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OOTB 9 – 27 Dec 2001

Posted 27/12/2001 By reviewer

No review was posted, but I have memories of the evening.

The smallest OOTB audience ever comprised of the three artists who took the stage plus Bruce Blacklaw, Graeme and Julia Mackel, Andrew Hunter (I think), Lorraine (American lady), and some guy.  Cracking night, with Freeloadin’ Frank given free reign on stage with two amazing sets!!  Jean-Marie was a lady with some peculiar views on life and a quite amazing falsetto (I remember she did a cover of ‘Woodstock’ – och the covers rule was relaxed for this one).  I made up the numbers.

Jim

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OOTB 8 – 20 Dec 2001

Posted 20/12/2001 By reviewer

No review posted this week… but I have done a summary from memory.

Summary: first Out of the Bedroom Christmas special.  I’m sure we must have worn party hats and had cakes.  No?

Notable for some excellent debutantes:

  • Danny Mullins would almost certainly have sung the hypnotic ‘Smoke Myself To Sleep’ in his laid-back style.
  • Lynsey Hutchinson would have played her macabre, densely lyrical songs about muder and characters in ‘The League of Gentlemen’.
  • Jimmy Spence read his poetry (poetry? yes, we were tolerant of such things in the very early days).
  • Scott Reilly would have had us in awe of his stunning, immaculately crafted pop songs.
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OOTB 7 – 13 Dec 2001

Posted 13/12/2001 By reviewer

This night was possibly the busiest and certainly one of the most enjoyable evenings at the Waverley so far. It was good to see so many venture out on such a frosty evening.

Free Loading Frank was back to start of the evening in a typically raucous fashion. There was a rare performance of ‘I’m In Love With A Woman Called Scum’ which was delivered with Frank’s usual gusto. The ‘Anti-Car Song’ resonated with a sincerity. A storming version of ‘Bloodshed On The Way’ got the crowd singing along – when is this man going to get a CD together? Soon, hopefully.

Newcomer Jan was next up with unfortunately only the one song, ‘Traveller’s Tune’ . His bass/baritone voice was a treat and I hope there’s more where that came from.

Another newcomer was John Hunt who’s a bit good. A performer of some pedigree, he was clearly at home on stage. A rich, cigarette-stained voice with some consummate guitar-playing. ‘Spiders & Flies’ was drawn from observations of men & women in pubs (possibly Monday nights at Whistlebinkies?). ‘What Is Your Drug?’ was perhaps the most memorable song and put forward the proposition that we’re all addicted to some ‘drug’ e.g. bingo, religion, football and – yes – cannabis; which may be contentious but it’s a good song and very funny. A talent who I hope we see again very soon.

The prize draw was made and the winner was the lovely Emily who won a pair of castanets.

Julie Dawid played her sensitive, uplifting tunes for her 3rd performance this year. A song for her friend ‘Lauren’ was reminiscent of sixties rock siren Nico’s early work in its plaintive delivery. Julie also performed a song she’d written the day before! That alone impressed me and I actually thought it was her best song on the night – see you when you get back from London, Julie.

Colin Donati played what I thought was his best performance at the Waverley so far. Colin kicked off with ‘Klingons’ and a fine tribute to George Harrison but an absolutely storming version of ‘Daniel (Get Out Of Jail For Free)’ stole the show. Accompanied by bongos, shakers and a variety of harmonies, it’s a killer song by anyone’s standards one of a few songs from these evenings that could trouble the pop chart (not that that’s always the sign of a good song).

Norman Lamont was again a standout with more new songs (to my ears) from his vast reservoir. Perhaps the rhythmic ‘Beirut’ (with bongos) was the standout of the newer material. My personal favourite ‘This Horse’ – with its hypnotic, drone-like guitar and richly symbolic lyrics – finished a fine set.

Sandy the photographer filled in at the end and actually had a good voice but played covers and broke a string on the house guitar so I can’t really encourage that behaviour.

I must stress the one golden rule of the evening – original songs, please. You can rip things off, steal and sample by all means but no cover versions, please.

I look forward to seeing you all sometime soon. Have a happy Christmas and peaceful New Year (or should that be peaceful Christmas and Happy New Year?)

Jim

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OOTB 6 – 6 Dec 2001

Posted 06/12/2001 By reviewer

A very fine evening upstairs at The Waverley was had by all with a completely new songwriter line-up and clientele from last week.

