LAST year was a phenomenal one for the Oxford music scene. Despite reeling from the loss of much-missed venue The Cellar, the city welcomed some premier league acts, rising stars, and hometown shows by some of our own iconic stars – among them Gaz Coombes, Foals and Ride.

While slow, as ever, to get off the ground, the coming year looks promising too, with a mix of buzz acts and established names all dropping in.

The O2 Academy is first out of the blocks with the much anticipated return of Bombay Bicycle Club, who celebrate the release of their long-awaited new album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, with an intimate show next Saturday, January 18.

For a blast of a band already hailed as one of the sounds of 2020, don’t miss Working Mens Club at The Bullingdon on February 19.

The Yorkshire band of Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, Jake Bogacki, Giulia Bonometti, and Liam Ogburn have been hailed as leaders of a burgeoning post-punk renaissance which is set to shape the year ahead.

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Check out Bad Blood and b-side Suburban Heights, which saw the NME comparing them to The Fall as well as contemporary acts like Brooklyn’s indie-rockers Parquet Courts.

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For a massive change of pace, the same venue hosts a man who is no stranger to Oxford – the erstwhile Detective Inspector Lewis, Laurence Fox. He brings his efforts on February 26.

Another screen star to have made a name as a singer-songwriter is ‘24’ actor Kiefer Sutherland. The Hollywood heartthrob turned country superstar comes to share the rock & roll spirit of new album, Reckless & Me, on March 2 at the O2 Academy.

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Elvis Costello

All-girl band The Big Moon are friends of the aforementioned Bombay Bicycle Club – joining them on the road. They come back under their own steam on March 3 for a headline show in support of their new album, Walking Like We Do. Featuring the boldest and brightest music of their career, the record is an exciting force of positivity that could easily become the soundtrack to 2020.

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There’s more life-affirming stuff by Northamptonshire psychedelic rockers, Temples, who play the O2 Academy on March 6. The Kettering lads continue to ride the wave of new album, Hot Motion and bring spacey lysergic rock which to expand the mind.

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There’s heavier fare from one of the stars of Reading Festival, Twin Atlantic. The band make a scorching full live return with an intimate spring tour in celebration of the band’s supercharged fourth album, Power. See them at the O2 Academy on March 14.

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Mystery Jets

A brace of stars drop into the New Theatre in March. First up, on March 15 is new-wave icon Elvis Costello & The Imposters – who follows previous crowd-pleasing sets at Cornbury Festival and Blenheim Palace with another run through the hits. Then on March 16, things calm down somewhat for jazz star Jamie Cullum.

The virtuoso pianist comes with new album Taller, along with all the songs we know him for. Expect a surprisingly dynamic show by this charismatic talent.

It’s a massive leap from Jamie’s native Essex to Jamaica, but a few days later, on March 19, the O2 Academy 2 Oxford plays host to a giant of Caribbean music – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. One of reggae’s undisputed pioneers, Perry, continues to break new ground and at 83 is still charging forward with new album, Heavy Rain.

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March also sees shows by Melbourne’s genre-busting, multi-platinum selling The Cat Empire, and indie-rockers Palace at the O2 Academy, before Goldie Lookin Chain head out of Newport for a night of rap and laughs on April 17.

The year also sees visits by some legends of rock and pop, with Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason’s bringing his Saucerful of Secrets tour to the New Theatre on April 25, Paul Weller on May 6 and the iconic Clearwater Creedence Revival on September 27.

With much more to be announced, it looks like being a vintage year.