Oxjam 2009 @ The Barhouse, Chelmsford

With The Rokettes Morning Parade, Wimm,  9th October 2009
Review by Fatima Meah
Photography by Lynne Saunders

Oxfams monthly long music festival, Oxjam, is organised annually by music lovers across the UK to raise money for the charity. Organised by Claire Whatley and in conjunction with Club NME, this years Oxjam Essex event took place at The Barhouse in Chelmsford. Boasting an impressive line-up of headliners The Rokettes, Morning Parade and Essex favourites Wimm, all rocked out the Barhouse to its very foundations.

Local lads Wimm havent played locally for a while and this marked their welcome return to the live stage debuting their new drummer. Sounding like Linkin Park being beaten up by Foo Fighters, they stormed straight into their set with I Wont Cry. In a short but sweet set, we were treated to classic Wimm tracks as well as some brand spanking new material.

In their newer songs, such as Torn In Two (a personal favourite), one can hear the progression of their style sounding tighter and heavier. Their mix of alternative rock with stomping riffs and evocative lyrics were an instant winner with the crowd. Keep an eye out for Wimm, they are destined for big things this year Im sure.


Keeping up with the quality were Morning Parade. Clearly influenced by the noughties, they appeared to have a strong local following with a fair few sing-a-longs. They were unquestionably indie (of the current kind you know … skinny jeans et al) but were an improvement from the norm. They were somewhat unexpectedly appealing. Forlorn vocals with epic guitars and spacey instrumentals were infused with tuneful melodies.

Finally, headliners The Rokettes graced the stage. Spawning from the ashes of various bands, The Rokettes blew the fuse off anything amplified nearby. A sleazier, pumped up electro rock version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs but with fiendishly melodic vocals, we were treated to a truly spectacular set. Catchy hooks and beats on tracks such as debut single Burn Baby Burn had their audience moving to the pounding riffs in no time.

Lead singer El swings and saunters across the stage in between fiery vocals, screaming frontwoman. Wannabes take note, this is how its done with style and grace. Catch them whilst you can in smaller, more intimate venues as they wont be playing these for long. Wembley watch out a new kind of rock star is about to take over.


OxJam was an electric night with a fine display of original, quality music and all for a fantastic cause. After all, what could be better than rocking out AND raising money for charity?