Live review of Eliza Doolittle, Chloe Howl, Ghostpoet, FuseODG and The Fox Problem At Oxjam 2013

Now in its seventh year, Oxjam shows no sign of slowing down. Oxjam's reputation is one that continues to attract some of the UK's biggest performers. Passed acts include Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Jarvis Cocker and Fatboy Slim. The Oxjam Music Festival sees gigs taking place all over the UK throughout October put together by members of the public to raise money for Oxfam.  A truly worthwhile cause and a brilliant chance to check out local talent as well as well established artists. 

Eliza Doolittle

The second day of Oxjam's launch party saw Eliza Doolittle and Ghostpoet play alongside the likes of Chloe Howl, FuseODG and The Fox Problem, who are now a quartet thanks to the addition of former Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke.

This was more than a gig. It was a party!  

In between performances, there was a 'Twaffle' - a Twitter raffle where audience members were to take pictures of the acts on stage and Tweet them in. The act would pick the photograph they liked the best and prizes - including Nike Air trainers and a table at Professor Green's nightclub - were won. More fun came from the fabulous a cappella group The Magnets and, as a twist to proceedings, Ollie Locke was challenged to join the band for a one off performance. After a short practice, The Magnets and Ollie took to the stairs (yes, they performed on stairs) for renditions of Cee Lo Green's 'F**k You' and crowd pleaser 'Valerie'.  A great addition to the evening and certainly kept the audience entertained.

First to take to stage was singer Chloe Howl. Already featured on BBC Introducing, she is certainly one to watch for the future. Dancing her way through an impressive set, this shy teenager held the stage extremely well as she sang her catalogue of songs including recent single 'No Strings' to an enthusiastic crowd.  This was a fantastic set from someone described as 'the most exciting thing to happen to pop since Lily Allen'.  'Drop in the Ocean' and 'Rumours' were lively tracks making her a joy to watch. Her EP 'No Strings' is out now with an album to follow next year.

Headline act Eliza Doolittle followed with a brilliant eight song set featuring favourites 'Pack Up' and 'Skinny Genes' as well as new songs from her upcoming album. With her normal warm and friendly on stage presence, Doolittle interacted perfectly with the crowd whilst giving one hundred per cent, thus producing marvellous vocals and a commanding performance. Ending her set with new album track 'No Man Can', a slow emotional ballad sure to be an album favourite, the 25-year-old then shared stories about previous jamming sessions with Sir Paul McCartney and Damon Albarn.  Expect to see a lot more of the Londoner as she gears up to release her second album next month.

Fuse ODG put on an energetic set, performing hit 'Antenna' and at one point taking to the floor to dance with a security guard much to the delight of the audience. The night ended with Ghostpoet taking to the decks to end the party in style with his DJ set.  

If the launch party was anything to go by, then this year's Oxjam Music Festival is not to be missed.  So get down to your local Oxjam gig this October.  

Alice Barker

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