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OOTB 334 – 17 Mar 2009

Posted 17/03/2009 By admin

OOTB 17/03/2009

An outstanding night, filled with so many new performers of great quality. We old-timers are wondering if the new vanguard has arrived.


Martin sports tea cosy hat like Cat Douglas, all around me are worried about what his teapot is wearing.

His first is called Gravity and is about measuring things.

He loses the knitwear for his second, which the very erudite Nyk Stoddart informs me is based on Cannery Row, the classic Steinbeck novel set in 30s depression America – the book is apparently great, the song is well – not so great.

Death by design is about being killed by your own inventions, I wonder if songs can be fatal.

Calum Carlyle

The webdude extraordinaire steps up to the mike. I might as well be positive because Calum is the one who posts out these reviews.

First up is a new song which is very high in his range – If I were you, I would put this later in a set, to give your voice a chance to warm up before hitting the ionosphere.

His second is rather funky, think about Stevie Wonder and you won’t be far wrong. Jim Thomson is enthroned upon a green settee, enhaloed by a spotlight, his flowing locks shaking to the groove.

There is a really cool imaginary bass player doodling along to Calum’s third. Calum manfully attempts to play rhythm, lead and bass lines all at once. I rather liked it.

Ross Neilson

Another tea-cosied performer – perhaps I am just behind the times. Tonight he gives us his new more folky material.

Camouflage Myths is out of Ross’ normal territory – it has a singalong chorus.

His second he performs differently tonight, more gently than I’ve heard it before – and it suits it.

Calum says it’s British Amerifolk, I think its rather like Jim Ponter with its insistent repetition of chords – no bad thing, although I’m informed that someone else complained about this, so I can’t be far wrong about the comparison.


Cameron tells us about being accosted in the street and told to work hard at uni and not be a butcher – which he has made into his first song. It laid back and he has a nice voice. He follows this up with a Christmas song – in March? His last is somewhere between Jack Johnson and Damien Rice and cool changing time signature with a repeating pattern of 3 3 3 4. I’m wondering if he’s had some vocal training because he has a middle voice – never heard one before at OOTB. Good job.


Mayhew are normally a 5-piece, but tonight are a 3-piece with two guitars and a cello. My instant reaction is that it is lovely – these guys are clearly the pros in the room. The cellist is the finest I’ve seen on the acoustic scene – lovely tone and sympathetic playing. The singer has a fine clear voice – they announce a gig in the Jazz bar on the 1st April – I’m hoping that is not a joke, and would strongly encourage you all to go along.

Mark Roper

Mark just has a squashee tonight, and has ditched the laptop for the evening and brought along a guitar. I think he is considerably more confident with this approach and connects significantly better with the audience.

Broken Tooth

BT has become an evangelical atheist and give us a wee sermon with touches of Hitches and Dawkins – can’t say the audience responded too enthusiastically, but I thoroughly agreed with the sentiments. He launches into ‘Sing at my Funeral’ with some fervour – probably the best I’ve heard him.

Greg Taylor (debut)

I’m not sure if Greg is American, but he looks like he just walked off a 1950’s TV programme – clean cut and big grin. The songs all have multiple sections in different rhythms and tempos. The powerpop bits are quite catchy, but his voice is rather pitchy in the more lyrical sections. If marks were given for confidence he’d win hands down.


Henryk is the singer from Chateaux Greyskull – which is a genius name, so I’ll not hear a bad word said about him. Strawberries and Cream has a jazzy backing, but harsh as sandpaper vocals. I rather liked the guitar. Fugue in G was his somewhat mysteriously titled second song – it was in G, but had no sign of a fugue, actually fairly straightforward blues. His third was a new song – and everyone agreed that it was almost Lou Reed. A good and varied set, I wonder what the band is like.

Sam (debut)

Sam and his girlfriend Hannah have just moved up to Edinburgh to be with Adam, and all three are making debuts tonight. His first is about getting your heart broken – it has touches of Noel Coward, but the falsetto passages are almost Matt Bellamy – this is a powerful and thick falsetto. His second lies somewhere between George Harrison and the Weepies. His third completes three tunings in three songs – always a nifty trick (I wasn’t paying enough attention, but from memory I think the first was standard, the second something open, and the third drop-d).

His music is all heavily jazz tinged, and it is great to hear such a variety of chords and clear understanding of harmony. I’d be hard pressed to think of another acoustic player of his calibre in Edinburgh. Hannah sings backing vocals – strong, good harmonies, great voice.

Adam (debut)

Adam (friend of Sam) has a similar jazz background. He is no slouch on the guitar himself, albeit in a rather different style. He has a nice voice with just a hint of smokiness. He plays ‘1984’ and ‘Coming Down Slow’, two fine songs. I have to say the debuts are the finest slots of the night tonight.

Hannah (debut)

Hannah plays ukulele in an uncomplicated but rather charming manner. She apologised for her skill, but I was rather taken by it. Whilst she can sing the jazz with Sam, her own material is slightly more country. She would sit quite happily on a bill between Lisa Paton and Emily Scott – in fact, I think I’ll recommend it.

Freelodin’ Frank

Frank gives us his Gaza protest song, I’m in Love with Scully from the X-files and I Wish Someone Would Kill Rupert Murdoch. Tonight the somewhat younger crowd seemed less interested than usual, but I’m a sucker for the funny ones.


Says he has a bad cough and indeed the voice is struggling tonight, he’s a bit croaky, so I guess we’ll excuse him that. Lets hope he’s back soon in fine voice.

Reviewer: Daniel Davis

Compere: Jonny Pugh

Sound: Dave O’Hara

OOTB 333 – 10 March 2009

Posted 10/03/2009 By admin

Tonight, a golden night of stars, wishes and other things maybe…With the moon, full up ahead – which seems to glow in the shifting sunset of the evening…

Rob Sproul-Cran
Robbie states that he sees stars…this is a new-old song which he sings in his characteristic high stiletto voice that aims to still the heartbeat of an amazed and expectant audience. “Frost-bitten fingers…sky wrenched asunder” adverbs Rob – which just bounces along – very much like the audience at this point.
No, i don’t know what that meant. This is a review by me remember!

Davy Watson
Sitting on the “elf-seat” surrounded by the stage – Davy deftly plays through one of me fave songs of his – “Black Light” – which is also a great title BTW – with its gloomy shifting minors and majors. He plays this song from a place deep in his heart, and has the audience spellbound.
“Try to comply…shows you blind on your side…ghosts of the past” evokes Davy as he hypnotises the audience. “I love you three” is a song that Davy gave to Spamborksee/Sparrowhawk/Spam originally a while back – and it’s fab to hear the original played by the original (?!) – i think this performance adds extra heart and powerful emotion. “Made up my mind” He sings “I left my heart outside” which he picks with flowing fingers – i hope he
plays more often at OOTB in future, as he is a class act!

