Monday, February 14, 2011

Darlinghurst: Bars: Oxford Art Factory

This time last week I was fortunate enough to see Los Angeles-based duo, Jenny and Johnny, in Darlinghurst, with a ticket that my friend Ruby Molteno very kindly gave to me as a gift. Ruby also gave me a copy of Jenny and Johnny's first album together, I'm Having Fun Now (cover art pictured above).
I love Jenny Lewis and her work with the Watson Twins and Rilo Kiley. I'm an alternative-country-music girl at heart and I particularly like female singers and Lewis has that yee-ha kind of twang to her voice. Johnathan Rice played the role of Roy Orbison in the Johnny Cash bio-pic Walk The Line and has a 50s-style voice.

The gig was at the Oxford Art Factory, which must have opened at least five years ago on Oxford Street, near Oxford Square, and is one of the few good-sized live music venues in the area for local and international acts.
The space was inspired by Andy Warhol's New York studio in the 1960s, known as The Factory, which became a hang-out for artists who would create films, music and paintings and take lots of drugs. The only problem with the Oxford Art Factory's goal to be a legendary creative space, is that they haven't got Warhol.

The gigs take place in the downstairs basement area, known as the Live Art Space, which holds about 400 people. Another space off to the side, known as The Gallery, holds about 100 people and has walls covered in art. There is also a big glass box, called The Cube, for art installations and performances. 

For a Monday night, and with tickets costing $60, the space was nicely packed. I recently saw a gig at the Sydney Festival Becks Bar and while the band, Beach House, was amazing, the crowd was incredibly dull and lifeless. The crowd at the Oxford Art Factory was great, so the place was buzzing. It helped that Jenny and Johnny were really engaging and played up to the audience. American musicians, especially those from California, really know how to entertain. 

The Oxford Art Factory also offers regular free gigs in The Gallery space. This Thursday, young Alstonville band, Glass Towers, is performing for free, while over the next few Fridays you can see Sydney hip-hop artists Phatchance and Coptic Soldier, for absolutely zero dollars. 

Oxford Art Factory
38-46 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 9332 3711

1 comment:

Rambling Ruby said...

Princess Leah went to school with the Glass Towers - we should show our support to the North Coast Kids...