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OOTB reviews 2001-2003

Posted 23/02/2010 By admin

It’s been a very long time since we’ve had the pleasure of reading a new OOTB review, sadly, but I just chanced upon a collection of OOTB reviews from 2001-2003 on Nelson Wright’s website! Check them out here, enjoy! – http://www.nelsonwright.co.uk/ootb_web_site/wbw.htm

I haven’t checked yet whether these reviews are the same as to be found on this site, but that’s half the fun after all.

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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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The first night in our new home of Woodland Creatures and our new day of Thursday fortnight – very exciting! The compact, bijou and attractive back room attracted OOTB-ers familiar and new and it was a most interesting evening of contrasts. James Igoe was your host for the evening, taking photos of the evening

Tina Louise Avery was first up and played three wonderful songs. Tina has been on a musical roll recently with a successful benefit gig for WaterAid she organised just two days before and a great performance with Vincent Gauchot last OOTB, as well as playing the Danny Kyle stage at Celtic Connections. ‘Riverman’ sounded amazing on banjo and the other two songs were haunting mellifluousness.

I saw Suhail for the first time this evening, though this was not his OOTB debut. ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, a classic theme of an obsession with a girl, was reminiscent of the melody and energy of mid ‘90s British chart music (often referred to as “Britpop”). ‘Every Monday Morning’ was another pleasant slice of pop about “doing right” on a Monday morning – mysterious? Two short and sweet songs. Come back soon, Suhail.

Michael, like Suhail, has no web presence so we get to keep him to ourselves – great! Unfortunately his long-term music partner Geoff is unwell so this was Michael’s first solo performance. ‘Japanese Lady’ was a heartfelt love song for, unsurprisingly, a Japanese lady. A ‘50s rock ‘n roll style ballad ‘Please Don’t Turn Around’, about a tearful breakup, tugged at the heart strings. The finale finished us off – ‘Butterfly’ was dedicated to his late wife who he imagined had turned into a butterfly that landed on his shoulder one day. A very popular set – not a dry eye in the house.

Colin Whitelaw had a drinking theme running through his songs. Yes, Colin is Scottish! ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ was about how bad drinking is but how it can get you through the day. Some great chords here. ‘Sunday Afternoon’ was not about drinking but it was a sad song about lost love – bucket loads of character and feeling. ‘The Scottish Tango’ (aka ‘Chips for Tea’), about drinking and the Scot’s favourite food of choice from a chippie on the way home, is probably Colin’s most well-known song. It went down a treat and a fine way to end part one.

After the break, part two started with Frankie Sparks of The Orange Walls from Atlanta, Georgia singing songs that were bona fide Americana. Frankie is in the construction trade and he looked the part with his beard, tattoos and muscular frame – not a man to be messed with! The guitar playing ‘Heart’s Too Heavy’ was very professional and influenced by Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline and Kris Kristofferson. Not the usual OOTB influences and Frankie was genuine in his delivery. ‘Doing Dixie’ was a somewhat crass but humourous tale of “knocking up” a girl in a cheap grocery store for a bet. As you do. ‘Whisky’ was about lusting after a girl – “she’s so good at doing bad” – and I think I could hear this on Whispering Bob Harris’ Radio 2 country show. Great debut from Frankie.

Legendary OOTB soundman Jack Blimey was next out of his chair with ‘Tuesday’s Child’ about Copenhagen in 1928. A dense lyric with great choppy guitar playing by Jack in his inimitable style. ‘Another Prisoner’ had reverberating guitar and lyrics. Similarities with ‘The Partisan’ (a French folk song famously covered by Leonard Cohen) in terms of feel and lyrics focusing on the persecuted – in this case an unknown prisoner. ‘Demolition Street’ is written in stream of consciousness style – as dense, complicated, and opaque in its meaning as a Bob Dylan classic.

Roisin Russell – long time no see! It was great to have Roisin back and also, for Tina and all of the regulars, it was nice to have more than one female voice for a change. ‘You Don’t See Me’ was an emotional tale of being taken for granted and bullied but ultimately finding the strength to get out of a bad situation. Powerful stuff.