Lindsay Sugden
Talking of class, What better way to celebrate a full moon than with a set from Lindsay Sugden – although bereft of the storm for tonight, she pulls out her solo set remixes.
“Promises can fade in the daylight” she sings whilst dancing, spindly chords form around the catchy melody line. This is a piece that has grown over a period of months, and fulfills it’s promise as a fascinating and atmospheric song. “On the wire” is one of her “greatest hits” you know – “Let me see your epiphany…i mean it…” she states, and i for one believe her!
“Time stands still” – Lindsay notices that often “amazing ideas fall on deaf ears” –
and that is while she reflects that “a lifetime away…where a miracle lies” – she sings this with a fragile beauty that evokes fantasies and dreams projected upon the world from a wistful heart.

Broken Tooth
Mr Broken brings out all the hits tonight – there’s no way that i can do justice to the intricate lyrics and varied musical styles this man embraces, so i’ll just witter on about haircuts and other military things…
“Hold fast” is a statement on atheism, and its many subtleties apparently – he bellows that this “ship ain’t sinking yet” whilst fast and slow bits smelt into a rising crescendo of prog. Yes. Prog. As in Prog. Rock. I say it again. Prog.
“Guns in the desert” We sold weapons to Morroco apparently, and he also mentions refugee camps – two reasons Why we should not travel there…propping up their economy and the damaged excuse for reality that is called their government.
“Borderline” an older song where he sings that “There’s no such thing as the devil” “What you know about the devil ?” he wails, along with a great central riff! The Prog blues king rulz! Yeah!

Daniel McGeever – Feature act
“It’s everywhere” Our feature act for tonight is the well respected Daniel McGeever – deceptively simple songs with lyrics like “Should have woke up…a long conversation with a good friend of mine…understanding feelings that are hard to say twice”
In “A visitor from Mars” he is discussing the images on the TV screen – he sees sci-fi through the lens of a real alien !
“On your way” has Davy Watson on harp – a travelling/driving song with the blues twist.
“In my heart” has a slow, sad harp from Davy – it tells of “trying to be myself again” “I don’t want to go home” with its images of New Orleans, Cleveland, Montreal etc. give it a rambling but interesting and kaleidoscopic quality. “What can i do” – “is it too late to change your mind ?” he asks while he weaves this into an intricate pattern including the line “I’ve got a feeling tonight that everythings gonna be alright” Next is a song that segues on from that in “Alright” – which has a bit of comping from the acquired taste that is the “Revolution 1” re-mix thing – something to be heard at any rate. “Felicity Vaughan” – A very pretty but simple love song.
An encore is requested and he plays “Everything’s coming my way…” which has jazzy, melodic chordings. A professional finish to a polished collection of songs – he has everyone glued throughout his entire set. Although not literally, as that might be very unfortunate…

A sort of American indie – accoustic number or two. Two songs exactly the same – he states- not quite…there is the start of some interesting ideas here and hopefully he will return again with his spangly haircut and decisive chops as he obviously makes a strong impression on the audience. I must mention the hair again. “Fantastic, where DOES he get his hair done ?” says someone in the audience.

Calum Haddow
Eccentricity. Electricity. in human form. in the shape of a bat stapled to a leopard. In “Tetsio/Tesaro/Tesco” he sings that it “rains so hard the aeroplanes fell from the sky in giant drops”. class. “No name” because he didn’t want to offend Mr. Radiohead by its original title “Wolf at the door”. my fault for telling him. duh! he casually mentions that “All of my tendons torn…” and that something is “screaming at me in wolf”. Geniusmad.
“First Aid” Never has a song had such an apt title. It’s a bruised, jaunty, singalong, merciless mother of a song. Leadership training for overactive toddlers.
And that was Calum Haddow. Madness in a bottle – stapled to a gazelle.

Johnny Pugh takes over the reviewing reigns as Nyk Stoddart plugs in “Black Beauty”. Neigh!
“Indefatigable” says Rob Sproul-Cran “Gimp boy” a smile ripples across the audiences collective face as Nyk launches into his firm favourite.
Instantly recognisable from the catchy riff. Few people could say the words “Gimp Boy” to a roomful of people and still be considered something of a genius. Nyk is one of them.
“I dreamed my life away…” Psychedelic sounding intro. with chords sliding about the fretboard. This is one of Nyk’s “serious” songs (you can tell because he’s taken his Russian hat off) and it offers an effective contrast to his first song. One of the darkest I’ve heard from Nyk as he sings “I dreamed my life away”. “Bad Blues” – Davy Watson adds a real authenticity to this blues number. Underlies the vocal really well. What’s this ? Broken Tooth on the bongoes ?! A positive plethora of blues talent on show !

Thanks Johnny…(the tenners in the post BTW!) and now back to er…me…again…

Cameron strides onto the stage, he very quickly shows that he has a good voice with an effective range. In “Won’t you save me ?” he sings plaintively of the possibility of rescue. “Try to stop” Has floating chord sequences with strumming on alternate beats. “Inside my mind” Is a more introverted tale, with his voice rising over lyrics that tell of many a night of dark introspection.

Rosscoe Galloway

Rossco Galloway and Friends 21 April 2009

Rossco Galloway and Friends 21 April 2009

Rosscoe hasn’t been to OOTB for a while…and it’s great to hear him back. An oak-seasoned pro just back from the alternate olympics, he begins with “Into the light” which shows his solid songwriter abilities. “Get Free” is a very catchy song – one of my faves – with interesting lyrics mentioning the Galapolas islands of all things – a signature song for him. Rosscoe is a songwriter and performer that writes from the heart and conveys many different meanings each time i hear him. To finish, Rosscoe does a Tica Douglas cover “Home from Home” with extra grunge – great to hear another version of this amazing song – a bittersweet finish to the night as Tica Douglas herself is now back over the pond in the U.S. – and Rosscoe does her song proud – capturing her almost-but-not-quite hip hop mellowness and mixing it in with his unique steadfast folkiness.

Now the stars go out, one by one – to the noise and the traffic of the Edinburgh streets – their paths which were entwined become difuse again, while the moon looks sagely on – as it has for a very long time – do i detect a smile from the face on the moon, between those craters and loose rocks ?

review by Nyk Stoddart

OOTB 332 – 3 March 2009

Posted 03/03/2009 By admin

Out Of the Bedroom  332

Review 03/03/09

Willie (Furious), Eddie (machar granite), Ross Neilson, Nicky Carder, Mark, Mia, Tommy, Gerry, Jim Bryce, Dave Robertson, CBQ, The Victorians and Mayhew.

Willie (Furious)

Willie starts the evening with a lively performance. His energetic, bouncy rhythms definitely kept the audience engaged and stopped all background chatter immediately. He has a great voice, full of passion and charisma. He uses some lovely dynamic changes, some great pauses and a nice rallentando to end his first song. Willie’s imagery stayed with me this evening, “army inside you with the rainbows shining through” He is “always on the move” using a harmonica to create a nice contrast to his rocky style. He definitely keeps “making impressions” on everyone watching.

P.S I like the colour of his guitar strap.

Eddie (machar granite)

I always look forward to Eddie’s performances and he definitely didn’t disappoint.

He opens with a great guitar riff and some good imagery.

