Gathering Festival Oxford – October 19th 2013

Gathering Festival Oxford – October 19th 2013

Multi-venue town centre festivals aren’t a particularly new phenomenon, but they have only crept into my consciousness over the last couple of years. This year, I have visited two, The Great Escape and last week’s The Gathering Festival in Oxford.

Having conducted much thorough research into the matter (Google search), I can say with no confidence whatsoever that this is only the second year of The Gathering Festival. You wouldn’t know it though. Barring the queue for wristband exchange and a confusingly renamed venue, it was a slick affair. With easy walks between venues (past the local supermarket, handy for G&Ts in cans at £1.50 a pop, megabargain!) and acts running on time, it was a stress-free way to enjoy an afternoon and evening of top quality live bands.
Pawws @ The Gathering
The afternoon started for us with Pawws, who delivered a stunning set of electro-pop to a rapidly filling room at The Bullingdon/Art Bar. Add her to your ‘ones to watch list’. You heard it here first. Or if you read the music blogs, You heard it here sixth or so…

After saying hello to our favourite blogger (Hiiiii BreakingMoreWaves! Seriously, he’s great. Way better than us), we headed on to church to see the perfectly placed Mt. Wolf perform their ethereally beautiful songs.
Mt. Wolf @ The Gathering Festival
The highlight of the day came in the form of Chloë Howl. Having been underwhelmed by her performance at The Great Escape, my expectations were fairly low. They were smashed! She was brilliant. Rumour and No Strings have been staples of my playlist for the last few months and she brought them to life with a strut. She’s playing a handful of small dates in the near future (including New Slang, Kingston on 7/11 for FOUR POUNDS FLIPPIN BARGAIN), which you would be foolish to miss.
Chloe Howl @ The Gathering Festival
This should have been the time that were filing into the Oxford Academy to see the incredible London Grammar, but the at capacity venue and the fact we had seen them the previous day meant we headed back to the church for a forgettable set from Waxahatchee and so much fun with the lovely To Kill a King.
Waxahatchee @ The Gathering Festival
Between sets we were lucky enough to meet the fine owner of this blog for the very first time. We’ll call him Mr. Music. It was a fitting moment to meet as he was the one who introduced me to To Kill a King, and I have grown steadily fonder of them over the year. After a nice chat with Mr. Music about music (of all things), during which I may have gabbled (see £1.50 gins above), we were ready to see the band.
To Kill a King @ The Gathering Festival
I have it on good authority that Ralph from TKAK is a thoroughly decent fella, so it’s a shame that he’s going to hell for swearing in church after that set. Still, it was worth it for the fun, good humour and cracking tunes delivered.
To Kill a King @ The Gathering Festival
Following a quick bagel stop (woman cannot live by gin alone), our last stop was the East Oxford Community Centre to see the Ruen Brothers. Their slick set was marred by the oppressive heat in the venue and a lack of something original or unusual in their songs.
Ruen Brothers @ The Gathering Festival
We chickened out of staying to Wolf Alice who came on after midnight, as someone needed to be awake for the hour drive home.

Overall, this festival comes with a huge recommended stamp. Not only was it cheap day out with some brilliant acts, but there was no mud, no portaloos and no ridiculous queues for overpriced beer and burgers. I think this may be the end of my days of festivals in fields!



About author

Abi FSM 26 posts

Abi is the latest recruitment to the FSM team. Besides a passionate music lover, she's an amazingly talented photographer as well. Not to mention her above average usage of Twitter...

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