• Duration: 90mins approx.
  • Tickets: Standard: £12 | Pay more: £14 | Pay less: £7
  • Company: SOAS Rebetiko Band


After an absence of ten years the famous SOAS Rebetiko Band returns to Oxford.

We are bringing a programme of our favourite songs from the Rebetiko (“urban blues”) tradition of Greece, the rebel musics that were born in the port cities of Athens and Piraeus in the early twentieth century.

We hope that you will join us for a lively programme of songs and instrumentals. The history of the songs will be explained with brief introductions.

The members of the crew are:

Ahmet Ozan Baysal [vocals and saz baglama]
Mario Christofi [‘ud, percussion and bouzouki]
Loukas Drougkas [guitar]
Ed Emery [vocals and baglama]
Peyman Heydarian [santur]
Hara Ioannidou [vocals]
Nikolaos Palamidas [bouzouki]
Lisa Rowe [vocals, accordion and violin]
Dimitris Mouselemidis [accordion]
Anita Munson [clarinet]
Nicos Nicholas [vocals and tzoura]
Filippos Papasavvas [bouzouki]

About the band

The SOAS Rebetiko Band is a group of Greek musicians who play the music of Greece known as Rebetiko, a genre that has been called the ‘urban blues’ of Greece. The band was formed almost twenty years ago at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and plays regular sessions and concerts in and around London. Rebetiko was banned in Greece during the periods of Fascism (1936, 1967), but has since re-emerged to become a badge of national pride. But in its nature it is not purely Greek. It arose out of the population transfers that happened in the 1920s, when Greeks living in Turkey were obliged by forced transfers to move to the Greek mainland (at the same time as Turks and Muslims living in Greece were shipped to Turkey).  

This migration brought the musics of Anatolia across the seas into the port areas where the migrant settled (Piraeus and Thessaloniki), and there they fused with western musical forms to create a wholly unique sound. The original instrumentations (of violin, ‘ud, santouri etc) soon gave way to other instruments (bouzouki, baglama, guitar) and a new kind of song emerged, that spoke of the lives and sufferings of the urban poor. There are many early songs that deal with drugs, petty crime and sickness. Although Greece is a country characterised by strong nationalisms and a powerful sense of religion, Rebetiko song is non-national and non-religious. It is a fusion of musical influences that come from all around the region, and it resists attempts to constrain it. It is music to move the soul. It is a rebel music. 



Parking & Access


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.

Getting here

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, but we need your help. Use ecoway, our sustainable travel planner, to see the most eco-friendly options for your journey to Old Fire Station, and plan a bespoke and flexible route. ecoway is easy to use and you’ll be kept up to date with any disruption or changes to your journey plan.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford


Disabled patrons 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.

Events in the Theatre

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).

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 the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) and we will talk with you about your needs.

Events in the Studio

There is level entry into the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the Studio.

Events in the Loft

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space, with no lift. If you would like to discuss this to find out more, please get in touch.

The Gallery

There is step-free access to the Gallery – level entry through the George Street entrance, and via lift from the Gloucester Green entrance.


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 tickets@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 tickets@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 the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Chairs in the theatre
Our chairs are a standard dining-chair size, measuring 40cm deep by 37cm wide, with a metal frame. Some have arms, and some do not. They are all joined together at the sides, to form rows. If this is likely to pose a problem for you, please email tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk and we can discuss how to make your visit more comfortable.