The show kicked off with compere Nelson and soundman Jim playing a spooky tune called “The Weather In June” originally premiered with the band Scatter (The Pigs Are Coming) several moons ago.

Next up was a gentleman from Manchester by the name of Trip Fontaine. Following in the footsteps of fellow Mancunians the Smiths, Oasis and the Bee Gees may be daunting for some but not Trip. He has that gift of being able to write songs that you think you’ve heard before but are in fact original and very tuneful, too. Playing a well-worn 12-string guitar, he took the audience on an almost spiritual journey with his simple, melodic and uplifting music. Starting with “Here She Comes” and “Final Cigarette” you knew a star of O.O.T.B. was born. “Freeway” was the first tribute to the dog from popular US 80s TV programme “Hart To Hart” that we’ve had at the Waverley. Finally, “Mr. Sunshine” is a summer song that bursts with colour at any time of the year. A very fine debut.

A familiar face to regulars of Edinburgh Songwriters’ Showcase (R.I.P) at The Tron Tavern, Jim Bryce is a musician and showman extraordinaire. He started on keyboards with the awesome “New Directions For The Blues” – a commentary on the depressing nature of the news media. “Waiting For The Man”, is folk/blues with a definite edge, with very impressive guitar-work.  “Moon And Water Song” was a haunting, spiritual piece with a most harmonious penny whistle moving like the tide in between Jim’s vocals. A Christmas song “Pictures” was the first such seasonal offering at the Waverley and a sentimental, pretty song it was too . A one-man variety act with, it seems, a vast reservoir of good, tuneful songs. (Jim Bryce is in panto at the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh in ‘Sleeping Beauty’).

There was a welcome return for Julie Dawid who played a couple of weeks ago. This young lady from London entertained with a smile on her face with bittersweet tales of love lost. She gets better every time she plays and is a regular at Kin, a music/poetry/book reading evening that runs fortnightly upstairs at the Café Royal, which is worth checking out. In the style of a female Nick Drake, she started with a song (“In The Ground”?) about that eternally favourite subject of songwriters i.e. death. We were treated to a song, “I Wish You Wonderful Things”, she’d only ever performed at her brother’s wedding, a very touching song, and I felt privileged that Julie played it on our night. On “My Garden” – a “back to the planet” song – she was accompanied by Nelson on bongoes. Her song “City Dreams” is perhaps the best, a song about her home village of London and it flows very nicely indeed.

The raffle was then drawn and Mrs. Trip Fontaine won the prize – a swanney whistle for her jam sessions with her husband!

Mr. Trip came back on for a couple of numbers and Jim and Nelson also ended with a brace to end the evening.

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OOTB 5 – 29 Nov 2001

Posted 29/11/2001 By reviewer

Hello you music heads,

Thursday’s shenanigan’s at The Waverley Bar were kicked off in lively fashion by none other than Freeloadin’ Frank. His country-tinged tales of wit and humour were put momentarily on hold while he delivered a full broadside to the vehicle industry with his anti-car song (don’t know the real song’s name!), which has one of the eeriest alternative guitar tunings I’ve ever heard. Quite brilliant, and as Norman Lamont opined “He should do serious more often”. Then the spell was dispersed in the best possible way with his irrepressible “Magic Cornflake” which despite having, shall we say, “possible pharmaceutical references” is widely enjoyed by children across the land, due to it’s instant chorus and catchy good-naturedness.

Next up was Devon Perry who hailed I believe, from Canada, reciting his poetry. Not something that we do a lot of at OOTB, but sometimes we feel like letting someone do it. Devon’s rapid fire, beat style, stream of consciousness poems were appreciated by the crowd, and anyone who can speak that fast has got my respect, especially when they’re saying big words.

OOTB bedrock Norman Lamont climbed on stage next, opening in a jazzier mood than I’ve seen the fellow in for a long time. Very pleasant, then that was followed by two effects drenched raga-like droners, namely a radically re-worked “She Said” (Beatles) and Norman’s majestic (only) “The Sea”. The set culminated with a new song to me, “Portobello Slam”, which conjured the image of a huge brawl on Porty beach.

After a short interval, next up was OOTB newcomer Shane Knight-McGrath, who was the possessor of a splendid red acoustic guitar. His two songs had a picked guitar backing, and the vocals had a bluesy feel slightly reminiscent of Robert Plant, although not everyone agreed with me there. His “Face Of An Angel song” had a particularly plaintive, haunting quality.