“Watching from the windows as the world rolls by”

His words and melodies seem to flow from him. I drift away to his voice as his Scottish accent shines through beautifully.

A guy that keeps pigeons is the theme of Eddie’s next song. His finger picked guitar works brilliantly with his lyrics. “Circled overhead and in formation”, his sound is full but not too busy, and his voice is used gently to great effect. He puts “ words in our mouths so we have something new to say”.

Eddie’s themes give his song substance and meaning so when his flowing storyline subtly changes into a bold new guitar riff, it lifts the audience to the very end of song and keeps us watching while he slowly fades away.

Ross Neilson

Ross is a familiar face now at out of the bedroom and it is really great to hear some of his new songs.

His country sound is a good contrast to the previous performers. “I know you so well, I know you can’t tell”. His music has a Bob Dylan feel. He used a good bit of diminution in his intro and outro, which helped round his song off nicely.

His guitar rhythm works nicely with the vocal sequence and the held note in the voice is particularly effective as it gleams through the guitar riff.

“Shattered dreams don’t seem real” His conversation style vocals are quite complacent and help show off his softer side. A very good performance.

Nicky Carder (written by Calum Carlyle)

Nicky breaks the 1st commandment by doing a cover (though you’d never know it, she makes it her own completely)

I always smile when Nicky sings “everyone is watching me, I should have so much more to say”. We all know that feeling but the irony is that Nicky’s style is captivating, no wonder everyone is watching.

She finishes with another firm favourite, “ in hiding”. Tonight, she’s very much in control on her songs. This has been my favourite version of “in hiding” so far.


Mark is a breath of fresh air. He shifts the genre so dramatically, that if there was any sort of boredom out there, it has been completely eradicated.

Boogie has just been given a completely new meaning. If this guy can’t make everyone smile, no one can. His humorous tone and lyrics really steal the show. His self-created backing tracks boom in the background as he and everyone else in the room sway and nod to the music.

“We’ll both get older and we’ll both get fatter”.  His amusing lyrics and brilliant use of “oooh”, mean that I’ll most definitely go home singing his awesomely catchy but cheesy, in the best possible way, songs.

Mark’s “L.O.V.E” song takes the average mainstream love song and turns it completely inside out. “ I don’t know if I should move to the bedroom or the door”.

His melancholic vocal tone is well balanced with the happy sounding constructed backing track and really enhances the humour aspect of his performance as well as his writing skills. There is a musical style sound in his music but he makes it realistic, creating a musical for everyday life. As the synth solo bellows out, he has time to grab a glass of water before finishing his very entertaining set.


Mia starts off her set with an extremely rhythmic guitar riff, which entwines with her individual and bold voice. She captures a touch of soul in her music. This is another nice contrast to the previous performers. Mia has such a full sound, her words are crammed with content and interesting phrases and yet she still maintains a happy feel as well as a great drive and a constant rhythm.

“I’ll stand outside your window and do my best to shine”.

She works her way around her chords and stretches her voice showing off her control. She lifts her chords up the fret board towards the end and paints out some intriguing, but yet focused, scat singing before ending her song, as she fades out she leaves her impression firmly with us.


Tommy open with a good beat, his folky style is very apparent as he speeds up the strumming. He adds in a bit of harmonica and keeps everyone nodding along.

Tommy has a distinctive husky voice full of character and a lovely undertone that shines through. He keeps a tambourine under his foot, which helps fill the sound and carries the song along nicely. He slides his way around the guitar, including some a cappella pauses, which really highlight the tone of his voice. These pauses also really enhance the returning guitar theme. His Scottish accent edges every word and sounds out amongst the workings of the fret board. “ I can’t touch this flame”

Tommy had a very good slot this evening. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Gerry confidently makes his way onto the stage with the noise of his fan club beating down around him.

Hammer-ons form a simple but effective guitar accompaniment, which work well with his powerful but controlled voice. He shows off his style with leaps in the melody.

“She can read my mind”

A subtle vibrato flows through his voice as he produces some well-written and very catchy melodies and yet maintains a confident but still relaxed feel.

“People come and go” “how can something that feels so right, feel so wrong at the same time”

Gerry uses some pretty heart-felt lyrics along with some great held notes, which are sung amongst well-constructed guitar playing. He continues to show an impressive sustain in his voice. He also makes some good changes in the tempo of the songs to keep them interesting and to maintain the attention from the audience, not that he needed too, his audience were listening intently to every word.

Gerry ends his slot with a very memorable chorus that I particularly enjoyed.

“Until my legs won’t carry me no more”

A great performance from Gerry.

Jim Bryce

This man needs no introduction. He was well anticipated and has not disappointed.

“He took up his fish slice and fried her in crumbs”.

Jim makes some weird mouth noises and combines them with even stranger lyrics to compose a very atmospheric and entertaining song.

“He sliced his brains to the bone and had them with pasta for his tea”

This particular song had a haunting feel to it, reminded me of an Addams family song or something. Jim has great animation in his voice as he tells his dark story amongst an individual use of finger picked chords.

Jim’s next piece is a contrasting song with some beautiful sounding piano and vocal melodies. He keeps his voice animated and turns his songs into something which sounds like a signature song for a character in a musical. This man seems to be very good at acting as he easily manages to grasp the glances of everyone in the room.

“I can’t shut my eyes for seeing pictures in my head”

He uses accents to punch out his words, he also makes use of dynamic contrasts and uses a nice bit of repetition.

Jim’s final song “moon and water song” starts with a penny whistle. He effectively bends the notes and displays a beautiful tune with acciaturas and long notes which are immediately followed by some melancholic but convincing a cappella singing. These nice sequences fill in the spaces and captivate the audience without the need for an accompaniment.

Jim’s songs combine humour and also a deeper and more serious under tone, they are brilliantly constructed and are received in admiration by every musician in the room. A very talented performing indeed.

Dave Robertson

I can tell that Dave listened to the same kind of music as I did when I was younger, It was nice to know that at least one person recognised the Soil cover I played earlier.

Dave has a very impressive vocal range. His voice includes a great deal of edge, which keeps his notes very bold even when he is singing in the higher register.

This guy is definitely into rock, his angsty, passion filled voice booms out and engages the crowd. He most definitely is not “invisible”.

Dave’s bold opening guitar riff jumps about in dynamic and rhythm. He really highlights his voice in the softer and more exposed areas before he explodes back in volume.

His great rhythm and accents drive his songs, which are full of power, his controlled screaming fades in and out as his songs develop.

Dave is becoming very confident and I particularly enjoy his unique balance of metal melody lines on an acoustic guitar.


CBQ’s gentle sound is yet another good change in the atmosphere. I think there has been some higher force organising the programme tonight, as every act seems to have made an impact. CBQ’s soft sound floats around the room and into the distance after every phrase creating a very mellow and relaxing feel.

“I’ll see you around, don’t worry about the money”.

“I wave to the car as you drove off”.

His deep thoughts linger in everyone’s minds as he sings them out nicely.

“Don’t answer the call”

CBQ maintains a subtle but consistent drive throughout his songs as vibrato creep through his voice.