We were fortunate to have the wondrous Jim Bryce this evening. Not only as his music is great but, as he had just played a Pressure Valve gig nearby, thankfully he had the mojo to play two gigs in the one night. ‘Oh Yass’ was about the stereotype of the Brit abroad – an aural tour of the world with a bit of ironic ‘Rule Britannia; thrown in. The social awkwardness of train travel was explored in ‘Train Talk’ – Jim actually talks to strangers on a train being a truly gregarious human being. Jim’s set ended on a melancholy note with the beautiful ‘Grieving’.

I, James Igoe, played ‘Inga’s Eyes’ to end the evening.

So we were all happy with the new venue and that the performers like it, and relieved that the first night was not a disaster!

See you all here at this great Leith Walk venue some time soon.

James Igoe

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OOTB 641, Tuesday 14 February 2017

Posted 16/02/2017 By reviewer
OOTB stage at Out of the Bedroom 641

Valentine’s Day 2017 and we were feeling the love from the Out of the Bedroom stage tonight. There was no obligation on the musicians to play songs commemorating the 3rd Century saint’s day but there were some notable tributes made.

Line-up: Vincent Gauchot, Nicholas Loveridge, Rui Alma, Tina Louise Avery, Jack Blimey, Nyk Stoddart, James Igoe.

 

Vincent Gauchot at Out of the Bedroom 641

Vincent Gauchot

Host for the evening was Vincent Gauchot who claimed the first slot, playing three instrumentals. The amazing ‘1001 Univers’ sounded like two guitars being played with an overdub: a rich, full, wonderful sound. The stage lights tonight changed colour in response to changes in sound which Vincent, and others, found a bit disconcerting but it brought a bit of psychedelia to proceedings! Talking of which, next up was ‘Kaleidoscope’, about living in Montreal and the extremes of harsh winters and hot summers. Impressive harmonics and a deeply atmospheric tune. ‘Silver Lining’, “a song about memories”, was a wistful, John Martyn-esque number with hints of Scottish folk music and several time signature changes. A great start to the evening: note to self – get along early to see Vincent when he is hosting.

Nicholas Loveridge at Out of the Bedroom 641

Nicholas Loveridge

Australian Nicholas Loveridge made his OOTB debut, showcasing his “baby” guitar – a guitarlele – and tonight may also have been the OOTB debut for that instrument. ‘Drunken Dissorder’ was a fun song with lots of “ba-baps” and “da-das” and was written some time ago in his not-so-distant youth. It was notable how much Nicholas used his body, including some intense facial expressions, and that is a powerful way to convey a song to the audience. ‘The Ukulele’s Perspective’, an instrumental with nice dynamics, was written when he bought a ukulele in Hawaii. Getting into tonight’s theme, ‘A Folk Musician’ was a “love song of sorts” which was a dancey number – funky and folkie at the same time – which seemed to be about becoming a folk musician to make someone love him (little does he know…?). Nicholas also played a memorable set at The Listening Room’s 15th birthday on Sunday – catch him in Edinburgh while you can.

Rui Alma at Out of the Bedroom 641

Rui Alma

Rui Alma was our second debutant of the evening, playing a couple of tunes improvised on a structure he had been working on. Unusually, perhaps uniquely, this was the third act in a row to play an instrumental as Rui opened with an intense flamenco-influenced, Jeff Buckley-esque number on his cherry red Guild acoustic. The lights were going crazy with all the guitar dynamics and I felt like an Andalusian senorita should have been clapping and stomping along to complement his onstage energy. Next up was a song about love (hooray!) based on “the value of silence and intimacy as a riposte against the noise we deal with every day”. Contrasting with the intensity of the opener, there were some nice, tender moments here and a surprisingly pleasant four-line vocal popped up about three or four minutes into the song. ‘Hersh’ was a tribute to Kristin Hersh, ex of Throwing Muses, whose interesting arpeggios he witnessed at her Summerhall gig last year. The song had an Arabic / Middle Eastern feel with a wordless vocal (again Buckley-esque) and was very avant-garde and original – OOTB is very much the place for experimentation. Great debut and I hope to see Rui again soon.

