Erika Goldring, Getty Images The four members of Little Big Town will…
- Posted on Jan 22nd 2010 12:30PM by Barnaby Smith
Come to see: The Jericho is a top class live music venue in a city full of top class live music venues. For a number of years, Oxford has been enjoying a renaissance on its music scene; forget Radiohead, Supergrass and the like, this is the town of Stornoway, Ralfe Band, Young Knives (pictured) and of course, Foals. As a central part of that community, The Jericho now acts as a trendier, more discerning alternative to the city's 02 Academy (formerly the much-missed Zodiac club).
"The Jericho leans towards excellent up-and-coming touring acts," says venue promoter Isla Miskelly. "Recently we have had sold out shows from the likes of Vivian Girls, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the Magic Numbers, The Joy Formidable and the xx." Picks from their upcoming shows must include literate Brighton indie-folk set Esben and the Witch, Swedish teens First Aid Kit and Irish troubadour Fionn Regan.
The atmosphere: Set slightly away from the centre of Oxford on Walton Street, the Jericho sits in a rather meek area of town with essentially only an independent cinema and charity shops for company. Therefore unlike the Cowley Road area of the city, the atmosphere here is not all that rambunctious. Unless charged into life by a provocative act (which granted, frequently happens), the mood is likely to be of quiet respect. Indeed, the Jericho is very cosy and very British -- in winter there is no better place to be in Oxford. Let's not forget, too, that this is indeed Oxford, and with two universities nearby the Jericho is frequently rammed with brilliant young minds. Thus an attractive mix between the traditional and the progressive is achieved in this tiny venue.
"People love the atmosphere of a sold-out Jericho show," says Miskelly. "It adds to the intensity of the performance. There are no other similar size venues in Oxford that even compare. We recently had a good lick of paint and the bar upgraded -- we're constantly working on ways to improve the gig-going experience."
You saw them here first: It's likely that any Oxford band that has risen to national prominence earned their stripes at the Jericho at some time or other. Most recently, Stornoway and A Silent Film have emerged as successful graduates, but arguably more impressively, the venue played host to many early gigs by a budding Supergrass, who allegedly secured their first record deal after playing here in 1994. Other Oxford luminaries to pass through include Ride and Goldrush.
Claim to fame: One band stands above all others in the Jericho's history. Calling themselves On A Friday, a bunch of scruffy students played to 25 A&R reps in 1991. A little while later they were signed to Parlophone and going by the name of Radiohead. Details may be hazy and facts gone by the wayside, but the Jericho has gone down in history as the place where the band were discovered, allowing Thom Yorke to unceremoniously walk out of his then day job at nearby store Cult Clothing.
You should also know: The Jericho was erected in 1818, so the olde worlde charm/dilapidation (delete as appropriate) drips off the walls. It also had a stint as an 'It's A Scream' pub in 2005, something they soon ditched, much to the relief of regulars.
Coming Soon: Errors, Hot Club De Paris, The Antlers