“When I come into the room, one thing that strikes me is the time”

“Play dead when you feel nothing at all”

He definitely makes up for his gentle voice by turning out deep and passionate lyrics that leaves everyone lost in thought.

The Victorians

The Victorians steal the show before they even touch the stage. Their magnificent stage present captures everyone and draws them in even if they don’t want to be drawn in. I’d like to see someone try and avoid making eye contact with them, the Victorians would probably storm out and drag who ever the culprit was and bring them onto the stage for the rest of their slot. As well as having great stage presence and a really nice jacket, the Victorians managed to construct the official out of the bedroom theme song.

“You’re going to find me at out of the bedroom, the Tron on a Tuesday at out of the bedroom”

As for their songs, as well as being ridiculously entertaining, they were very well formed and very well performed. The second vocal part was a nice subtle addition that really brought the best out of their music.

Lovely gentle voices peer out of humorous, well-spoken sentences, in beautiful harmonies.

“ I still put our affair in the past tense!”

The Victorians stamp away to the bouncy guitar rhythm.

“Don’t mind me I’m just passing through to somewhere more civilised, a little more me, a little less you”.

There was conversation happening mid song and la la la counter melodies in the background that not many people could pull off quite so well. This cabaret style duo had the best audience interaction I’ve ever seen and probably the most entertaining performance I’ve seen yet at out of the bedroom.

Thoroughly recommend them to anyone as there is only so much a silly little review can cram in, especially as a lasting impression is guaranteed.


Mayhew had a hard act to follow but they did so beautifully.

An ambient sound breaks out as harmonics and bass notes drive their song into existence. The cello seeps through, capturing a dark and beautiful sound that truly captivates the audience. My hand was glued to the paper as I scribbled down everything I could hear until the vocals came in. I had to put down my pen, this distinctive and beautiful voice flows amongst the guitar and cello perfectly. Words can’t describe such a full and beautiful sound and how much of an impact this particular combination of folk, classical and ambient rock melodies can have.

The music continues to lift and entwine with the words, constantly driven by the counter melodies of the guitar and cello, while the echoing voice carries effortlessly. The mixture of folk and classical guitars is very distinctive and takes the sound to the limit without it sounding too busy. I particularly love how consistent the beat was despite having no percussionist. The instruments take it in turn to lead the music, keeping it full and varied.

“torrents came out of nowhere”

The imagery becomes its own as it appears gently in the words.

“Frozen fragments” “tonight we hide, from view” “we’re standing in shallow water, the warnings came down in torrents”

Mayhew’s performance was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen.

A band that everyone needs to see.

Review by Nicky Carder

Compere – Calum Carlyle

Sound by Daniel, Malcolm and David!

OOTB 330 – 17th February 2009

Posted 17/02/2009 By admin

OOTB 330 – 17th February 2009
review by Lindsay Sugden and Nyk Stoddart:

Out of the Bedroom home-coming to The Tron!

Yes, after a whole load of years and immersing ourselves in
2 different venues, Out of the Bedroom returns to what might be our spiritual
home in the basement of the Tron….  And
fittingly it was a packed night with just about every ootb performer ever
showing up to get a bit of the atmosphere.
Rob SC finely hosted the evening and set us off in style
with his newest song… The one about seeing stars with lots of delicious
falsetto in true Rob style.  And nice plinky
plonky guitar.  Mmm.
He was followed by James who began his set with a
groan-inducing story about being on a blind date… er, an actual blind,
non-seeing, brown squishy fruit.   Have
to take my hat off to him (if i was wearing one), telling jokes on stage is
something i doubt I will ever master. He pulled it off with class. Anyways, he
took us through 2 masterpieces which launched images first of some
Mediterranean island and then a beautiful Japanese sunset. Or something. I
enjoyed very much.
It’s great to see Paul Gladwell back as it’s been a while
since i caught him live. Worth the wait it was too. He started with a
percussive number, thrashing at the muted strings and getting rid of that
pent-up aggression. “Don’t like a woman who has never been disgraced”.. its all
pretty dark and mysterious with some clever lyrical twists.  Next he wallows in a
bit of misery about
always being number 3. Is it a song about being stuck on the shelf? I don’t
know, but it’s sweet and lovable.
It’s been many days since i waited for Many Days Waiting to
take to the stage… this duo featuring virtuoso guitar and girl/boy harmonies
is a pleasure to watch. They are perfectly together and the harmonies blend
into a lovely, emotional web … the lyrics are intriguing, especially in the
second song about, um, flying space objects and crazy stuff.  Well cool.  It’s
impossible to watch without wanting to hum along.
Calum Carlyle sings honourably and openly about the end of
a relationship, in such a sweet but melancholic way it gets the tears
a-jerking.  Bless him.  It sounds so profound.  Next he very bravely goes a capella
with a
Scottish musical poetic rant about the state of the world – “The more things
change (The more they stay the same).  I
think the whole room agrees with everything he says as he reveals all the
ridiculous political pantomimes of late… well said that man.
Him be-known as The Weather Underground takes to the stage
with the frenzied strumming of “I think”. Something of Lou Reed in there
somewhere, in lyrical style and half-spoken delivery.  It’s sometimes crazy and
bright, sometimes
dark underground American indie.  The
Weather underground is stormy i think… “It’s a crying shame., we’ve only got
ourselves to blame”…
Then we have a guy who sure knows how to perform, and
dressed in a fine waist coat and scarf, Nick “Splinter” Smith takes to the
dimly lit stage with a sparkle in his eye and a spring in his step as he looks
out on the audience and fairly-lighted backdrop.  He launched in to a couple of classic
foot-stomping Nick masterpieces . Scar Tissue (a fave of mine) and a song
“about prohibition, racism and legislation”.  Heavy stuff!  As well as having
one of the most character-full voices of the evening, he;s a damned fine
guitarist too.
Broken Tooth has lost his faith in love.  A bad time for it, being just after the
dreaded valentine’s day. You can tell the Tooth really means it though, and his
bed of roses is no more, replaced by a load of nasty nails.  I think it’s a feeling
everyone has been
through, yup, so we’re all with you man, don’t give in! It will find you!  He’s
still got the voice, which never fails
to impress.  The power that lies there-in
defies the look of him as a young spring chicken of a chap – he should be an
old blues-boy with that power.
A bit of a special intro for Jim “the legs” Igoe, a founding
member of the original OOTB, and no less a regular attendee at the former
Songwriters’ Showcase at the Tron.  So
its good to have him back, on the stage.  He treats us to a rare performance of one
of his – and the audiences who
remember – old faves, “Braveheart Beggar”.  His voice is perfect for this
beautifully melodical song, where he is
someone a bit less fortunate, sitting on the street, and imagining himself in
some situation where he saves the day, gets the girl, and earns loads of
respect… “ I could be like William Wallace…”.  A poignant song.
Machar Granite… or just Eddie as it is today, looks to the
future with some new songs. Thats what it’s all about, exposing new stuff.  Eddie is
great at conjuring up imagery of
nature and wilderness, and this song is no exception.  He exclaims he;s “Out on a
limb, i’m like a
tree in winter”.  Hannah O joins in on
some gorgeous floaty high harmonies on the next song, mmmm.  I am completely biased,
but i love Eddie’s
songs, and its great to hear his dulcet tones augmented in the higher ranges
with the vocal virtuoso Hannah.  Yup,
great stuff.
Dave has come all teh way from Dundee, wayhay!  And we’re glad he has, he treats us
something a bit edgier and rockier… and he;s got the total rocker look too,
which always helps.  Nice gravelly vocal
style and crazy strumming, you can almost hear the crashing percussion in your
mind.  He’;s got some anger there, and
its a damned fine way to get rid of it.  He also possesses a very rare lovely
falsetto, which i didn’t
expect.  Great stuff, come back please J
Colin Milne, well here we go, i am biased again, but i have
never seen him do a set i haven’t completely loved. He has a way with words and
music.  We’re all loving it at my table
tonight. A new song has crawled out of the bedroom and down to the tron “Black
valentine”.  It has been Nature’s trick
to light a fire inside dedicated to a particular special lady, apparently, and
i guess nature wasn’t so kind in the end. Bless.  We love you, Colin!
Hannah O Reilly steps up for a scary first attempt at a
performance using keyboard!!  Wow well
done, I’m impressed how well she keeps the nerves under control. This song
might have been called “Storyville”, and time stood still in 1915… It’a full
of imagery of days of old, and some very impressive piano accompaniment- even
if slightly hesitant at times, it totally worked.  She is being quite forgetful with
words and
things tonight, even back on the old familiar guitar. It makes it all the more
loveable though.  I wish i could sing
through giggles.
Nyk Stoddart is on top form tonoight and lapping up this
audience,… and they’re lapping it up back. He does one of his trademark
random medleys of his ‘hits’, with all the bits we know and love from ”fake
jazz”, the one about mutant zombies from the planet x, and the rest.  All teh
classics, he;s a pretty fine
guitarist actually, which is sometimes over-looked because of his powerful vocal
character and stage antics!! Tonight he is rolling on the floor as he outros.
Its a sight to see.

