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All Will Be Well Records - Jericho Tavern, Oxford, 13/11/2015

  by Owen Peters

published: 25 / 11 / 2015

All Will Be Well Records - Jericho Tavern, Oxford, 13/11/2015


Owen Peters enjoys a showcase gig from new label All Will Be Well Records at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford, which featured six of their acts and included a remarkable performance from singer-songwriter Louise Petit

All Will Be Well Records was officially set up in September 2015. Without further ado, they released their first compilation album 'Fall' on October 17th, which is available from their Bandcamp site. For a miserly five quid, all profits going to the UN's Refugee Crisis Charity, 'Fall' confirms the varied array of talent already signed to the label by founder Ian Mitchell. Fifteen artists have one song to put down a marker as to where they are on their musical journey to date. It will be interesting to keep tabs on the line-up as they grow, develop or simply give up. Sorry, but it happens. Most of the artists fall into the singer-songwriter category. Some artists will require more than one track before deciding if they are for you or not. Bear, Nelson and the Columns, Ben Gosling and Minnie Birch fall into this category, all dipping into a range of folk, Americana and blues. Louise Petit and All is Worth provide simple, melodic variations on their tracks, which I’m sure will have punters asking for more. The Pink Diamond Revue are one of the more established bands on 'Fall'. The duo’s psychedelic instrumentation is played with confidence and drive, defining them as one of the label's major signings. You will be left asking yourself “Where have I heard that one before?” The String Project aren’t far behind, offering a touch of radical decadence with their mix of strings and chamber ensemble come pop fusion. In conjunction with the compilation, Mitchell scheduled an evening which showcased a wide selection of artists at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford on Friday November 13th. This is a clever idea. Check out the compilation and then see the artists live. I decided to take a look at some of the bands playing live. No doubt playing at the Jericho in Oxford is one for the musical CV. Few can say they’ve appeared on the same stage as Ben Howard, Supergrass and Radiohead. The evening was very well supported which may have caught the promoter by surprise. There was no upstairs bar open which meant people tramping up and down stairs all night for drinks. It is a small gripe though. For some of the bands playing to a Friday night crowd is a major learning curve. Grabbing people’s attention and getting them to stay with you is an art in itself. Huck began the evening which was good scheduling. His sombre lyrics balanced between country and Americana were enjoyed by those up close and personal to the stage. Ben Gosling confirmed his potential with a good range of guitar riffs, although his lyrics were hard to pick up on the evening's ether. Unfortunately the quiet reflective tones of Stuart Clarke and Sarah Lambert-Gates didn’t work on the night, their set being lost amongst a chattering, glass-clinkering gathering. The drum and bass of All Is Worth did manage to change and capture punters' attention around the venue. Check out their single 'Buttercup' on Bandcamp. All Will Be Well's ’s evening was now seriously busy. The next artist on the bill took over the stage and audience. Little did the crowd know, but for the next twenty minutes Louise Petit was in charge. She was a ringmaster extraordinaire. None of this chatter at the back. ”Move forward, no...all the way forward” the audience was instructed, and they did. A casual denim-clad Petit turned up the volume, added some humour, introduced her songs of break-ups, regret, redemption and new love. When a brief chat did break out, nearby audience members informed the talkers to shut up in clear understandable terms. Petit finally released the gathered throng from her spell ending with a mass sing-a-long. The rules of engagement had changed from chatter to listeners of music which continued as the String Quartet took to the stage. Their fusion of beatbox and electronics coupled with violins and harmonies proved a winning formula. It was certainly a more than interesting combination of sounds and instrumentation. They are a band well worth checking out. Ian Mitchell was delighted and surprised at the turn out. “This was our singer-songwriter selection of artists. To have this many people come along to see relatively unknown bands is great. Our next event is December 3rd at the Bullington here in Oxford. This will be a mix of indie, rock-themed bands from the label." I asked him to gauge expected number for the Bullington? “After tonight, who knows?” he answered somewhat bemused and delighted. Can I suggest it may be a good idea to get a ticket whilst you can? All Will Be Records are coming to town.

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