• WE have always been fans of seeing music in unlikely places, which is why we are huge admirers of the Ashmolean Museum’s excellent series of Live Friday open nights. Combining education and entertainment in equal measure, they are endlessly fascinating and are inevitably accompanied by a great soundtrack.

Tonight (Fri) sees the museum’s galleries turned over to a night devoted to all things sartorial. Curated by Oxford Fashion Week’s Carl Anglim, Dress Up promises to be the best-looking Live Friday so far. And he has picked some suitably stylish artists to entertain visitors. Performing in the vaulted basement cafe are Echoboomer, The Busketeers and, one of our favourite new bands, The April Maze.

This British-Australian husband and wife duo, above, are based Down Under but have been picking up local fans after a series of acclaimed Oxford gigs – including a delightful show at The Big Bang last week. Todd and Sivan peddle a lovely line in sunny West Coast folk-rock, with warm soulful vocals, stripped back acoustic guitar, cheery banjo and sweet cello interludes. Entry is free.

There will be more sassy style on offer at a lock-in after-party at the same venue, at 10.30pm, where Kansas-born singer songwriter Piney Gir brings her sense of retro Praries style, knack for a great tune and quick dance steps.

Combining nostalgic Mid Western country with indie-pop, Piney is the ultimate feelgood artist, embodying the singalong innocence of 1950s America while serving up just the right amount of cheeky rock attitude.

Tickets for Piney’s lock-up gig are £5 online or £7 on the door.

  • Watch this space for details of next month’s Live Friday event, What’s The Story, curated by Oxford Mail Music Editor Tim Hughes and featuring an evening of newspaper-related fun, music, performance and fun activities.


  • Hot on the heels of their blockbusting main stage show at Reading Festival on Saturday, local heroes Foals have announcing a series of 2014 gigs. Sadly the North Oxford lads won’t be playing any hometown shows, but fans can catch them at gigs at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on February 11 and London’s Alexandra Palace on February 14. Tickets are £20 for Brum and £23.50 for the capital, and go on sale at 9pm tomorrow. Go to www.foals.co.uk.


  • By popular demand, Blues Brothers tribute band Green Onions return to the Victoria Arms in Old Marston tonight (Fri). Paying a worthy tribute to the band of Jake and Elwood Blues, the 10-piece ensemble is led by real life brothers Gavin and Jim, and are experts at performing classics such as Soul Man, Sweet Home Chicago and Minnie The Moocher with convincing swagger. This is bound to be the perfect feel-good start for a beer festival at the pub this weekend, featuring guest ales, a hog roast and a barbecue.


  • This month’s Gappy Tooth Industries night at The Wheatsheaf takes place tomorrow (Saturday), featuring the usual eclectic mix of musical styles the veteran promoters are known for. Top of the bill are Bicester-based pop punk band Reload The Radio, who will be serving up fast beats and catchy choruses in the vein of Fall Out Boy and Blink-182. Walt Frisbee are opening the night with eight-bit Gameboy sounds and rap samples. Out-of-towners The Silouettes are sandwiched between the two, their ghostly ambient synth tunes providing a bit of introspective gloominess to an otherwise chipper evening. Tickets cost £3.50 or £4 on the door.


  • Always up for some experimentation, The Oxford Improvisers are beginning their series of autumn events at The Old Fire Station with an avant-garde musical performance on Tuesday. Not designed for the fainthearted, the show has been morbidly titled Exquisite Corpse, and will take the audience through the sonic spectrum, from barely audible to deafeningly loud. Tickets are £7 from oxfordimprovisers.com