Gaz Coombes has a reputation not only as one of Oxfordshire’s greatest ever musical artists, but for being thoroughly likeable, down-to-earth, and cheerful with it.

Yet, even by his high standards, the singer-songwriter is in high spirits. Still riding high on the critical acclaim for his third solo album, World’s Strongest Man, the Wheatley lad is back on tour – and heading for home.

On Sunday he plays an historic show – a charity concert at the Sheldonian Theatre to celebrate the venue’s 350th anniversary.

“I can’t wait to get there,” he smiles. “It’s something cool which really makes sense. It’s very exciting.”

The Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello-nominated artist and former Supergrass frontman will perform a bespoke set at the Christopher Wren-designed Oxford concert hall with orchestral accompaniment arranged and conducted by composer Luke Lewis.

“I have spent the past two or three months working on new material and songs,” he says. “I’ve been doing plenty of recording and things are sounding really good.”

While it will be far cry from his full-throttle electric shows, it is the first rock concert of its type at the historic Broad Street venue – the closest thing being dreamy folk-pop band Stornoway’s gigs at the venue in 2014.

All proceeds from the concert will be donated to Oxford charities Yellow Submarine,​ which supports people with learning difficulties, and the Young Women’s Music Project – which aims to get more girls and women into contemporary music.

As well as new songs, fans may get to hear orchestrations of tracks from Gaz’s 2012 debut album ​Here Come the Bombs, and the Mercury Prize nominated ​Matador.

“The set is still coming together,” he says. “But we’ll see.”

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Picture by Helen Messenger

It comes as he goes back out on the road after having to cancel a European tour following a bizarre domestic accident.

The star suffered a broken leg while “play fighting” with his daughter Raya May.

He said at the time: “Larking around with the kids I got ‘Bruce Lee’d by my 15 year-old, and let’s just say, she connected too well.”

Far from being angry, Gaz laughs about the incident, saying: “It wasn’t very rock & roll!”

“It’s great to be getting out there,” he adds. “I spent four months getting over the broken leg which was a bit bonkers at the time, but life does throw up these things. You’ve got to find a way through and take something good from it.”

He adds: “It was really tough cancelling the shows as I’d never cancelled anything in my life before, either because I’ve been lucky or because of the work ethic I’ve finessed over the years. But these things happen. I had got away with it over the years – and to have got to 43 without breaking a bone was good going!”

He goes on: “We like messing around play fighting and most of the time I come out unscathed –but she can do some damage, and is blessed with self defence skills.”

And, he teased, there are references to the mishap in the new songs. “There are lots of references to breaking things!” he laughs.

Fortunately he is fighting fit for the Sheldonian show, which came about following conversations between Gaz, former Oxford music student Luke Lewis, and musician Nick ‘Growler’ Fowler who plays guitar in Gaz’s band.

“I have been talking to Nick about doing something at the Sheldonian for over seven years,” says Gaz. “And, for whatever reason, the planets aligned. I went up the other week and came back buzzing with excitement.

“It’s really beautiful and very special.”

The show, which is supported by Oxford University’s Faculty of Music and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH). will be opened by Suzy Bowtell of the Young Women’s Music Project.

Relishing the chance to perform with an orchestra, he said he would be channelling his inner Scott Walker.

Herald Series:

Picture by Helen Messenger

He laughs: “I’ll be wrapping the Marshall stack with padding!

“I’m up for having all sorts of performers up on stage with me... but not overloading the room with bombastic sound. It will be subtle and decorous.”

And playing his hometown is an additional thrill, he says.

“It’s a great thing, Oxford,” he smiles. “There’s a great connection with other people I meet in musical circles and there’s so much creativity that comes out of being holed up with these guys. We are just like-minded, and that’s something that’s always fantastic.”

The artist, who moved back to his childhood home with his family from Brighton in 2006, says: “I am also struck by how beautiful Oxford is in spring, especially when the sun comes out. There’s an airy feel to it. Lots of light and green. I never feel hemmed in.”

Gaz Coombes plays the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford on Sunday. Tickets have sold out, but Gaz will be back in action at Cornbury Festival in June.