Self-described “old-school ska and reggae” band, The Oxfords!, return to headline a show at The Carleton on Friday, March 1st. Show time is 10 PM and admission is $5 at the door.
The Oxfords! are a collaboration of ultra-passionate musicians with roots from Montreal to Japan. Brought together through a loose hive of friends and random connections, they have stayed focused on the music and risen from the ashes of East Coast Dub Collective and an ever-changing lineup of bass players (as well as a couple other instruments!) since their inception in 2015.
Rhythm is held down by Marc Bell (Sophie’s Choice, Project 501) on drums and supplemented by Brian Roberts (Sweet 902, The West End Trio +1), who also doubles on lead vocals. Guitarist Tom Jangaard also plays in the best-named surf band in the history of music, the Del Boca Vistas! Dan Stewart (Waves, Velvet Hearts) kept Tom’s spot on guitar warm for a few years but recently decided to simplify things and get rid of a string or two to slap da bass instead. Yasushi Akiyama handles all of the horn duties and most of the synth parts on his EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument… trust me, you need to hear him play this thing!).
Playing a mix of covers and originals penned by Marc Bell, The Oxfords! draw from influences like The Specials, Toots And The Maytals, Dennis Brown, and Lee “Scratch” Perry to weave instantly familiar reggae and ska tunes with much deeper northern soul and dub cuts. There are a few surprises – things you would never expect to hear from a reggae band – but somehow, it all works. The Oxfords combine their high energy sound with inventive musicianship to create an exciting blend of tunes that are sure to keep you grooving and dancing all night long.