Looking for a fun night out with a few tunes thrown in?

Here's our pick of the week ahead's best gigs in Oxford and around, from quirky folk to Dylan and Pearl Jam covers... and spectacular music for advent:

Irregular folk

Cosmo Sheldrake and Sephine Lo

St Barnabas Church, Jericho, Oxford


Christmas is on the way, and so is our favourite festive musical tradition – the Irregular Folks Christmas Special.

This year’s bash features the talents of Cosmo Sheldrake and Sephine Llo.

Cosmo is a 27-year-old singer, songwriter, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist from London who is inspired by, and often incorporates, field recordings and natural soundscapes.

Expect a kaleidoscope of musical textures, with atmospheric old sounds up against new technology.

Irregular Folks organiser Vez Hoper describes it as “hectic yet contemplative – like travelling around the world, out to space, into your dreams and back again. It’s a genre-defying, bright, fresh and otherworldly sonic experience.”

Sephine Llo – aka Josephine Lloyd-Wilson – experiments with alternative sound sources including day-to-day objects and lesser-known instruments such as the kora and sanxian. She combines this experimentation with an unconventional songwriting style and unique vocal performance.

Expect whispers of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell all plunged into a mastery of cosmic sound.



The Dylan Project

Unicorn Theatre, Checker Walk, Abingdon


Any night of Bob Dylan songs is a treat – even if the man himself is not involved (though some would say that might be a bonus on the vocal front). Tonight’s show in Abingdon, however, is more than just another tribute.

Featuring Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg and Gerry Conway on bass and drums respectively, alongside singer Steve Gibbons, PJ Wright (slide and electric guitars) and Phil Bond (keys), this is an all-star interpretation of the greatest ever songwriter.

The Dylan Project’s repertoire spans the whole of Dylan’s oeuvre – everything from Highway 61 to Mississippi – with new material frequently thrown in.


Gibbons sounds uncannily like Dylan while retaining his own inimitable vocal style and the other musicians are fine interpreters of the virtuosity of The Band

Tickets from Mostly Books, Stert Street, Abingdon or musicattheunicorn.org.uk

Festive show

Richard Durrant

St Nicolas Church, Baulking, Faringdon


Expect seasonal music from the folk, pagan and Christian traditions in this candle-lit concert by composer and guitarist Richard Durrant. Richard eschews the commercial and tinselly in favour of an intriguingly honest blend of wintry acoustic, classical and original music.

He he is joined by singer-songwriter Amy Kakoura and master fiddler Nick Pynn.

Richard says: “I hope that our audiences will feel they have made contact with the magic of midwinter. We three musicians love playing these shows and it really does feel like Christmas onstage. Come and join us."


His albums A Quiet Word from the 13th Century & Christmas Guitars are available online and at the concert.



Pearl Jam UK

O2 Academy Oxford


Fans of Eddie Vedder will be in their element with the world’s finest tribute to the Pearl Jam maestro.




O2 Academy Oxford


The former frontman of Marillion performs the band’s classic album Clutching At Straws for the final time., as well as new material from his forthcoming album Weltschmerz.

Expect songs from new EP A Parley With Angels, including tracks Man With A Stick and Little Man What Now.



The Bronx & Flogging Molly

O2 Academy Oxford

Next Thursday

A stellar night of raucous post-punk and Irish-tinged rock comes courtesy of The Bronx, Flogging Molly, Face To Face and Lost In Stereo, who all appear on the Fireball – Fuelling the Fire tour.




Festive show

A Celebration of Christmas

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Tomorrow, 8pm

The annual Macmillan fundraiser returns tomorrow with another star-studded event, this time featuring Shaun Evans, Sinead Cusack, John Lloyd and Will Gompertz.

Tickets: 01865 305305 or on the door



A Baroque Christmas

University Church, Oxford

Tomorrow, 7.30pm

Baroque ensemble Spiritato and soprano Augusta Hebbert capture the joy and wonder of the Nativity in this selection of seasonal fare by Italian composers, including Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Season, two Scarlatti cantatas and other works by Corelli, Sammartini, Torelli and Locatelli.

Tickets: 01865 2448806 or musicatoxford.com

Woodstock Music Society

Autumn Into Winter

St Mary Magdalene Church, Woodstock

Tomorrow & Saturday


Following performances of the Spring and Summer movements from Haydn’s The Seasons, WMS now completes the cycle with Autumn and Winter, together with other seasonal music. With Katherine Walker (soprano), Tristan Stocks (tenor) and Brian McAlea (bass) and conductor Paul Ingram.

City of Oxford Orchestra

Christmas Carol Concert

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Sunday, 7pm

Always a fun occasion, this concert of traditional festive fare includes Leroy Anderson Sleigh Ride, Coates Cinderella, Berlioz Shepherds’ Farewell and Humperdinck Hansel & Gretel overture, plus carols for choir and audience. With local choirs, Onyx Brass, singer Sofie Elyse and conductor Jacques Cohen.

Tickets: 01865 744457


Choral Music for Advent and Christmas

St John the Evangelist, Iffley Road

Saturday, 7.30pm

Matthew Berry conducts Commotio’s seasonal offering, which showcases choral music for Advent and Christmas from the 20th and 21st centuries. The programme features unfamiliar works by familiar composers, including Herbert Howells and Peter Warlock, alongside recent works by O’Regan, McDowall and others.

Tickets: sje-oxford.org

Orchestra of St John’s


Dorchester Abbey

Saturday, 7.30pm

Enjoy this programme of traditional carols with the OSJ Ashmolean Voices, conducted by John Lubbock, and special guests Shillingford and Warborough Choir, conducted by Christine Cairns. Proceeds to children’s charity Clear Sky (clear-sky.org.uk). Ashmolean Voices will also be singing carols at the Ashmolean Museum on Sunday at 7.30pm.

Tickets: osj.org.uk