It’s Saturday the 20th of October and Oxford is host to a brand new music festival called GATHERING, a festival whose core value is bringing new and exciting acts to the masses. With a line-up consisting of near enough all the acts tipped to take over the UK in the next twelve months. Gathering Festival most definitely was offering a lot for your twenty English pounds, but the question on everyone’s lips was would this group of rookie festival organisers pull it off?


To make things easy for them the Gathering organisers had planned the festival on Cowly Road in Oxford allowing for multiple venues of different sizes to be included in the mix, from the seriously tiny Truck music shop to the much larger O2 Academy. The kind people of Gathering provided everyone with a programme showing the location of the venues and the time at which each band would be on, this was a great piece of planning and should be adopted by more festival not just a set few.

I started off with Clock Opera, a London based four piece who released their début album Ways to Forget earlier this year. This Indie Rock dance group have some serious get up and go effortlessly controlling the crowd with their upbeat springy music using cowbells and heavy guitars to win over any doubters. They pulled off my favourite performance of the night showing that you don’t have to be world famous to have the audience in the palm of your hand.

Here is my favourite track of theirs “Once and For All”

After watching Clock Opera I went to see Bastille, a band who have recently exploded into fame from in the UK with their tracks “Flaws” and “Bad Blood” both jumping into the top ten with ease. This four piece are set for big things in the next couple of months with their album being released and just completing a sold out headline tour of Europe, it seems like nothing can hold them back. And judging from how loud the crowd were at Gathering they have a huge fan-base that embrace every word. They sounded top notch and I would tell everyone that they are one of the next big names on the indie circuit.

Here is their top 10 track Flaws enjoy 🙂

Closing the night for me was the ever brilliant Dry The River, a band who have come from such humble beginnings to having great success with their début album Shallow Bed. A highlight for this band was playing on the NME stage of this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival, which was the bands largest ever crowd. However Oxford did themselves proud and at points the crowd was so loud you could not even hear Pete (the lead singers) vocal. Storming through the hour set the band ended with a special performance of Shaker Hymns which they chose to perform acoustically directly in the crowd surrounded by a couple thousand fans. A memorable night for all that attended.

Below you will be able to watch the video for Dry The River’s track “Weights and Measures” easily one of the best track of 2012;

I wish I could have seen more but to be honest the venues were all very busy and I was slightly knackered. But all in all I recommend Gathering festival for anyone, a fantastic atmosphere with helpful staff. Superbly run I cant wait till next year. The only thing I would change would be to have more venues so later on during the busy period their is that extra option. But a seriously great, fun night out.

Much Love and I hope you like the pictures which were very, very, kindly supplied by Ruth Johnston Photography, and to see more from the night check them out on her Flickr account here.