Oxjam @ Nestival
Recently, I’ve been volunteering as part of my local Oxjam team in New Cross. It’s been fun and great to meet people who are passionate about using live music as a way to bring people together and give back to charity. We had our first proper event at The Birds Nest as part of Nestival and it was mint.
The Birds Nest is a wicked little venue in Deptford, really nice atmosphere and every time I have been in the staff have been lovely. The burgers are also delicious. I went down early to help set up, it was nice meeting Tom and Joel and they were both so helpful – which is good as I would have probably broken my neck putting up those banners by myself!
Nestival is a 5 day event at the Birds Nest with a killer line up for each evening, culminating in a performance from Kate Tempest on the final evening.
We had selected half of the Thursday night line-up and they had chosen the other half. The event kicked off with Black Plastic, one of their choices. Opening a show can be tricky sometimes but they gave no sign of this, delivering high energy performance that managed to enthuse the audience.
The tone changed with the next performer – Lewis Floyd Henry. He was understated at first, with the sound building up into something mesmerising. A real treat to watch, as a one man band he absorbs your attention so casually it could almost be accidental.
Lazarvs played after, my favourite band of the evening. I first heard these guys at New Cross Inn and loved them. They create a smoky atmosphere when they play, you can almost see it unfurling beneath them. Have a listen to this and you’ll understand a bit of what I mean.
Keep in mind that is an iphone recording. Wow.
Another highlight for me was Elephants and Castles. I’ve seen their name dotted about the south east of London a fair amount and wasn’t sure what to expect. At the beginning they explained that their debut album ‘Fashanu’ was named for the football player Justin Fashanu, he was Britain’s first black footballer to command a £1m transfer fee. He then took his own life in 1998 after coming out as gay and being subjected to harassment and abuse. Their performance was a combination of solid song writing with delicious harmonies and despite the tragic inspiration behind the album, it managed to be fun.
I also had a lot of love for First, another 3 piece. I was flagging when they made it onto the stage, a combination of too much ale and sleepiness, but was soon rejuvenated.
I was gutted to be working nights the next few days as it would have been mint to see the rest of the acts. However, it was lovely to work with Matt again. He kindly agreed to sound engineer in return for booze and food.