Tina Louise Avery at Out of the Bedroom 641

Tina Louise Avery

OOTB favourite Tina Louise Avery took to ukulele this evening and was ably supported by Vincent Gauchot on regular acoustic. Tina opened with ‘Riverman’, the studio version having been recorded by Daniel Davis who was in the audience. Vocals floated high above in the stratosphere overlooking us mere mortals and the guitar/uke combo worked a treat, surprisingly Vincent and Tina hadn’t played together for a while. ‘Tea Amongst The Birds’ featured a fantastic vocal from Tina beautiful harmonics from Vincent and with the picked uke this worked a treat. ‘Love’ was Tina’s Valentine’s Day song which was deeply evocative of spending a day with someone you are in love with. A great middle eight, with top-notch picking from Vincent. Tina is glowing with confidence post-Celtic Connections and this set was a treat.

Jack Blimey at Out of the Bedroom 641

Jack Blimey

After a break came OOTB soundman for the evening Jack Blimey. First song ‘Another Prisoner’ was “almost based on a true story” about being in prison and comparing himself with another prisoner (perhaps of circumstance / location?). Jack’s songs are ambiguous and densely wordy, like early Bob Dylan, and powerful and dreamlike in the themes they cover which seem to be an alternate yet plausible version of reality. ‘Wherever You Come From’ was a rare sentimental song from Jack’s repertoire, evoking a pastoral setting. The imaginative and very well-crafted poetry conveyed a vision of rural life that was simultaneously beautiful and nightmarish. ‘Those Weren’t The Days’ was a song to Jack’s ex-wives had he been married. Jack’s electric guitar playing was both incessant and melodic with a staccato style that is very much his own. There is always a subtle, cruel humour underneath the sweetness of the vocal which this song exemplified. A unique talent who continues to improve with each OOTB performance.

Nyk Stoddart at Out of the Bedroom 641

Nyk Stoddart

Not simply a Valentine’s special, this was the tenth anniversary of Nyk Stoddart’s OOTB debut at The Canon’s Gait. Nyk opened with the optimistic ‘Trust and Hope’, and this was a mighty song – beefy, bluesy and rocking and the loudest song this evening! Some excellent blues licks with a bit of jazz thrown in, this was a great performance. The plaintive ‘Fake Jazz’, one of Nyk’s signature tunes, showcased Nyk’s genuine ability to play jazz and I’m sure the recently departed jazz icon Al Jarreau would have approved. ‘The Girl With The Bubble-Wrap Lips’ was written five years ago but Nyk is still not quite sure what it is about. A romantic song of sorts, albeit in a post-modern world. A strange world, yes, but ‘twas ever thus? Great stuff from Nyk.

James Igoe finished the evening with ‘Older Women’, his tribute to his wife Sheena. “You can learn a thing or two from older women” – ever the old romantic!

The Out of the Bedroom AGM is on Thursday 23 February 7.30pm at Kilderkin and is open to all. We’ll hopefully see you there, If not, see you all next time at The Outhouse on Tuesday 14 March!

Review: James Igoe

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OOTB 640, Tuesday 17 January 2017

Posted 26/01/2017 By reviewer

Back to The Outhouse for the first OOTB of 2017. Backdrop left at home and no guitar tuner to be found but with a bit of soft lilac lighting and a few good musical ears and the night got underway.

Line-up: Tina Louise Avery, Sam Brown, Tau Boo, Nyk Stoddart, Jack Blimey, Freeloadin’ Frank, James Igoe.