Nyk’s bit…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I seem to have landed in the mellow and reflective ending of a spectacular showcase
of local music – proving that there is much more to contemporary music than
mainstream audiences appreciate. As evidenced by the following superb acts…

Cloudland Blue Quartet
The one man band that is David Reilly plays just a guitar this time, and lays bare
how well-crafted his songs really are –
“100” he asks the audience (no, he’s not on the 10 grand question!) to pick a no.
from 99 to 100…
“Let me put my arms around you…let me carry you away” he states within the
boundaries of his tightly focused introverted-pop and it’s difficult not to be taken

away by it.
Another no. this time and its…
“3” – this appears to be about emptiness within a relationship, lost ghosts of it
lingering whilst he laments “if only i’d say goodbye”. Don’t we all feel that way
sometimes ?
It’s good to see David grace the hallowed ground that is the Tron – it’s always a

good sign when such good performers keep returning to us…

Jim Bryce
I’ve got an alligator called Alan BTW – just thought i’d mention that – well it
ain’t true, but i thought i’d go for the cheap laugh…unlike this fellow who is
genuinely witty !
His song “Waiting for the man” – which he states is about waiting for that person to
solve all your problems, whilst sonically it sounds like drone-like seashore dreams
skyline…i know that’s an oblique way of putting it but, can’t think of a better
way of describing it…except as undescrible!
“Piscatorial Song” – geniuinly surreal and funny – it seems to be a song sung by a
fish at the point of death…throw into the mix a sozzled cat, no.10s letter box
devouring fish and David Cameron – and you have a very mellow-funny song which was
much loved by the audience.

Lindsay Sugden
Fresh from playing at the Royal Concert Hall for the Prestigious “Celtic Connections”
festival it must have seemed that the audience had shrunk – but it
wasn’t long before she weaved her magic on a smaller audience…
I’ve found myself whistling the tune of the catchy chorus of “Promises” – with it’s
fantabulous descending notes for a while now, and it was good to hear it played
tonight…this song seems to be an evolution from her previous modal(?) style into a
more folky mix…”Promises fade in the moonlight…” Lindsay sings. So true!
“One Wasted Year”
Lindsay describes this as a “work in progress” – which, like most of her output, will
probably evolve the more she plays it – a sort of organic process…so expect this
number to become more focused and mesmeric over time. Her lyrics seem more direct
recently, for example, Lindsay sings “Don’t even notice things i do…always
thinking of you” – well, we’ve all been there…
Lindsay’s set pindropped the audience tonight with her astute, distinctive
and melancholic, wistful enchantment.

Stuart Mclellan
“The Winter song” has mellow folky vibes that makes use of lines such as
“Help me forget…won’t you stay awhile…sunshine on my rainy day…”. The singing
is good too – captivating the audience.
It goes to prove that even in the depths of winter…life goes on…and before too
long spring will appear…keep coming back Stuart and remind us of spring!

I don’t think i’ve heard this chap before, so please forgive the lack of insight
into his material! – for some reason, i seemed to have picked up on his lyrics –
which in his song “week in paradise” has interesting lyrics such as “…Walks into
the room with a smile on his face…got holes in her shoes…nothing left to
love…just to see you smile”
“Dogs come running” reminds me of “All along the watchtower” for some reason – maybe
in the dark chordings he is using. Overall, this was a competent and pleasing set,
which hopefully he’ll repeat again soon!

After the “Silver bag of dreams” which i prefer to call the “Black bag of
nightmares”…we end this translusent, and ecsatic night of many talents with…

Julien Pearly
Although, he’ll probably hate me for saying this, he seems to me to be like a French
Thom Yorke (?!) – but he also proves that there is nothing more sublime than a
broken-hearted frenchman playing guitar… after remarking that being back in
Edinburgh “feels like home again” he plays “The golden lady” with lines like
“Sunrise – it is a blue…cigarette…this addiction…remember me…going through
my mind…”. Sounds to me like the soundtrack to some rainy sunday afternoon…
“My little princess” is a tender song that finishes an evocative and introspective
set – closing a most triumphant night for performers and audience.

OOTB 329 – 29th January 2009

Posted 29/01/2009 By admin

Out of the Bedroom 329 29th January 2009 – This turned out, though we didn’t know it at the time, to be the final OOTB at the Canon’s Gait. It was cold but it was great fun. A full list of very good performers tonight, here’s a look at my review of the proceedings:

1. Gerry – Gerry starts the evening off with some nice floaty music, his songs have a lovely warm feel, with his full sounding chords and rich voice. His second song’s the bounciest in my opinion, he says it’s about “one of those times you go and pull someone in the office you’re not meant to”, fair enough! He cheerfully carries on through several minor technical hitches, good job!

2. Angel Conversations – I saw their Secret CDs appearance last year, and it was interesting to see them as a duo tonight, both rugged up warmly against the cold, they take the stage and play some emotional folk ballads for us. Nice foot tapping stuff, their final songs has a little lean towards Portishead territory which i quite enjoyed.

