OXFORD Castle’s historic stone towers will be rocking tonight as the old prison wing and the ancient crypt are taken over by the city’s most raucous bands.

The Oxford Mail’s sister paper The Oxford Times is celebrating its 150th birthday with bands including Little Fish and Secret Rivals.

If you want to see a Duchess at a castle, don’t stay in and watch a Downton DVD, come and check out the african-influenced samba band, whose three-man percussion section and smooth sexy vocals will have you on your feet in no time.

Duchess lead singer Katie-Louise Herring said: “This will be a great opportunity for people to see a gig in the castle for the first time.

“We have been playing festivals all summer, so it is nice to come home and play a show with friends and family, and we can also explore the castle.

First on are afro-beat rockers Nairobi, who will be playing an acoustic set of their unique guitar poetry.

Guitarist Pete Hughes said: “I went for a tour of the castle and the crypt is really spooky, I can’t wait. It’s going to be like a well sound-tracked horror movie.”

As well as the music entertainment, acclaimed film director Jon Spira will be screening his film Anyone Can Play Guitar, a history of the Oxford music scene narrated by comedian Stewart Lee, in an atmospheric corner of the castle.

Also in the crypt are foot-stompin’ bluegrass collective Swindlestock, who wowed audiences at last year’s Oxjam with their cranked-up hoedown, and Tamara Parsons-Baker who has won plaudits for her tragic twisted tales.

Headlining the former prison upstairs will be Little Fish and reggae band Dubwiser, and there will be a bar in one of the old prison cells.

The Live & Unlocked gig kicks off with Nairobi at 8.15pm, and doors open at 8pm. Tickets have almost sold out, see