Tina Louise Avery with Jack Blimey on desk OOTB 640

Tina Louise Avery

Compere for the evening James Igoe introduced Tina Louise Avery to the stage. Tina was to play the Danny Kyle stage at Celtic Connections the following weekend – very impressive – but withheld this information from us on the night, possibly to manage our expectations. No need, we expect Tina to be great and she didn’t disappoint. Tina started with ‘Travel Writing’ featured on The Listening Room Volume 1 and it was a very pleasant version with the refrain “I will sit by the fireside tonight” staying in my head long after the night had ended. ‘Tea Amongst The Birds’ is possibly my favourite Tina song: a haunting, beautiful piece of melancholy reminiscent of late ‘60s Judy Collins and mid ‘80s Suzanne Vega. ‘Diving Under Water’ was written after the Victoria shootings and is possibly one of the nicest sounding songs about mass murder that you will ever hear with some impressive guitar picking.

Sam Brown debut OOTB 640

Sam Brown

The first, and only, debutante this evening was Sam Brown. We were lucky to catch Sam this evening as he is off to India for three months. Song 1 was about taking the wrong path, featured the refrain ‘Sleight of Hand’ (his first two songs didn’t have titles) and was accompanied by some funky guitar playing. ‘Wisdom Teeth’ seemed to be about growing pains and had a descending guitar phrase which reminded me of early Cream. Keeping his best to last, ‘24/42’ had some impressive slap-jazzy guitar playing, reminiscent of local guitar genius Graeme Mearns. A very promising debut, I hope Sam comes back soon after his trip.

Tau Boo and audience OOTB 640

Tau Boo

The vocal ranges this evening descended from alto (Tina), tenor (Sam) to the deep bass of Tau Boo. First song ‘Daydream’ featured his trademark vocal: like Paul Robeson if he had been primarily influenced by early ‘90s shoegazing bands like Chapterhouse and Slowdive. Seriously epic and full of Zeppelin-esque time signature changes. The atmospheric Song 2 featured the lyric “catch the wind in your sails my friend”. ‘Your Eyes’ was slightly more upbeat than the previous two (lyric: “beautiful, then fade away”) and Tau had an interesting trick of making his 6-stringed guitar sound like a 12-string without any effects pedals.

Nyk Stoddart OOTB 640

Nyk Stoddart

Nyk Stoddart showed his more serious side tonight with a trilogy of reflective songs written for an intriguing new musical project. ‘Out in the Sun’ was a romantic song about a warmer time of the year and featured some excellent guitar picking from someone who knows his way around a fretboard. ‘Fly Away’ – no relation to the Lenny Kravitz chart topper – was a mellow love song with the lyric “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be with you”. ‘Mystery in the Universe’ featured some demonic picking and seamless strumming with sample lyric “there is a mystery in the universe that is love”. A heartfelt set from Nyk.

Jack Blimey OOTB 640

Jack Blimey

After the break, Jack Blimey ventured from behind the sound desk to the stage with his Schecter electric guitar and showcasing his very original style of songwriting. His opening song had a sound that could be described as pleasantly psychotic English folk, while showing an understanding of the blues. ‘Wherever You Come From’ was in the murder ballad tradition of Nick Cave with a deeply poetic conversational lyric. ‘War on Terror’ talked about the beginning of World War 3 which we might be in already. I wonder if this was written as a poem? I can hear this going down well at a performance poetry session. Cracking chords and excellent guitar playing from Jack.

Freeloadin' Frank OOTB 640

Freeloadin’ Frank

Freeloadin’ Frank played just before an operation on his nondominant hand so we valued his contribution even more than usual. ‘Butterfly’, written in his back garden (currently being developed by dodgy builders), is a conversation with “Smithers” about a sunny day in May. The epic ‘King Kong’ was a love song written from the perspective of the colossal ape. This sounds like a song The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band could have written in their late ‘60s prime. The open mic classic ‘Magic Cornflake’ took us on an imaginary tour of the world – both inner and outer – or maybe it was just a song about a nice breakfast? Classic Frank.

James Igoe OOTB 640

James Igoe

Like Frank, James Igoe played a three-song set that would be familiar to open mic goers over the last few years. Starting with ‘Inga’s Eyes’ a “song about lust” and taboo hair-stroking. ‘Braveheart Beggar’ followed, written before his belief that Scotland should be an independent country it is a critical account of hypocritical Scottish culture in the mid-late 1990s. ‘Cowboy Song 2’, a song about travelling, was dedicated to Sam and imminent his trip to India.