3. Duncan Drever – He’s been along to OOTB a few times now, and he’s always entertaining. He tells us his first song “doesn’t have a name… doesn’t have a name yet… it’s good though!” Duncan has a very distinctive singing voice and good solid songwriting. His first song was a lovely creamy pop song which (name or not) was clearly entitled “Cynical Like Me”. His second song (also unnamed!, but clearly (to me anyway) titled “The Ice Fields of Newfoundland”) is a jaunty folk song about life on the sea. Nice rich chords. It’s the first of several sea-related songs tonight. His third is similarly folky, i’m quite impressed by the success with which Duncan has included traditional folk styles into his music in an original and modern way.

4. Dave – Dave’s all the way from sunny Dundee, and i for one appreciate him making the journey! His music is really rock music, the sort of thinking rock music we were hearing in the 1990s. He sits cross legged on the stage and plays us a heavy song that’s more like MTV unplugged than acoustic folk. Great to hear rock-based songs at OOTB. his second, “Questions” has what Dave says is “a pointless intro”, anoher fast acoustic rock number. He’s a man with a message, politics, TV, God, he doesn’t shy from weighty issues. His second song has an enormous power chorus in the middle that develops into some metal style rapping! His third is a scathing criticism of certain aspects of the music industry, i’d like to hear Dave with a band, though he does well without one!

5. James (squashee) – James plays us an incredibly smooth song, entirely in what i think may be Spanish! Pretty captivating, anyway. Calum Haddow comments afterwards: “i’m not sure but i think that’s what sex sounds like”…

Which brings us to the intermission, it must have been dangerously overcrowded because OOTB took the extreme step of playing Frank Sinatra songs at high volume during the intermission, a decision that can only have been made in order to try and thin the audience down a bit, but it didn’t seem to work because virtually everybody came back for round two, which began promptly with…..

6. Mayhew – a four piece band. Two guitars, a cello and a female vocalist, their sound is beautiful as you’d imagine. their singer has a lovely rich voice. The band makes very good use of dynamics through their songs, the texture of their music is a bit like cycling through a hilly landscape on a slightly breezy summer’s day. Their second has more of a groove to it, and the singing gravitates a little in the direction of Morcheeba, on a good day! They come across very professionally. Their third would maybe be described as complex folk, perhaps. These guys remind me a touch of Eagleowl, which is certainly no bad thing.

7. Rossco Galloway and the Chans – our featured act of the evening. I haven’t seen ossco Galloway for some time, i don’t think, except for last week when he was doing an admirable job of playing percussion for Tica Douglas. Anyway, tonight he and one other play us some songs accompanied by guitar and organ. He tells us we’re hearing “one half of the Chans”.

Rossco has a rich and very listenable baritone voice, and his first song, “Fishwives’ Tale” is quite a mysterious song, creating a powerful effect, a little like a Scottish David Bridie. His second, he says, “is a song about humans rather than sea life”. It’s another engaging and interesting song, Rossco carries on through his set giving us more songs which make you want to listen, accentuated by his slightly exotic highlands/islands accent. His fourth, a song about geese(!), has a slightly funky, chromatic feel. Very good use of the word “cacophonic” in a song also. There’s something about these guys that reminds me of water, they have quite a liquid sound. In my opinion, the most beautiful song of the set was their fifth, a lovely ode to the island of Iona. It was genuine and sincere in a way that many sentimental songs don’t manage. Nice.

8. Ross Neilson – Ross Neilson takes the stage with his distinctive 40-a-day country blues voice and plays two songs from his new CD and one from the CD before. There’s a certain hardness about Ross’ sound, though his songs can be quite emotional as well, it really is a form of country music, with just a touch of Hank Williams in it. One thing about Ross’ music though is that it is really Scottish, or at least British, country music, which certainly gives it a different direction. Ross is at Secret CDs this week, and by the sound of it will be selling his CDs for a very affordable price…

9. Stuart (squashee) – Another watery number called “Taste of the Sea”, it’s a lovely relaxed groovy blues song which was up to the high standard already set tonight by everybody else!

10. The Victorians – Offbeat. Very engaging. The singer begins by shaking hands with about two thirds of the audience while the guitarist plays a long introduction to their first number, which includes a quick explanation to the audience that their set is the musical equivalent of a naff attempt to get into our pants. The style is Noel Coward type crooning, replete with dodgy poses with the microphone stand. One other feature of this performance was the singer ranging across the room individually serenading many of the yound ladies in the audience,as well as a slightly nonplussed Calum Haddow. The second song includes a striptease… This is true through-and-through performance, in the vein of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. “Sweet Tennents Trousers, I Proclaimed”, we are told, and for the third song, we’re encouraged to boo, jeer and shout hatred instead of applauding! These guys are inspired vicionary madmen, good work!

11. Bobby – I really like Bobby’s songs. This’ll be the second time i’ve seen him though i think he’s been along more times than that. Before he comes on, Bobby wins a “sexy santa outfit in tonight’s raffle, well it’s all part of life’s rich tapestry! He begins with a song called “Aff Duty Annie” which he sings with his distinctive Scots brogue. It’s a clever little folk song about a specific kind of unrequited lust. “Five strings on my banjo”, his second, another good solid foot tapping Scottish folk song, kind of a bit like Billy Connolly, in ethos if not in actual sound. He finishes with his stand out track “Things to Do When Nothin’s on the Telly”, which he apologises for! No need! it’s great!

12. Calum Carlyle – I slope up to the stage and play three old songs, Double Decker Bus (To Heaven), Living Proof, and The Sound of Falling In Love at First Sight. Nobody threw rotten fruit, which i always consider a good thing. Then we all packed up the gear, wrapped our scarves around ourselves and each other, and stumbled out into the perpetual frozen tundra of the Canongate, and from thence, onwards ever onwards to the pub, or possibly to bed.

Compere: Calum Haddow
Sound: Rob Sproul-Cran
Review: Calum Carlyle

OOTB 328 – 22nd January 2009

Posted 22/01/2009 By admin

Out Of The Bedroom Review 22/01/09

Al Young.

Al Young opens the night with a very rhythmic guitar riff, he entwines interesting vocal melodies and some unusual chord progressions, creating an edgy sound which captures everyone’s attention. His three song slot is one of the best I’ve heard from him, definitely a good way to start the evening.


Eddie really caught my attention tonight with his enchanting combination of acoustic rock and beautiful Scottish melodies. His story-like feel and great use of the fret board definitely made an impression on me. I hope to hear him again soon.

Douglas (debut)

Douglas’s toe tapping rhythm kick started his slot. I was particularly impressed by the way he used simple chords to such great effect. This catchy sound with well sung, upbeat rock melodies hit a nice contrast with the second song, which was softer and included some really nice imagery – “tapping on the windows”. He maintains his rocky style but now with a hint of soul. I hope to hear Douglas again after his very impressive debut.

