21 months later,... no, it's not the third part of a zombie film franchise
A complete stranger berated me last week because I was wearing a facemask in the supermarket. They took it upon themselves to tell me that I was a sheep and that wearing a mask isn't natural. Well neither is wearing trousers, but Tesco don't like it if you try to do your shopping dressed only in your birthday suit.
At last, some concrete news. No, not news about building materials, news about Klub Kakofanney. Some 21 months after our last event at The Wheatsheaf, we will finally be getting the music going again with a gig on the first Friday of December at the Gladiator Club on Iffley Road.
Venue: The Gladiator Club, 263 Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1SJ
Date: Friday 3rd December
Doors Open: 7:30pm
Music: 7:45pm to 11pm
Bands: Ran Kan Kan, Papa Nui, The Mighty Redox
Admission: £8 per person
RAN KAN KAN is a Cuban Big Band. The singers are supported by flutes, saxes, trumpets, trombone, and a six-piece rhythm section, playing mambo, rumba, and various other styles. Here is a clip of the band on stage at the Common People festival in 2016, playing "Pantera Mambo":
PAPA NUI is an organic musical stew, spiced up with shades of ska and reggae, and seasoned with blues and grooves. Here is their song "Leap Frog" recorded early last year. Love the frog costumes:
THE MIGHTY REDOX needs no introduction, but here is something different you might not have watched before, a clip of the band playing an outdoor afternoon gig from Germany in 2019:
So if that has whet your appetite for an evening of music and dance, read on for everything you wanted to know about the Gladiator Club but were afraid to ask.
About the Gladiator Club
The Gladiator Club is on the corner of Iffley Road and Percy Street and the public entrance is on that corner. Walk through the front bar to the back room where the gig will be held. The whole venue is on the ground floor and fully accessible throughout. The back room is large, spacious, has its own bar with friendly prices, and plenty of seating.
Please be aware that the Gladiator is a private members club and the licensing conditions dictate that the front bar and lounge is strictly for members use only. You cannot purchase drinks at the front bar or use the front lounge. Vaping is not permitted on the club premises.
Getting to the Gladiator
The Gladiator is easily reached by bus. Take a number 3, 3A, or 3B from the town centre, get off at the Magdalen Road stop, and the Gladiator Club is on the next corner. Buses are roughly every 15 minutes and the journey from town takes about ten minutes. From the other direction, the various number 3s run from Blackbird Leys, the Cowley Centre, Littlemore, and Rose Hill, and the services all run until after midnight.
On-site parking at the Gladiator is reserved for club members and bands only. There is limited public parking on Percy Street immediately alongside the club and nearby on Iffley Road, and there may be parking available in the surrounding streets, but there are no guarantees. If you come by car, please remember it is a residential neighbourhood, park considerately, and do not create any late-night noise nuisance. Watch out for parking restrictions and check the signs carefully because it is in a Controlled Parking Zone with steep fines for parking violations.
We will NOT be asking people to produce Covid passports, proof of vaccination, or any other personal medical information unless regulations for England change over the next couple of weeks and it becomes a legal requirement for us to do so. However, we do ask people to make every effort to perform a lateral flow test sometime during the 48 hours prior to the gig, and to stay at home if you test positive or have any covid symptoms. Lateral flow tests can be obtained from most pharmacies free of charge, and you can also get them by mail order. You carry out the test at home and it only takes a few minutes of your time plus thirty minutes for the test to develop a result. You do not need to show us the result of your covid test.
Please remember, even if you have been double-vaccinated and had a booster, you can still have an asymptomatic corona virus infection, and infect other people who may be much more susceptible to Covid than you are. So please, whatever your vaccination status, test before you go to gigs.
Keep supporting your local venues
Independent venues have a tenuous existence at best, and the Independent Venues Trust is currently supporting 40 music venues in the UK which are under threat. These are not the venues which have fallen victim to the financial hardships of closure during lockdown. Neither are they the venues coveted by property developers. No, these are venues which are struggling to deal with noise complaints from the neighbours. People everywhere are clamouring for Covid to be over, and people who say "I want my life back". Yet when these venues try to resume the same activities with the same genres of bands and the same music levels as pre-pandemic, the neighbours complain that they've got used to it being quiet and don't want to go back to the way things were. So if you have a local venue, cherish it.
Another hot topic
As I am writing this, COP26 draws to a close, but I wonder if it really changed any hearts and minds. This is a video I created for one of the exhibitors, which they have been using at their presentations in the Blue Zone in Glasgow. It is a message from children to the politicians. As always, play it loud:
Keep well everyone, stay safe