Due to a slight dearth of acts this evening, those who had played earlier had another opportunity.

Sam Brown played ‘Meet The Bones’ (a play on words with “meat on the bones”?) in his jazzy style – very pleasant.

Tau Boo played again, but unfortunately this reviewer had to spend a penny so this song will remain a mystery.

Nyk Stoddart played ‘Aeroplanes’, a mainly-instrumental, acid-drenched song closer to the style of the songs when he first made his name at OOTB in the Canon’s Gait.

Jack Blimey played ‘Desolation Street’, a dark tale of a dysfunctional neighbourhood, with a chord that impressed the aforementioned local musical genius Graeme Mearns some years hence.

Freeloadin’ Frank played ‘Rupert’, his “leftie” song, noting that the protagonist Mr. Murdoch helped put the incumbent President Trump in the White House. Lyrics were updated to reflect recent political changes in the USA and UK.

Plenty of great stuff this evening, if perhaps not a classic, well-attended OOTB. A promising start to 2017 and hopefully there will be many great OOTB nights to look forward to this year.

James Igoe (review)

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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 500, Saturday 8 December 2012

Posted 10/12/2012 By reviewer

OOTB 500

11 years, 5 regular venues, 4 CDs, and countless performers after that enjoyable, if sparsely-attended, opening night in November 2001, Out of the Bedroom is still very much alive and well.

It’s hard to quantify the effect OOTB (to use the acronym) has had on the Edinburgh music scene. OOTB has been chucked out of more pubs than Amy Winehouse, no million-selling rock stars have emerged (we missed out on KT Tunstall!), and, in the company of many of the best local music nights, OOTB has been almost completely overlooked by the mainstream Edinburgh media.

Yet the packed house and warm appreciation from the audience tonight underlined a collective feeling that OOTB provides something special and unique. The nights are, and have consistently been, well-organised and artists are welcomed and appreciated – whether old or young, familiar or unfamiliar, expert or novice.

Compere par excellence Scott Renton opened the night in his own inimitable style. It was a great pleasure for me to hear Scott performing for the first time in ages too. ‘Waverley Nights’, based on Kiss’s ‘Crazy Nights’, was endearing, 100% Scottish and very distinctive. The lyric, written when OOTB left its original home of The Waverley Bar, was updated for OOTB 500 and was an amusing, brutally honest tale giving his reasons for coming to OOTB. I’m sure both Gene Simmons and Iain ‘Smiler’ Walker would be proud.

I, James Igoe, played next and think I was the only person this evening to cover a song by another OOTB artist. Norman Lamont’s ‘Nicole’ was dedicated to the Nicoles loved and lusted over. There was not much sympathy for my sad tale of Paris but that’s something I’ll just have to live with. J The lurgy I had all week affected my preparation but I think it went okay – Norman was appreciative.

Edinburgh open mic legend and champion of all things counterculture Freeloading Frank was next up. His version of the sensitive Beatles song ‘I Will’ was morphed into a heartfelt paean of self-love, inspired by his own reflection. Frank updated (“remixed”) an old song ‘Rupert Murdoch’ changing the target of his ire towards the heinous double act of Tories David Cameron and George Osborne. I felt the crowd were on his side.

Master guitarist Graeme Mearns went completely left field and played a supper club jazz version of The Ramones’s punk classic ‘Blitzkreig Bop’. Coincidentally I was listening to The Ramones version in the car coming to the gig. I thought it was a great, highly original re-imagining of the song, though I think the late Johnny Ramone might have been spinning in his grave.

Next up – a new act! Not only had Trouble in Paradise never played OOTB, the trio had never played together live before. They rehearse via Skype which is quite unusual even in this age of ubiquitous internet access. For lead singer Alice this was her first ever gig though you would never have guessed from her onstage ease and confidence. ‘Modern Woman’ had some very nice harmonies supplied by the two gents on guitars. The chorus of “are you a modern woman? / do you pleasure yourself?” got a few minds racing among the rapt audience I’m sure. Their acoustic cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ was very endearing with Alice singing with a near cut glass BBC accent, very different from Ms Lauper’s Queens twang. They cheekily sneaked in a third song about old fashioned love in a digital age, which was very well received by the audience. The old fella (a Kilderkin regular?) at the end of the bar shouted that she had a nice voice, and he was right.

