* COUNTRY bumpkins and sharp-suited city slickers unite on Saturday for the band and beverage-related event of the year.

After seven years of delighting audiences with their irresistible modern take on 1920s jump blues, swing and jive, Oxford’s Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band are moving into the rustic drinks business – by launching their own brand of cider. They are unveiling it at The Big Bang restaurant in Oxford Castle Quarter.

Produced for the band by The Cotswold Cider Company, Rabbit Foot Spasm Band cider is a deliciously crisp, refreshing drink which has already gone down well among those fortunate enough to get a sneak taste.

To celebrate, Stuart Macbeth and his men will play a set of old favourites and new tunes, with, we expect, a rural twist.

They will be joined by country, folk and bluegrass band Swindlestock and by DJs from Northampton record label Serious Types who will be complementing the Rabbit Foot stomp with New Orleans blues, swing, rock and roll and skiffle.

The fun starts at 7pm and tickets are £7 from wegottickets.com.

* IT has taken three long years, but local folk-rockers Stornoway are about to release their new album.

Tales from Terra Firma, the follow up to their Top 20 debut Beachcomber’s Windowsill, was recorded in a garage in Temple Cowley, St Michael at the Northgate Church, East Oxford Community Centre and a barn in Steventon.

And it is a triumph, as fans will discover when the band play a brace of headline shows at Oxford Town hall this coming week.

The gigs, on Thursday and Friday, follow previous shows at a Cowley Road pool hall, the Botanic Garden, Holywell Music Room and The Rotunda in Iffley. Both have sold out.

In an interview with our sister paper The Oxford Times, this week, the band’s Brian Briggs said: “These shows are all about giving the audience as memorable an experience as possible.

"We preferred the idea of playing somewhere interesting rather than the obvious big venues, and because of the band we are, we are hoping we can get away with it without it turning into a booming mass of noise – particularly when it’s full of people. After all, Supergrass did it.”

The album is released on March 11.