Details

Essex-born John Smith has built a reputation as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and songwriters.  Raised by the Devon seaside and making his bones in the bars and clubs of Liverpool, John has released five albums with over 10 million Spotify streams.  He has played to audiences all over the world in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls.  He is a genuine folksinger, an inquisitive truth-seeker, devoted song interpreter, and enchanting writer.

Steeped in the lineage of British folk, taking his cue from Richard Thompson and John Martyn, Smith has evolved a transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. John’s intimate takes on love, loss and the journey we make, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following.  His honey-on-gravel voice and mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar are undeniable.  Sometimes using a slide, sometimes with guitar on his lap, sometimes detuning mid-song, Smith’s obsession with the instrument has made a master of him.  Whether by way of album or concert, he leads the listener, enthralled in his presence, on a viscerally emotional journey.

A contributor and collaborator, John quickly and effortlessly earns the esteem of his comrades and heroes.  He has opened for folk greats including John Martyn, Davy Graham and John Renbourn, who called John Smith “the future of folk music.”  On the contemporary side, he has also opened for Iron and Wine, Tinariwen, and Ben Howard.  He has guested with artists such as Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Glen Hansard and Rodney Crowell; and in his occasional role as sideman, he has played guitar for artists such as David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Lianne La Havas, Joe Henry and Joan Baez.

He has released five records – his most recent “Headlong” (2017) reached #15 in the Indie Breakers chart, #1 on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart, and amassed over 10 million Spotify streams.

His forthcoming album “Hummingbird” was released 5 October in Europe and will be out in early 2019 in the rest of the world on his own imprint, Commoner Records, via Thirty Tigers worldwide.

Parking & Access

Parking

There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.

The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford

Access

Patrons with a disability are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or 01865 263990.

There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.

There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place) and Studio space via lift. All spaces in the building are wheelchair-accessible via lift apart from the Theatre balcony and the Loft. If an event is in the Loft, this will be clearly stated on the event’s web page.

If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call Alex on 01865 263980 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) and we will talk with you about your needs.

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space. If you would like to discuss hire of the space, or any of the events taking place in the Loft, please get in touch.

We try to programme as much accessible work as we can.

Captioned shows

The Last Noël, Thursday 19 December, 3pm & 8pm. Click here.
Too Pretty To Punch, Saturday 22 February 2020, 7.30pm. Click here.
The Glass Will Shatter, Wednesday 15 April. Click here.

Relaxed performances

The Last Noël, Thursday 12 December, 3pm & 8pm. Click here.

BSL performances

Medicine’s Monstrous Daughters, Thursday 16 April, 7.30pm. This show also has pre-recorded audio description tracks available. Click here.

Video

A video showing the foyer, the theatre door and the accessible toilet, from the George Street entrance.

Facilities

Accessible toilet
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).

Hearing assistance system
The Theatre is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you have any questions about using it, please e-mail us at info@oldfirestation.org.uk or phone 01865 263980.

Assistance dogs
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail info@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Strobe lighting
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call Alex on 01865 263980 or e-mail info@oldfirestation.org.uk.