved can consider it a huge success.
With 60 different artists set to play across six different venues in the town, it was always going to be a monumental feat to pull it off but thankfully the organisers put on a speculator show that matched the wonderful cause they were raising money and awareness for.
The venues selected for the event brought their own individual character for all those who went whether it was the lively vibe of The Rising Sun, the atmospheric attic of Milk or the classy setting of the Oakford Social Club. So whether there were a handful of people or a packed crowd everyone was having the kind of fun that suited them throughout the day.
Then the bands were also on fantastic form to capture that feel-good feeling from the punters and summing up the day's spirit. Alex Ferguson, a 16 year old aspiring singer/songwriter even performed twice at Milk after an unexpected cancellation. I spoke to Alex after his second set.
However, as good as the musicians undoubtedly were so much more credit must go to the volunteers and organisers of the event. Smiling constantly despite the gruelling work that they've put into this really made the day come to life.
Whether it was working on the PR side of things, helping out with the graphic designs, collecting as many prizes they could get their hands on or simply ensuring that everyone coughed up something for this special cause, the Oxjam Reading Team were superb. Here's what those above got up to:
A special mentioned must go to the man who was at the centre of putting this all together, Ben Smith. Not only did he literally put on the show itself but then went onto headline the show at the Oakford Social Club with his band, Private Jet. Now that is commitment!
A personal highlight of the day was to catch Shout Timber put on a show with a bit of difference at the Oakford Social Club. Without their drummer, the guys performed delightful reworks of some of their top songs like 'First Love' and soon to be released 'East India Trading Company'. Before they had to dash off I caught up with them and got them to put on a special session of 'Louise' just for Oxjam.