Oxjam Camberwell 2011

One day, seven venues, over 80 acts — that was Oxjam Camberwell!

Peter put a call out for a report on Saturday’s Oxjam takeover, and, as I was (to an extent) involved in the organisation, I volunteered to provide the backstage gossip.

The background to the event is that Oxfam put out a call to hold fundraising takeover events throughout the UK – in effect a DIY version of the Camden Crawl. Huge props go to Michael Armstrong, Camberwell local, who seized the challenge with both hands, and put in an incredible amount of work to make it all happen. There were a number of hurdles along the way – the sad demise of the Sun and Doves which was to be one of the main hubs, the emergency works at the Bear – but the final product was, even if I say it from an insider’s view – pretty impressive.

There were seven venues involved – The Phoenix, The Joiners Arms, The Tiger, The Crooked Well, The Grand Union, The Recreation Ground and the mysterious Club Couture. Early signs were good – apparently Camberwell had the most presales on tickets of any Oxjam event ever.…pats on the back all round.

I was venue managing the Crooked Well, so didn’t make it to the Phoenix or the Joiners, but in general, Camberwell was pretty comprehensively taken over. The Tiger was rammed with sweaty hipsters, the Crooked Well had a baying audience for our male burlesque performers, and the Recreation Ground (hosting an eclectic mix of stand up and DJs), had more people there than I’ve ever seen in their current incarnation. And Club Couture – the talking point of the day was how desperate everyone was to see inside…

Too many acts, too little time to talk about them all, but as an event, I think a real local success. With a financial hat on, most of the venues involved (and even those that weren’t) were, I imagine, feeling a healthy glow from their tills. And, while trying not to sound too twee, it was an impressive display of community spirit – the result was due entirely to the generosity of people giving their time for free, from sound technicians to all of the performers, to ticket sellers and the core production team. Lots of them, obviously, looking to do their bit for charidee, but there was also a real aim to provide a showcase for Camberwell. One to add to the annual events calendar, I would have thought.

More pictures of Oxjam Camberwell on Flickr.

60 thoughts on “Oxjam Camberwell 2011”

  1. Just got back from holiday this week — really disappointed to miss the OxJam fest.

    Absolutely delighted to hear that it went so well. A huge pat on the back and many thanks to all involved who made it happen.

    What I found even more encouraging was the fact that “apparently Camberwell had the most presales on tickets of any Oxjam event ever”

    Yet more evidence, that Camberwell could support a viable multi-use arts/cinema/community venue…

    Just like the one proposed for the ex-Gala Bingo building. A facility like this would be a very great thing indeed for everybody who lives and works here.

    Let all our local councillors and M.Ps know just how you feel!

  2. Just read about the Oxjam that night and happened to have a babysitter so went along to see what it was all about. It was well organised, value for money, and we saw some fantastic bands. Super atmosphere at all the venues we went to — SE5 felt like the place to be that night! Well done to all involved it was a delight.

  3. Michael Armstrong who put together Camberwelloxjam is a very bright bloke.

    Last night’s motorbike accident at the crossroads by the Green looked pretty grisly by the look of the aftermath — sand on the road, loads of measuring out. We may expect a yellow sign, “Can you help?”

    Talking of last days, yesterday it was the last day of the exhibition at the Cuming Museum showing the 1955 film “London Borough” about Camberwell. The original is available to view, full-length, through the BFi. The Cuming staff deserve a jolly big cheer for that exhibition.

    Last day today of the exhibition about Captain Kidd at the London Museum in Docklands. Kidd was a rogue trader of the time, officially sanctioned then taking his trading beyond the remit. How many Canary Wharf people saw the show, one wonders, or saw the connection between piracy and the continuing plundering, sacking and sharp-practice bum buggery that is the mockery and scourge of the otherwise wise business capitalism?

    Very few people understand properly the principles and processes behind swaps and the like. The worst protestors are those full of passionate intensity. St Paul’s and the C of E are in a flummox. It costs a lot of money to enter their church. Then they allow crusties to camp there. Then they can’t handle it.

    Guys and gals, what a carry on.

    The entry fee for St Paul’s is

  4. @Dagmar

    Aye, the difference between corporatism and capitalism is very distinct…

    The trouble is — not a lot of people know that — Yet

  5. There are careers to be made in front of the cameras, Comrade Eusebiomate. The Jack Straws and William Hagues of the future are at the pong camp, except they have street names like Minty and Naomi.

  6. There was a scent of careerism at the St Paul’s protest camp when I was there.

    In general, they were nice people. I was dressed in full suit and tie (business meeting), but still kind of blended in. It’s not a crusty set-up at all.

  7. SE5 feature in this weeks TNT magazine: http://goo.gl/5tD28.

    It gives insights into Camberwell that were hitherto unknown to me, for example did you know that “Denmark Hill Hospital attracts plenty of doctors, nurses and plenty of medical students.”

  8. As Francis of Assissi said, give me wild animals, spare me nice people.

    TNT was pretty good about Camberwell. The intriguing mix story is exactly right, as it were.

    We are uncommonly lucky, we are rich in variety. Rock the casbah! as said Francis of Assissi.

  9. They’re knocking down that office supplies store opposite The Bear at the top of Camberwell New Road. Anyone know what they’re building in its stead?

  10. City Office Superstore.


    04/07/2011 Change of use to retail (Use Class A1), with ancillary warehouse and office, including installation of new shopfront.

