31 artists, 7 venues, one aim… to raise loadsa cash, dosh, wonga… call it what you will… for (cue 70’s DJ voice) charidee. Yep, some of Birmingham’s finest gave up their Saturday to physically and metaphorically rattle the ol’ tin, giving warm hearted punters the chance to catch up with a pretty dazzling range of genres… everything from the gentle and acoustic to the LOUD AND THRASHY.

Speaking of which, The Flapper played host to some particularly fine ear shredding music kicking off with Violet, a post hardcore band from Derby.


One vocalist sings, the other does his best to rip what must be left of his throat, into ribbons. I rather liked it. Loud, trashy and as energetic as a nuclear power station on meltdown they delivered one of the most rock n roll moments I’ve seen in a while when the screaming bloke accidentally smashed into the nose of the bassist.

Violet Violet

Pretty soon a torrent of blood was dripping down his t-shirt, over his bass and splashing onto the floor. Did this stop him headbanging like a loon? Nope. Now that’s rock n’motherfunking roll. Ultra violet.

After a crack team of cleaning specialists had mopped up several litres of O positive Conquistadors punk math rocked the place.


The self penned stuff was great but they surpassed themselves with a math rock cover of Cat Stevens Matthew and Son (Mathrock and Son anyone?). Quite brilliant.

Conquistadors Conquistadors

Next up God Damn, a testifying blues grunge prog rock pop (yes… pop…) metal thrashup… and if that sounds like a pretty awesome combination you’d be right. It is.

God Damn

Their theme tune God Damn, veers recklessly from brooding noodly bits to full on aural assaults, toying with your senses like a bulldog with a kitten. Neat. Wigger does a similar trick of luring you in with a gentle opening section before kicking in your ears with some dirty bruising guitars. Makes Queens of the Stone Age sound like pussies. A (skull) cracking performance.

God Damn God Damn

Last up Romans.


Like the night’s opening band, Violet, they use the dual vocalist approach, with bare chested drummer Denny providing the screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaam element. Around this throbbing heart the band’s lead guitarist and bassist (who did a staggeringly good job in his first gig with the band) provide some surprisingly intricate flourishes, icing the kick ass cake. Whilst it ain’t a new trick the ying and yang of the two vocalists works particularly well.

Romans Romans

The contrasts are as black and white as you’ll get with the ‘singer’ having a pretty decent harmony and the ‘screamer’ tearing his tonsils out whilst drumming the bejesus out of his kit. So furious was his drumming that he lost a stick part way through a song (hell… maybe it just disintegrated) but kept on playing without missing a beat. Nice work there fella.


Given his showmanship (and vocal role) I’d like him up front but it’s a minor gripe. When they hit their stride, on the smash hit in waiting Coffee for instance, like their historic namesakes, they’re a frankly unstoppable force.

Words by Daron Billings, email Daron.
Photos by Wayne Fox, email Wayne.

One Response to “Oxjam Brum Takeover ft Romans + God Damn + Conquistadors + Violet @ The Flapper, Birmingham, UK – 15 October 2011”

  1. Conquistadors Says:

    Great write up man, was an awesome night. Glad you enjoyed it. We might steal Mathrock & Son.

    Heads up to anyone interested: Our Myspace as linked in the article is pretty much dead and forgotten! Check us out at, or

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