OXFORD musicians and venues have urged music lovers to take part in the UK's first nationwide live music survey tomorrow.

Tom Keogh, Rob Maclennan, Jamie Corish and Nat Jones of Flatlands are launching their new EP at the Library pub on Cowley Road in the city tomorrow night. They're just one of dozens of acts playing across the city have and encouraged gig-goers to join the UK Live Music Census, dubbed 'Springwatch for live music'.

The census, a world first, has been orchestrated by professors of pop music at Edinburgh University.


  • O2 Academy, Cowley Road: Ashanti (R’n’B)
  • The Cellar, Frewin Court: White Kite (ambient synth-pop and indie-funk)
  • The Bullingdon, Cowley Road: Dot’s Funky Odyssey (Soul covers including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson plus originals)
  • The Jericho Tavern: Masiro + The Hope Burden + Ghosts In The Photographs + Lee riley (Math rock; instrumental post-rock; atmospheric post-rock and drone music)
  • The Library, Cowley Road: Flatlands + Slate Hearts + Self Help + High Tide Royals (Upbeat indie rocking and ferocious grunge noise)
  • Truck Store, Cowley Road: Catgod (Acoustic instore set from the local electro-jazz/ pop band)
  • East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street: Catweazle Club (Oxford’s famous open-mic night for poetry, performance and music)
  • The Half Moon, St Clement’s: Sparky’s Flying Circus (Open mic for musicians, poets and comedians)
  • Jude the Obscure, Walton Street: Acoustic Thursday
  • The Catherine Wheel, Sandford-on-Thames: Blues Jam night

Academics hope their results will help measure live music’s cultural and economic value, discover what challenges the industry faces and even inform policy to help it flourish.

They are coordinating censuses in seven UK cities; Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Southampton, Brighton and Oxford.

Researchers said they chose the city because, spawning superstars such as Radiohead, Supergrass and Foals, it has long 'punched above its weight' in terms of live music.

Flatlands lead singer and guitarist Tom Keogh agreed that Oxford's music scene was difficult to beat.

The 18-year-old former Abingdon School pupil said: "There's a crazy amount of live music here – we played the O2 Academy Christmas ball and the different music there was unbelievable – heavy metal, thrash, one man bands and stripped-down folky stuff.

"The Oxford scene is interesting because there are no fame or business intentions about it, it's all just about 'these guys have made some good music'."

The 24-hour music survey which starts at midday tomorrow asks volunteers to record aspects of the gig including music genre, venue, door charge and audience demographic.

Experts have warned that a major overhaul of commercial property rates could see a 'huge' rise in costs and even force struggling venues to close.

Rates are being hiked in proportion to property value, and with property prices sky-high in Oxford, city businesses are likely to be hit more than others in the UK.

Henry Cullen, who opened the Library with business partner Tom Reynolds in 2011, said rates were indeed a concern.

He said: "It's something I'm very aware of: the new rates are going up significantly for us and we're obviously going to have to find the money to pay this increase.

"Somewhere our prices are going to have to go up.

"I wish the government would make it easier for venues because it is good for the community."

However he added: "Obviously we would love to make money from gigs but our main motivation for putting on gigs is because we love live music."

Sign up to take part in the survey at uklivemusiccensus.org