Oxford

Sweet Baboo, Toliesel and more at BBC Introducing gig

Sweet Baboo
Image caption Sweet Baboo describes Oxford as a "beautiful city"

Welsh singer-songwriter Sweet Baboo will be supported by four rising Oxfordshire acts at April's BBC Introducing in Oxford live gig.

Toliesel, Nairobi, Jordan O'Shea and Katie & Jess join the line-up at Upstairs at the O2 Academy on 24 April.

Stephen Black, aka Sweet Baboo, said he was looking forward to returning to Oxford where he has previously toured with Slow Club and Cate Le Bon.

"I don't think I've played Oxford as Sweet Baboo but I'm excited to return to Oxford - it's a beautiful city," he added.

Whilst his music is essentially pop he thinks his new album, Ships, is something different.

"It's mainly brass and noise," he explained.

Critics have compared Sweet Baboo to other Welsh act Super Furry Animals.

He has embarked on a UK tour to promote his fourth studio album before appearances at major music festivals over the summer.

'Stamp of approval'

Image caption Toliesel release their debut EP later in 2013

Indie/Americana outfit Toliesel said they were "excited" to be invited back to play a BBC Introducing gig, where they first played as a full band.

Guitarist Tom Jowett called the Oxford music scene "one of the best scenes in the UK".

He added: "I come from a sleepy town in the Midlands so when I moved to Oxford seven years ago I felt very privileged to be welcomed into it.

"I noticed quite quickly just how supportive musicians are of each other here [but] there needs to be that Oxford stamp of approval - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"The crowds here just have high expectations and that's healthy."

The band release their debut EP later this year.

Africanised math rock lot Nairobi also return to the O2 Academy on Wednesday.

Guitarist Pete Hughes said: "Our music is basically killer rhythms from top to bottom. It's all about getting odd time signatures to be super-danceable."

Nairobi have been compared to the likes of Paul Simon, largely due to the many "African-style guitar licks" in their songs.

Pete added that his favourite Oxford band is a "female-fronted, six-person samba pop band called Duchess".

"We're also playing a slew of great gigs this summer at the little parochial festivals in Oxford and even popping over to France," he said.

'Essential hub'

Image caption Nairobi specialise in African-style guitar licks

Unlike the aforementioned acts, it is young singer songwriter Jordan O'Shea's first time at the O2 Academy.

He said: "I'm feeling very excited about it, but also incredibly nervous. I'm playing alongside some amazing talent, so I hope I match them."

Jordan writes "music you can get lost to" and counts Keaton Henson and Daughter amongst his influences.

The Oxford music scene "is a pretty positive thing to be a part of" he added.

"The great thing is having the music magazines and websites that are Oxford-based. Having Truck Store as a hub is also essential for uniting and maintaining a scene.

"There are so many bands and solo artists so it can be hard to try and be noticed here, but there are opportunities like this to promote yourself."

He recently released his debut album through local music and art collective Bear On A Bicycle and is playing in London later this month,

Every month a selection of local talent play the regular band nights at the O2 Academy, with highlights featured on BBC Introducing in Oxford.

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