Tim Hughes previews the best forthcoming gigs

Hip Hop

  • The Cellar, Oxford
  • Tonight
  • £10 from wegottickets.com

The godfather of hip hop Afrika Bambaataa makes a surprise, and some might say surreal, trip to Oxford for a late night set at our favourite subterranean venue. This electro funk pioneer is nothing short of a musical legend. Rising to prominence as leader of the New York street gang Black Spades he created the groundbreaking Universal Zulu Nation in the 70s and was the driving force behind Jazzy 5 and Soulsonic Force. Honing his skills on the Bronx rap scene, his 1983 debut Planet Rock and the James Brown collaboration Unity are a hip hop milestones. If electro-funk-rap is your thing, don’t miss this one-off chance to see the guy it started it all off.


  • O2 Academy, Oxford
  • Saturday
  • Tickets £5 from ticketweb.co.uk

The city’s biggest dedicated rock venue demonstrates its dedication to new musc with the latest instalment of its Upstairs nights. This saturday it’s the turn of the energetic, harmony-rich We Aeronauts, who celebrate the forthcoming release of their new Don Valley EP. They are joined by Salvation Bill, Dallas Don'’t and Stornoway spin-off Count Drachma (see below). All provide the perfect soundtrack to the start of summer.


  • Truck Store, Cowley Road, Oxford
  • Sunday
  • Free

Count Drachma describe their music as Zulu folk. And while that may seem like a strange sub-genre for a couple of middle class white boys to be revelling in, it all makes perfect sense. Oli and Rob Steadman, who are the beating heart of the band, are best known for their work with Cowley’s dreamy folk-pop act Stornoway. But they are native South Africans, Zulu speakers, and share a deep love of their homeland’s indiginous maskandi music. The Jo’burg rhythms are spliced with looped saxophones, ‘reggaeton’ percussion and the kind of Celtic flavours you’d expect from two members of Stornoway.
They are joined by Sweet William for a free set at the Truck Store - with a collection being taken for the Cowley Road Carnival. Give generously!


Oxford’s MMX arequite possibly the biggest local band you have never heard of. Ashley Wilkie, Warren Senior, Benjamin Hordos and Thomas Millar weave sonic tapestries by layering atmospheric sounds with powerful synth melodies, guitars, driving rhythms and serious energy. The release of their self-produced debut EP Child should establish them as one of the city’s must-see new acts.

Post-rock and indie-rock

  • O2 Academy, Oxford
  • Sunday
  • Tickets £26.50 from ticketweb.co.uk

John Lydon may be best known as the outspoken spiky haired vocalist with the Sex Pistols, but it is his work with Public Image Ltd for which he is most proud. The experimental band changed the face of music, much like the Pistols before, and continue to be a huge creative force. PiL are supported by The Wonder stuff; Miles Hunt’s reformed indie-rockers still pleasing crowds with feelgood dollops of late '80s indie-rock.

John Lydon talks about the show. Click here

Read our interview with The Wonder Stuff here.


  • O2 Academy Oxford

  • Saturday
  • Tickets £5 from ticketweb.co.uk
    Dundee party animals the View return with a pocketful of catchy tunes and a new anthology, Seven Year Setlist, in tow. Expect a mix of sing-along favourites and a clutch of new tunes. Kyle Falconer’s merry band of rabble-rousers.