Andrew (debut)

Andrew is another out of the bedroom debut. He shifts the genre slightly with his rhythmic slot, which encourages a lot of swaying in the audience. He used some nice lyrics. “I wove in the fabric” and created a nice folky, country, bold but yet relaxed feel. He seemed very confident and his performance was definitely one to remember due to his individual style, which I felt, captured an Elvis-like sound and brought it into the 21st century.


CBQ changed the sound again with his melancholic but sweet voice. “ I glanced at my watch, it was time”, his gentle voice flowed through the audience as everyone contently followed his story. He used a good bit of repetition then crept up the fret board creating an ambient sound, which I particularly liked. It would be great to hear from him again, maybe, even with some harmonies.


Cameron’s mellow acoustic sound and very nice combination of individual chord progressions really stuck with me tonight. He had some nice leaps in the melody, which made them very appealing. I liked his style, rock with a hint of jazz, but yet somehow it sounded like there was a bit of Muse in there too. Voices on the rooftops definitely did not seem out of sequence. A few very nice songs indeed.


I’m loving you Nelson. “You were taking me to your secret place”. His bouncy rhythms and lovely catchy melodies really made me smile this evening. His use of word painting with a slight nursery rhyme feel was a nice contrast to the first song which was dark and mysterious, but yet left everyone engaged, as his spoken words crept through everyone’s minds and brought them all into dreams of their own. If only more conversations had such an interesting French undertone and wonderful clichés.

Indescribable. Looking forward to hearing him again.


Bobby must have been the most entertaining performer of the evening. His brilliant use of humour and local dialect captivated everyone in the room. “buyin stolen goods in portabelly” “sleepin wi your brothers wife” and “spraying slagans on the walls” were only a few of some of very funny lyrics this comedy songwriter has to offer. His well-played guitar, confident vocals and good use of pauses really help build the atmosphere and made this a very good performance indeed. He left us “pishing in the snow”.


I always seem to lose myself in Lindsay’s words. Enchanting vocals are flowing gently with some nicely picked guitar riffs, followed by some well delivered strumming. She creates a very mystical atmosphere with bouncy bass lines, chromatic ostinatos and extremely unusual chords, but yet her songs are easy to listen to. She makes time stand still. Awesome pinky action. One of my all time favourite songwriters. Though to be honest, she must have some issues with bananas, she talks about them a little too much. Ah well, at least she is veggie and makes a good cup of tea. That’s all that’s important I guess, never mind. Her CD has some good songs and very cool artwork, everyone needs to purchase it, even if they don’t like the tea.

Nicky (written by some random)

I ate bananas while Nicky was playing. “she has one of the most powerful voices on the scene” says Mr Pugh. He’s right! “Rain” was a bit rubbish, especially at the start but the rest weren’t too bad so its fine. I liked the intro for Rain though and I got to hear it twice. Nicky bellows it out with a voice of defying her years, accompanied by trade-mark “made up” chords leaping about crazily, but somehow it all meshes in a beautiful angst-ridden musical journey through, er, the rain.

“between the floorboards” starts quiet then explodes in volume. “nothing seems real when we tie ourselves down” well except bananas. I like this song, I’ll be singing it for weeks. The last song is that one I love with the jaggy chords and the “wooah” bits.

By the way, I only had half a banana, sliced up for breakfast with my muesli.

Jerry (debut)

Jerry keeps a good beat the whole time, he seems relaxed but yet he grasps every word and delivers a very strong sound. “holes in his shoes” , maybe there are, but there definitely aren’t holes in his music. He used some really nice crescendos at the end of the phrases which really show off his tone and how beautiful his voice is. He is another one of tonight’s performers who uses unusual chords to good effect, which I find particularly appealing. A promising Debut to Out of the Bedroom. I’m sure I’m not the only one who will eagerly await his return.


“Snow falls down, light descends” Cameron has a really lovely sound and some particularly nice lyrics. “All I think of is you and curious things you do” He has some good contrasts in guitar with a bit of strumming and a little bit of finger picking. His voice carries the song well, this combined with his guitar, keeps everyone interested. His easy listening style is enhanced by his long beautiful signature melodies. I’d love to hear more of this talented musician.

John Fink

John uses a mixture of different chords, which jump around to create a very catchy rhythm. His punchy and rocky style contains busy melodies, which are combined with some nice long powerful notes with lots of charisma. Everyone is left glued to him while he turns out sequence after sequence of very catchy melodies, reminding me bands like INME. He has a very nice individual leap in his melodies, that make his songs very distinctive. I also remember being thoroughly impressed by this songwriter before Christmas, so if he has a Myspace, I know I probably won’t be the only one who’d like to check it out.

Review Written by Nicky Carder 22/01/09

OOTB 327 – 15 January 2009

Posted 15/01/2009 By admin


Nyk starts off the show with an uncharacteristically soft tune. He promises to plunge us into the deepest abyss then pull us out again with his second, more Stoddart-like tune. I did prefer the second of the two but it was nice to see him showing a bit of range.


I have to be honest that when Dave first got on stage I wasn’t sure his music would be my cup of tea. However, he pleasantly surprised me. His last minute set was original and well constructed (especially since most of the songs were finished on the train on the way here). He has a great range in his voice, demonstrated by the falsetto at the end. I hope to see more of Dave’s stuff in the future.

Roddy Renfrew

Roddy uses our left handed guitar for his set tonight. His first number is a toe tapping blues number called ‘We have just one chance’ which warmed up the crowd. I love his idea for his next song, which was a spoof country song where the man quits drinking and gets his wife back. Give me this over a country tune any day! He finished on a comedy break-up number called ‘Something must be wrong with my baby’….well obviously!

Paul Hughes

Paul assures us that he doesn’t intend to bring us cheer with his set and will stick to the usual singer-songwriter melancholy. His first two songs ‘Its over’ and ‘I just want to go home’ were true to this. Beautiful songs sung in his sumptuous tone. He apologises for his last song as he doesn’t like it very much……begs the question ‘why play it then?’ But I guess trying out songs is what this night is all about. As it turns out, I really enjoyed his first dabble into reggae. I’m not convinced it was exactly this genre but it had a pleasant beat with a bit of added whistling, which always gets a thumbs up in my books.

Paul Gladwell

As our compere pointed out, Paul is the second in our trilogy of Paul’s this evening and he doesn’t let down the name. I enjoyed his first song but I felt the lyrics were a little cliché for me. I started to feel the same about the second song ‘Great Expectations’, but as he plucked his way through the melody and sung us the love song, it started to come across as really genuine and I warmed to him. He ended his set with a much more dark song with lyrics ‘the end is nigh’……all very serious.

Paul Gilbody

Finally, the end to our exciting trilogy of Paul and our Featured Act for this evening. Paul is a big player here in the Edinburgh music scene but I have only seen him a few times. I think everyone in the room was looking forward to this.

He bravely starts off with a new song, which doesn’t have a title yet. It was kind of a folky acoustic tune and I really enjoyed it. He is clearly a very experienced and accomplished songwriter, as it had everything a good song needs. Perfect start.

