Forming after the banks of their punk band erode away in 2012, Neil and Gavin became Oxbowlake. They quickly settled and found a new home in the world of folk. Since then they have become widely recognised throughout South Wales as consummate professionals both live and in the studio (whether it be recording or radio), their enigmatic storytelling, soft guitar licks and angelic harmonies saw them nominated for two awards at the love live music awards 2017, winning best duo.
Never really anticipating playing live, on August bank holiday 2012, Oxbowlake were asked by a friend to play at a party on an equine livery yard for their annual bash. With only a few numbers in Oxbowlakes fledgeling repertoire they went down a storm in front of thirty or so pals, even adding a couple of add libbed numbers as a make shift encore. The party went on around a roaring campfire into the wee small hours, this lit a fire under both Neil and Gavin. They were going to take this further.
Now wanting more the boys continued to write and rehearse as often as they could, regularly meeting every night. They already had a good knowledge of the punk and metal scene but had little idea of the new scene they were entering (they needn’t have worried as they would later find out their music is appreciated almost everywhere they play) and so they began to look to play in front of more diverse audiences, testing the waters at open mic and jam nights. Luckily stumbling upon an open mic night in a quaint local pub called “ the Monty” in Rudry, Caerphilly, in the heart of the South Wales valleys. To their delight they found a bunch of like minded folk who were tremendously nurturing and encouraging and after a few visits they found themselves being asked to play later and later eventually being asked to finish the night off, they still remain friends with all the lovely people they met at The Monty.
It seemed that wherever Oxbowlake played a jam night they would invariably be asked to go back and play a fully paid gig, no mean feat as they play only original folk music but hardly surprising as their music is as genuinely humble as they are.
Neil and Gavin were asked by a couple of old friends to play at their wedding reception in the bowels of Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean, one of three weddings (no funerals as yet) they have been asked to play.
In 2013 they were asked to play a local private festival “Molton Rocks”, playing in a barn in front of 200 or so people, a festival they have played every year since by invitation and will very much be looking forward to playing the next one. The rest of 2013 was spent playing summer fetes and small local festivals and many other open mic and jam nights, soon discovering audiences were captivated and more often than not plunged into silence when Oxbowlake played. The band enjoy a rapturous reception in folk clubs but also enjoy the same sort of reception in rock clubs, alternative venues, wine bars and well anywhere really.
So from these humble beginnings as each year has moved on the band has moved from strength to strength, playing more and more paid gigs and playing more and more festivals.
Enjoying larger audiences and discovering new friends and places 2018 was the most prolific year to date for Oxbowlake, seeing them play at AM fest, Hay fest, Welsh fest and Wye Valley festival at Chepstow racecourse to name but a few.
To date they have released;
2016 debut album “more us than we are” which has been well received not only in the UK but in the US and even as far away as Indonesia.
2018 ep “Perca Fluviatilis” 2018 ep “Rutilus Rutilus”
Both ep’s have been as well received as “more us than we are” and continue to sell and be streamed around the world.
Neil and Gavin also moved into professional video making after they recorded and released “modern times” for the “Perca Fluviatilis”ep. The songs inspiration comes from the bands love of black and white slapstick comedy, with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd in mind they scripted and directed their first video to great effect and are planning their next visual extravaganza later this year.
Radio for Oxbowlake is a relatively new medium to send their message but they have been so well received they now have their own live slot on a local station.
Oxbowlake are very active across social media on Facebook, Twitter and instagram and will often play a live session. They just love to perform and have the ethos that they are always available to play anywhere at anytime, unless of course they are playing somewhere else.