The prospect of soaking up some great sounds while doing something useful for the world is always an irresistable prospect.

So it is with some excitement that we look forward to this Saturday’s festival of music with conscience – Oxjam.

Now in its fifth year, the Oxford chapter of Oxfam’s fundraising drive has evolved into a diverse and extremely amusing day of live music, with all proceeds going to the Cowley-based charity’s work in the world’s trouble spots.

Saturday’s Oxford event sees 36 bands and artists taking to the stage at seven venues in the Cowley Road area: Joe Perks, The Big Society, Fusion Arts, Cowley Retreat, James Street Tavern, Cape of Good Hope and The Library.

Acts include The Family Machine, Duotone, Orange Vision, Death of Hi Fi, Loud Mountains, Sea + Air, Salvation Bill, The Haze, Esther Joy Lane, Little Brother Eli, Bright Works, Asher Dust, Tiger Mendoza, Huck, Rainbow Reservoir, Jess Hall, Balkan Wanderers, Chris Ryder, After The Thought and many more.

For the first time, Witney also stages its own Oxjam event, with an emphasis on West Oxfordshire bands and artists.

Death of Hi Fi, Little Brother Eli, Balloon Ascents, Better Than Never, The Family Machine, Muddy Johnson, James Morgan, Shuk and Wednesday’s Wolves, are all lined-up to play, along with our very own Alex Castle, who, when not playing with his band The Standard, can be found working as a sales exec here at The Oxford Times.

The fun in Witney takes place at Fat Lil’s, Rapture and The Blue Boar Function Room.

One act playing both events are West Oxfordshire garage-rockers Little Brother Eli. “It’s a really great cause,” says bassist Josh Rigal. “Oxjam raises lots of money for charity and boosts the profile of Oxfam. It’s great for bands like us too, as we get to play to different audiences.”

* Oxjam Oxford runs from 2pm on Saturday to 2am on Sunday. Tickets £8 from or Truck Store. Oxjam Witney is from noon on Saturday to 2am on Sunday.
Tickets are £10 from or from Rapture, Witney.