Julien Pierrefeu has brought musical intensity and lyrical depth to many an OOTB evening and this fine performance continued his sequence of top notch performances. Accompanied by Tom Watton on guitar, Julien’s bi-lingual (French/English) song was a romantic tale which reminded me a bit of mid-‘60s French-inflected pop music and I could imagine an accordion. This was very pleasant.

Tommy Mackay lets his creative juices flow in the Scottish comedy circuit after some years as an OOTB stalwart. In his alter ego tonight as The Sensational Alex Salmond Gastric Band, Tommy played what I thought was my song of the evening – ‘Wee Country’. It was an original, heartfelt, patriotic and serious song about modern day Scotland, with part of the lyric challenging one of the scourges of Scotland – sectarianism. I think this should be a contender for the national anthem, or at least part of the soundtrack for the 2014 election. I’d vote for that.

One of the longest serving OOTB committee members Calum Carlyle played a Radiohead song which Calum introduced as “track 4 off the 3rd album” (‘Exit Music?’). Calum sung this in a Jeff Buckley-esque manner, no mean feat, and played it immaculately on the guitar. Calum’s second cover was George Harrison’s ‘Long Long Long’, perhaps one of the lesser-known tracks off The Beatles’ ‘White Album’. I felt Calum really made the song his own and gave it a new life, seamlessly fitting in with his previous cover, in a new Carlyle sound? Flawless guitar playing and a strong set from Calum.

Next was the break when there was some bidding for the 500th raffle ticket, which reached the dizzy heights of £1.70 rather than the standard £1! As well as chatting to some old and gold individuals I was also casting my eye over the rather fine 500th anniversary guitar-shaped chocolate cake courtesy of Tina Avery.

An OOTB original Colin Donati started part two with his own song ‘Various Moons’, using the powered-up house guitar nicknamed ‘golden retriever’.  Colin’s slick jazzy guitar playing was a bit of class and it’s great to see Colin playing regularly after a while when he was pursuing other creative outlets. His pre-gig Kilderkin pizza set him up nicely, I’ll make a note for future reference.

Cake-maker and current OOTB committee member Tina Avery began with ‘80s classic ‘Luka’ by Suzanne Vega. I remember the song practically single-handedly resurrecting the singer-songwriter genre in the 1980s. Tina gave a faithful cover version of the song, beautifully picked and sung. Out came the ukulele for Tina’s last song ‘River Man’. It’s not easy to play a picked uke and make it sound good but Tina had no problem, managing to play the instrument admirably. This floaty, dreamy song had the audience rapt with attention and quiet which was a blessed rarity this evening.

Perhaps the youngest performer this evening, Tomas was fresh from being out busking and was unaware of the significance of the evening. John Farrell helped him with some guitar strap problems. His two songs were social commentaries about living a young working class life in 21st century Edinburgh and received warm applause.

Tau Boo is one of the more unusual performers I’ve ever seen at OOTB. This is principally because he has perhaps the deepest voice in show business, giving the late Paul Robeson a run for his money. His song ‘Standing in the Steps of Giants’ uses natural vocal reverberation that has echoes of ‘Starsailor’-period Tim Buckley. It’s a haunting sound that stays with you long after the show.

The previously-covered Norman Lamont  played Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’. I think Norman managed to play the song with two chords, and still retained the interest. For such a densely lyrical song I was impressed that Norman didn’t need a lyric sheet (voice in head: “it’s called practice, James”. Okay, thank you voice-in-head). Norman’s next song was new and jazz-tinged, in keeping with the style of several songs this evening. Unfortunately ‘Big’ James Whyte who was due to accompany Norman was otherwise engaged tonight. On this evidence, I look forward to hearing the forthcoming album ‘Watching Paint Dry’.

