Hijak Oscar started in York, August 2005.
After a few months they put on their first show in a local 100 capacity venue which sold out 2 weeks before the event.
Not wanting to lose the York fan base they had built from the early shows by playing too much in their home town, they began to play in Leeds supporting local acts and then returning to the same venues to headline shows after getting rave reviews from people who had seen them.
Feeling like things were heading in the right direction and they had a show in London supporting Alabama 3, they decided to record the first album “Hijak Oscar” to have something to promote themselves with. This was recorded and mixed by the band and began to sell well at shows.
With the audiences growing and the shows getting further from home and more regular, their “play anywhere, anytime, to anyone” attitude was paying off. They were getting featured in Sandman Magazine which is distributed around the country, supporting Alabama 3, Son Of Dave, Jack Penate and Mostly Autumn.
They have been and continue to be on local BBC Radio shows around the country for unsigned bands, either performing live or the DJ playing tracks from the album.
In 2007 Hijak saw a way to get their music heard by more people. Channel 4’s MobileAct Unsigned. The show was on the popular T4 Sunday morning show and repeated on Saturday mornings, Wednesday nights and what seemed to be anytime they could fit it in. Appearing on the show was doing wonders for the bands profile. Hijak asked to leave the TV show in the semi finals. Having got what they wanted from it and believing nothing good could come from a record deal that you win. This was later confirmed when the winners had very little success after the show through no fault of their own.
Appearing on the show pushed mySpace plays up to over 2000 to 3000 a day, increased album sales and inspired the month long “Hellbound Tour” which covered the country from top to bottom and was a massive success with sell out shows and venues having to move the band into bigger capacity rooms due to large amount of pre sales. One of the shows on the tour was supporting the now very popular Glassvegas and another the prog legends Focus.
Along with the tour and increased popularity they were asked to support York boys Shed7 on 3 of their sell out reunion tour shows. This was another opportunity to play to lots of people. The venues were 2000 – 5000 capacity.
As well as being approached to play festivals in the summer they began to book more shows and more festivals for the months ahead, including a support slot with Black Diamond Heavies.
Towards the middle of 2008 it was time to start work on the new album which will be titled “Black Sheep Moneybox” which will be 16 tracks long and the release date to be sometime in March 2009.
Today the debut album has sold well over 5000 copies. These are mainly in the UK but a few in America, Canada and Europe. The most popular track being Bitter Carnival which has now had over 92000 plays on mySpace alone.
The band are still doing everything themselves, from the new album to maintaining their own website and merchandise, myspace and facebook.
Once the album is ready the band will be back on tour to promote it in as many places they can.
Each member has a different musical background from the next and is influenced by different styles of music meaning they each have a different role in the band, not just by the instrument they play but the style they play in.
These are some of our influences: Son House, R L Burnside, Jaco Pastorius, Charles Mingus, Gomez, Miles Davis, Eels, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Jimi Hendrix, Ben Folds Five, Ben Harper, Aimie Mann, Radiohead, Beck, PJ Harvey, The Who, dEUS, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stoneage, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan
“The British music scene's in a really healthy state at the moment, but it's always when you see something different that you get really excited. There's a band called Hijak Oscar on the show who are amazing - they've got a real Tom Waitsy air of menace to them." Alex Zane – Digital Spy
“Sunday's headliners Dodgy drew a slightly smaller crowd, but were outshone on the day by York's magnificently moody Hijak Oscar” Beached Festival - Scarborough - 15-18/08/08
“This mayhem is actually the perfect precursor to headliners Hijack Oscar, as their party blues and drunken soul is heavy enough to keep the momentum going, but with an additional "last orders" style wistfulness that gives them gravitas” Moor Music Festival - Addingham Moorside, Leeds - 09-09/08/08
“Bursting into the set with wild, roaring harmonica, rolling keys and harmonised vocals it's not difficult to see how Hijak Oscar are gripping crowds up and down the country” Sheffield Telegraph - Rachael Clegg - 10/04/2008
“One of the best up and coming acts in Britain, Hijak is a grungy heavy blues collaboration that perfectly incorporates hints of jazz and rock and is foremost in leading the next wave of music that will rid us of generic commercial Indie Rock. And they're coming our way” Stornoway Gazette - Laura F.C. Maciver - 03/04/2008
“It took only a lungful of harmonica for Hijak Oscar to remind us all of the difference between a good band (hey molly) and a downright brilliant band. A six-piece, even squeezed onto the Retro's tiny stage they were a dominating bunch.” Sandman Magazine - Megan Vaughan - 18/01/2008
Otis Taylor, Son House, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sonny Terry, Henry Thomas, R L Burnside, Canned Heat, Boss Caine, Bruce Springsteen (early), Jaco Pastorius, Charles Mingus, Theleonious Monk, Weather Report, Gomez, Miles Davis, Dot Cotton, Julian Joseph, level 42, Eels, Bee and Flower, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Camel lights, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Focus, Yes, King Crimson, Tom Waits, Bukka White, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Ben Folds Five, Ben Harper, Aimie Mann, Radiohead, Portishead, Boards of Canada, Beck, PJ Harvey, Keb Mo, Charlie Parr, Jackie Wilson, Yardbirds, Aerosmith, Dr John, The Who, dEUS, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stoneage, Clash, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan
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