Kin stalwart Ally Price then betook the stage, and as Jim remarked, she certainly has improved her vocal projection a lot over recent months, displaying her intricate vocal talents to good effect. At times echoes of a female Cat Stevens, but her “Castle Song” was all her own, even to her spoken introduction, where she wondered if the castle itself had remembered her visit, somewhat spookily.

Not to be outdone by a fellow non-British English-speaker, Anne Easthaugh (from Australia) also did a quick poem before launching into a very pleasant strummy acoustic pop song. Jim later found out that she was leaving the country and won’t be back for several months, but we wish her a speedy return to OOTB.

Last week’s keyboard sensation Claire Milne was in a more experimental mood this week, with her beautiful “A Matter Of Time”, preceded by the “Bridge Song”, which had some very nice strange notes. They’ve probably got proper names like suspended ninths diminished or something, but I don’t know much about that. Still good though.

Topping off a damned good evening was Graeme Mearns, who like Claire, also used to play at the Tron Songwriter’s Showcase. His blistering version of his own “Cinderella” has to be seen to be believed, and it’s a wonder that Shane’s guitar survived intact. A damned catchy tune though, I found myself cheerily singing “Everyone one’s a whore, nothing less and nothing more” days later. Can we expect a fuller set at some later stage, I wonder?

So, an extremely varied evening of performers, and well attended by non-performers too. The raffle? That was one by Claudia who for some strange reason didn’t want a pair of boxer shorts with Homer Simpson on them, so she took Jim up on his gallant offer of some blank cassettes instead. Next week we’ll have to raffle something else!

Nello

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OOTB 4 – 22 Nov 2001

Posted 22/11/2001 By reviewer

Hello Music Lovers,
Well, as you may have noticed, the times have been a’changin in the tower of song. Not content with making the night FREE for performers and audience alike, the management team (well, Jim and Nello) have also changed the name of the artists’ night formerly known as Sounds Like Edinburgh. From now on, we’ll be called Out Of The Bedroom, reflecting the place from which many performers issue.

It was a cracking night on Thursday, pretty much HEAVING with people, due to the influx of new performers and a group of what turned out to be people from Australia, Canada, NZ and America (I think). The night was started up in traditional fashion by Jim and Nello, who really should get down to practising at some stage, so they can play songs newer than seven years old.

Then Norman Lamont strode manfully into the temporary void for a jam with Nello on “Beggar Of Love” and “This Horse Is Dead” (I think), and a jazzy one that Nello didn’t have a clue about. It sounded pretty good to me at the time, but I had started drinking, and I haven’t heard the tape yet. Incidentally, if any performers want a CD of their recordings, just let us know, and we’ll do it as quickly as we can. It costs only £2, which we use to further fund Out Of The Bedroom. Just essential items, stuff like silver curtains, you know.

Next up was OOTB first timer, but Kin regular Julie Dawid. Despite owning of the coolest looking spanish guitars and case (apparently her Dad’s) that I’ve ever seen, she chose instead to play Jim’s battered acoustic. It was a very melodic set, full of lyrical twists and nice picked accompaniment that showed off her soulful side, and it went down well with the crowd. Not the easiest thing to do to play to a room with drunk New Zealander’s in it, but she managed it very well. She can play percussion too, and may be working on something with Norman . . . so watch this space.

Another performer who’d also played at The Tron and elsewhere was Claire Milne. Another first was that she played the house keyboard for the first time, and boy, did it sound sweet. Despite the keyboard being a mid to late eighties monstrosity, Claire effortlessly coaxed mellow tunes and vibes from it, backed with her own very clear vocals. One song was introduced which detailed the pitfalls to Australians/NZ’ers etc in trying to start a relationship in Britain, which seemed to find favour with our overseas friends, as with everyone else in the room. The set culminated with her acapella song “Portobello” which is both very memorable (for all the right reasons) and very funny, and once heard will never be forgotten.

OOTB regular Norman Lamont finished things off in typically Protean fashion, mixing his tales of love lost, Jacques Brel, eyeballs and whatnot into something quite compelling and individual. The golden cup for cleverest lyricist of OOTB would be a grim and bloody battle, but I think that after it, Norman could well be standing atop a pile of bodies, breathing heavily, clutching the aforesaid vessel.