    A1 — retail
    A2 — financial and professional services
    A3 — restaurants and cafes
    A4 — drinking establishments
    A5 — Hot food takeaways
    B1 — Business
    B2 — General Industrial
    B8 — storage or distribution
    C1 — hotels
    C2 — residential institutions
    C2a — secure residential institutions
    C3 — Dwelling houses
    D1 — non-resident institutions
    D2 — Assembly and leisure

    When TNT say ‘Denmark Hill Hospital’ maybe they mean King’s. It attracts a lot of patients as well as doctors and nurses. Funny that.

  11. Thanks Peter.

    Paul’s Continental don’t seem in any way serious about letting out the shop. By the way.

    OH. Got a message from Danielle Lauren through TED Talks — if you haven’t seen the TED Talks you really should, they are simply marvellous — about photographs, videos and recordings on 11.11.11

    On 11/11/11, our objective is to get as many people in the world to capture their lives using film, photography, music, sound and text. It’s quintessentially “A day in the life of the world” told by the people of earth. Post this date we will collect all the created content and turn it into different projects including a documentary film, photographic book and world music collection. Our project is not for profit and money raised will go to charity.

    With only a week to go it would be great if you could try and spread the word to the people of United Kingdom. Would you be able to help? It would be an honour to work with you.

    Looking forward to connecting



  12. thats a shame about Pauls Continental! will they sell it? anyone know of a good plasterer?(random question)

  13. They never sold Audio, which always intrigued me.

    And they weren’t in the City.

    And it wasn’t an Office.

    The Internet Killed City Office Audio.

    Viking Direct…

  14. Personalised numberplates are fascinating. CIIASE, for instance. On 11.11.11 that silver CLK will come into its own, including the owner who has two legs incredibly like the number 11. Amazing. City of Atlantis found on the moon, sort of thing.

    Who owns that huge Dodge Ram on Lyndhurst Grove? The reg is F7 7777 which suggests that the fabulous-bestial, testosterone-fuelled vehicle goes “fairly” fast!

    Towards Herne Hill, hello M155 CTJ!

    Recently cruising threateningly slowly through Camberwell, darkened windows, large sedan, S60000S.

    The $64,000 question is, who is dat inside da ting don’t like being stared at and why not? You wanna see who, innit, could be a star.

  15. @ J Mark Dodds

    Brockwell Park is always a great venue for the firework display. I think the reason it was busy this year is because the Clapham Common event is temporarily suspended — due to the economic climate. Lambeth usually do another on Streatham Common but I think that has also suffered the same fate.

    Seems reasonable to me — How many displays does one borough actually need?

    Good economics — well done Lambeth!

    @ Dagmar

    I dislike personalised numberplates — That would be one of my 6 items for Room 101!

  16. The Ram is F7 FFFF, for goodness sake, I think, will check again, very bewildering. Cyclists throw themselves in bushes as it hoves into view, though. It is either very cowboy or very gay or both.

  17. Tom Phillips, Clapham boy, Camberwell man, one of our proper proper art people, was on BBC Radio 4’s “Front Row” tonight talking about the big big Leonardo exhibition just opened at the Nat Gall.

    He was great. “Michaelangelo can’t draw women for toffee. He has to stick breasts on men.” Whereas Leonardo…

    Tom Phillips is monumentally experienced, knowledgeable and to the point.

    Mind you, not all Italians like Leonardo are trustworthy, MISTER Berlusconi!

    For example, those 2 for 5 quid dodgy Italian wines you get in the shops round here. Do not touch any of the Shiraz, even in an emergency. You will suck at cars for their brake fluid rather that gargle that stuff.

    But the Merlot at the moment issues from some magnificent Merlot lake of exquisite gorgeous Puglian sunshine happiness.

    Come on Leonardo, Millwall needs you!

  18. Random question: where would you buy big, cheap suitcases locally?

    The original Gay Camberwell team is moving to the USA! (we’re trying to sort out a next generation Gay Camberwell webmaster…)

  19. Off to DC with large suitcases purchased indeed from indoor market at Peckham! Also popped into the posh oasis of Petit Tou and liked the Peckham-themed art on display (and the crumpets)

  20. Those suitcases from Peckham sometimes have a secret compartment filled with powder. Innocent mules lug them through customs.

    Saturday 26 November is the start of the Winterfest proper, with the Lyndhurst Primary School WINTER FAIR from 3–6pm.

    The school is one of the happiest places in Camberwell and the fair is always a warm and welcoming occasion.

  21. They bought Virgin Records, didn’t they? Anyway, LYNDHURST FAIR on Saturday 26 November will have huskies, just to start with, which will probably be minded by unfeasibly large-chested RCMP and beaming, bearded lumberjacks. So before anyone rushes off to British Columbia, the WINTER FAIR is the place to be!

  22. I tried making one of those Pub and Cafes in Camberwell Top 10 lists like @camberwellblog tweeted.


    But my browser kept freaking out and wouldn’t load it. So here in plain text…

    (1) Joiners Arms — not for the beer quality, obviously, but for the general “keeping it real” feel

    (2) Tadim — is it open again; still open?

    (3) Ganapati — okay, technically Peckham

    (4) SLG Cafe — good coffee

    (5) Johanssons — not on the main road

    (6) Hermits — seems obligatory; also studenty vibe

    (7) …

    (8) …

    (9) …

    (10) …

Comments are closed.