The great Fiona Thom has been in great form musically all year, currently recording her album. She played a jazzy version of ‘Love, Peace and Harmony’, which featured John Farrell on guitar. Fiona stop the song halfway through as the altered timing didn’t fit the metre of Fiona’s lyrics. Fiona picked up the guitar and played the more familiar version and sounded much more comfortable. The new album should be very good indeed.

Scott announced that John’s friend, and friend of OOTB, Fraser Drummond was not feeling well and couldn’t make it this evening. Scott spoke for us all in passing our best wishes on to Fraser.

Another of the newer committee members, Jack Blimey played two originals, saying he considered covering one of Nyk Stoddart’s songs but the thought of that almost made his head explode! The somewhat brooding and dark ‘Tuesday’s Child’ was played on electric guitar. The style was minimalist, in a kind of Duane-Eddy-meets-The-XX style. Classic. ‘Demolition Street’ was about a place where he used to live and featured some neat, precise, almost metronomic, guitar playing and technically very good. I think Jack is a bit like a male version of Virginia Astley, who I’d put money on he’s never heard of.

A new band to me were Forgotten Works, with one chap wearing a guitar strap made out of jeans and the other chap was Jen and the Gents double bass player moonlighting! The style was John Martyn / Richard Thomson which is difficult to do well but these chaps achieved that level with ease. The first song (titled ‘Digging Holes’?) was gently hypnotic and pleasing. Last track was an instrumental ‘Horse Steeped in Jam’ which continued the good vibes. I was impressed that the double bass player was also able to play tambourine with his foot at the same time. Ones to watch out for.

A night with much vintage talent on show wouldn’t be complete without seminal Edinburgh open mic organiser Tom McEwan. Tom started the Edinburgh Songwriters Showcase 20 years ago next March, which might be another good cause for celebration! Tom played a spirited version of Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ which included a harmonica solo where Clarence Clemons saxophone once was. Upbeat and enjoyable stuff from Tom – Bruce would have been proud.

Robert King lit the sparklers in the form of numbers 5-0-0 on Tina’s cake and we all sang happy birthday to the entity of Out of the Bedroom. The cake tasted lovely Tina!

Darren Hendrie is a regular; the night clashes with his regular slot at the Jazz Bar but Darren dashes down, usually getting a squashee slot at the end of the evening. ‘Morningside’ showcased his skills – relaxed, timing perfect, vocal measured and controlled, a proper musician. One of the most improved musicians I’ve seen in recent years.

Stalwart OOTB committee member Nyk Stoddart dedicated his set to two people in the scene who are not very well at the moment in Malcolm MacLean and the aforementioned Fraser Drummond. Nyk went electric with a distorted electric guitar which has a compressed sound that gave it a new wave, Skids-like feel. Nyk played the crowd favourite ‘Mutant Slash Killer Zombies From Planet X’ which achieved the classic ‘na-na-na-na-na’ sing-a-long.

It was a pleasure to see Tom Watton again as I hadn’t seen his face around town awhile. Scott requested that Tom didn’t play any epics as we were tight for time so he played the 7-minute ‘Matty Groves’! It was requested by a few in the audience and Tom really went for it, with plenty of resonance in that guitar of his. On this form, Tom would have given Jeff Buckley and Percy Plant a run for his money, such was his unbridled vocal range.

The raffle – I drew my own ticket out (to cries of “fix”) and then Robert won the extra prize.

The dreadlocked Robert King was another debutante this evening and it was fitting to end the regular slots this evening with a newbie. The song, which I think was entitled ‘Rainbow Unfurled’, had plenty of positivity which I was trying to channel in my flu-like exhaustion. I think it worked. More positivity please sir, you’re welcome back to kick off the next 500!

We finished with Tommy Mackay’s ‘500 gigs’, based on a famous Proclaimers tune, as sung by the The OOTB Chorus (or cat’s chorus as some may have said about the drunken rabble)! Legendary! As Tommy said himself: “sheer poetry – shambolic to the end”.

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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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