After all that, what more could be done apart from drawing the raffle, which was one by the Aus/Nz/USA contingent. The prize, for a miserley £1 stake? A splendid woolly hat, that’s what!

Looking forward to it on Thursday at The Waverley. See you there!

Nelson Wright

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OOTB 3 – 15 Nov 2001

Posted 15/11/2001 By reviewer

No review was posted for this evening.

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OOTB 2 – 8 Nov 2001

Posted 08/11/2001 By reviewer

No review was posted for this evening.

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OOTB 1 – 1 Nov 2001

Posted 01/11/2001 By reviewer

[Ed’s note: Out Of The Bedroom started life under the moniker “Sounds Like Edinburgh” before we realised that was a crap name, and before Jim coined the current name]

Hello, and welcome to Sounds Like Edinburgh, the weekly musical review from the open mic night at the Waverley Bar.

What we’ll be doing is letting you know about the shenanigans at the open mic night called “Sounds Like Edinburgh”, which takes place every Thursday at the Waverly Bar, St Mary’s Street (just off the High Street). It’s free for performers to come along and try out their material in front of an audience. For people who just want to watch, it’s only a £1 [we gave up on that idea too – Ed].

Last Thursday saw the compere (a man known simply as “Maff“) introduce firstly, a Mr James Igoe. For those of you who don’t know, Jim’s been occasionally singing and playing at various songwriter’s nights in Edinburgh since 1993, when a certain Mr T G McEwan started “Workers In Song”. Jim sang the song “Tragic Clowns” to kick things off, but then needed a rest due to his shoulder injury, which was a shame, as it was sounding good.

Next up was Norman Lamont (yes, that is his real name), and he didn’t mess about, launching into a superb rendition of “New Eyes”. This was a new song to me, and I was enjoying the pleasant sun-speckled strummy poppiness of it all, when suddenly it went diving into a rather darker and weirder place. This proved to be a very interesting and enjoyable twist in the tale, and I won’t spoil it by telling you any more. But I was singing the song for the next few days. Then came the more accustomed swagger of “Beggar Of Love” and others, culminating in one of my favourites of his, “Submarine Girl”. Norman was at pains to point out that there was a comma between “Submarine” and “Girl” in the line “But I never went down on a submarine girl”, just in case of any possible accusations of lewdness. His website is at: http://www.normanlamont.com

Then came Gordon from Ballboy, fresh from the highs that only those who have just released their first album can know. If you’re interested, it’s called “Club Anthems 2001”, is rather good and is available in the usual places. Gordon also was responsible for a song going round my head for some time, but this time it was the one-minute “I lost you but found country music” that did the damage. And I don’t even like country music. But Gordon was as charming and personable as ever, and the set had a good version of “They’ll Hang Flags From Cranes Upon My Wedding Day” too. I just hope that he’s talking about construction cranes and not the birds, or you could end up with a good pecking if you tried to hang a flag off the beak of say, a crested crane.

Freeloadin’ Frank then hit the stage, with a completely outrageous song called I think, “Bloodshed on the Way”, which hit the political nail square on the head, for me at any rate. Splendid stuff. That was without having remembered to plug his guitar in, too. Then came fine renditions of well-known Frank material, (such as the wonderful “Magic Cornflake” and “I’m in Love with Scully From The X-Files”), Frank’s cheeky personality and radical reworking of two songs was overlooked on this first night , as normal policy is to have no cover versions. A version of Johnny Cash’s “25 minutes to go” was particularly rambling in the middle section, but bloody funny too and I’ve never enjoyed “Ghost Riders In The Sky” quite as much before, either. Great cowboy-esqe shouts of “Whoh!” and “Haarrr!”.

The evening was finished off by the return to the stage of Jim, accompanied by myself. This was made possible by the consumption of two pints having overcome our trepidation at having not practised for a number of weeks, and the fact that we attempted a song that we hadn’t played together for about eight years. Luckily for us, the audience were “pleasantly tipsy” by that stage, and were no doubt full of good cheer from the previous superb performances, so we escaped the lynch mob.

Some of the audience went on to celebrate a certain Mr Blacklaw‘s birthday, but apparently the wooses only went for one.

A very enjoyable evening was had by all, so if you fancy it, come on down next Thursday!

Nelson Wright

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