Next Paul introduces us to his percussionist for the evening Mac Lamont, who accompanies him on his song ‘Ricochet’. I’m not quite sure what Mac was playing but it looked like a kind of clay vase with a hole in it. Nevertheless, the whole article of Mac’s playing and Paul’s funky beat really gets the crowd going and wanting more. Just to show us how eclectic he is Paul transports us to Asia with his Kashmir Valley-inspired ‘200 miles’. He is backed by Udit Duseja, who adds the perfect touch to this evocative number.

There is no doubt that by now everyone in the audience is very impressed. Yet, not as impressed as I was when Mac pulled out his hang (no, this is not a euphemism for something rude!). The hang is one of my favourite instruments. It looks like two woks stuck together and has the most amazing, haunting sound. This went perfectly with Paul’s song ‘Quicksand’, which was a moody atmospheric song. I love the diversity this guy brings to the show.

Paul definitely brought his entourage tonight and next up is Jane Seawright (Sorry if I spell it wrong) doing backing vocals. This is possibly my favourite song ever! Called ‘She Loves Sushi’, Paul and Jane bop around on stage to lyrics such as ‘The fox with the bento box’. That to me is just genius lyric writing! Topped with Mac on the tambourine, I could have listened to that all night, as long as I had some sushi to go with it!

‘Tell me what I’m missing’ is Paul final song. Its another toe-tapper, which starts off quite similar in style to the sushi song but ended in a crescendo of beat boxing by Paul that begs the question…. ‘Is there anything this guy can’t do?’.

Paul delighted and wowed the crowd from start to finish with his eclectic slot. In fact everyone loved it so much he was forced into an encore, which was great.


Who else makes their own instruments? Oh that’s right, no one! That means, for me, Colin is already on a higher level. Tonight he played one of his very fine, handmade guitars. His tunes flutter between funny and poignant. I particularly enjoyed the song ‘Remember your Angina’. After a quick trip to the ‘bracing Skegness’ he finishes on ‘Before you go’. He apologises as he feels the lyrics are a bit down-beat. I think he’ll be ok with this since he is playing to a room of singer-songwriters! I enjoyed his set immensely and can’t wait to see what instrument he’ll be playing next time.

Johnny Pugh

I’ve not seen Johnny play in ages so it is a great pleasure to see him tonight. Unfortunately, due to some technical hitches his set wasn’t as smooth as he hoped. But Johnny, ever the professional, kept going throughout, and I really enjoyed his set. His first song ‘Bigger things’ is a great song to start with as its got a great uplifting chorus that set a perfect tone for his set. However, it was his final song Inertia Acoustic that really stole the show. When Johnny gets into the chorus he takes the whole audience with him and silenced the room. Simply Beautiful.

Beggar Girls

The name was a bit misleading tonight as one of the girls was replaced with a boy but we were still treated to a set in true beggar girls fashion. I do enjoy a bit of accordion, mainly because it just looks so mind-blowingly difficult to play. Their sound is undoubtedly very different, especially here amongst singer-songwriters, which made is a refreshing set. Tonight, however I felt that the songs were all quite similar in tone and sound. Perhaps this is just a result of the instrument combination but I would have preferred a bit of variation.

Ross Neilson

With his distinct voice Ross definitely offers something different to the night. I do, however, have an overwhelming urge to offer this man a throat sweet as soon as he comes off stage because it sounds like he’s really stretching his voice with each song. I’m not sure if this is intentional or just his style but it concerns me a little. Unfortunately I feel that this over-shadows his songs a bit. I did nevertheless think his second song showed potential. I also feel he needs to explore the frets a wee bit more to expand his songs.

Bobby Nicolson

Our first (and last) newby of the night.

This end slot tends to be the last one that anyone wants. This is usually due to the fact that people are either leaving or have had a few too many beers to really pay attention. Therefore, you need to be really entertaining to hold people in. This is exactly what he did. With confidence and great stage presence he captivated people into his first song ‘Things to do when nothing’s on the telly’. Comedy wee song with some apt political jibes thrown in. Suddenly the flagging audience was back again. He kept this going with his numbers song and ended with the song ‘its going my way’. Full of energy and a perfect ending.

OOTB 326 – 8 Jan 2009

Posted 08/01/2009 By admin

Nyk Stoddart- What better way to burgeon in the New Year at OOTB than with the musical idiosyncrasies of Nyk Stoddart. Tonight, we are given a rendition of the new “Calypso Song”, complete with Russian Hat…how fitting. Over consistent strumming, Nyk adopts a remarkable wavering singing style, singing “This is a surreal moment”. Quite. Good to see Nyk is in fine fettle at the beginning of 2009, a crowd pleasing performance as has come to be expected.

Lorraine McCauley- Lorraine starts with a song written in January last year. The alternating chords evoke a picture of bleak desolation, reflecting the month it was written in. Her voice sounds distant, and the Irish inflections lend her singing an air of folk authenticity when she sings of “the wars I’ve been waging”. Really engaging. Her second, “Late in the Darkest Corners”, sets its tone with the syncopated picking of minor chords, and pedal notes. “I will be disappointed” laments Lorraine, before a particularly anguished chorus. Her last is a new untitled song. The guitar line is soothing and underlies the vocal line elegantly, which sings of loneliness, and despairingly asks “What are you waiting for?” of the unknown person who can save her from it. For some reason when I listened to it, I thought “New Year” could be quite a good title for it, not just because of when it was written, but also because of the themes of recalling the past and looking forward. Just an idea. Cracking set.

Lorraine McCauley at OOTB 8 Jan 2009

Lorraine McCauley at OOTB 8 Jan 2009

Pip Robinson – Unfortunately, tonight is going to be Pip’s last performance at OOTB for quite time some time as she prepares to leave us for the bright lights of London. To remind us all what we’ll be missing, Pip begins with “Corners”, a dark brooding song of change. Pip is as confident as I have seen her in the performance, controlling the dynamics of the song expertly. “Footprints” is a more upbeat number, with rhythmic slaps on the guitar setting the tempo. A catchy chorus is countered by the natural imagery of the verses, strung together by the smooth timbre of the vocal. A really laid back relaxing song, well suited to Pip’s voice. Her last “Days”, is a nostalgic journey, with lyrics of mistakes made, and loves lost. This performance was really enchanting; the gentle finger-picking really complements the delicacy of the lyrics, and ensuring the absolute attention ! of the audience. A really fine way to bid farewell to OOTB for a wee while at least.

Hannah O’Reily- Hannah begins with “Vertigo”, displaying her vocal mastery in the chorus, singing “Damn you, I used to sleep”, with melodious acrobatics. As anguished an ode to insomnia as you are likely to hear. “Delicate” moves effortlessly from the subject of restlessness, to vampire sado masochism… as you do. The song is full of intelligent chord voicings, and the vocal line is seductive as Hannah sings of “laying me down”. Captivating stuff. . Hannah ends with “Strange Friend”, a fascinating idea for a song, conveying a sense of incongruity through the means of a conversation with a crow. “I’ve rearranged myself for you”, she despairs, and again her vocal virtuosity is on show, with bluesy “ohhhs” and other embellishments. An enjoyable set with innovative songwriting on show, and proficient performance.

Calum Carlyle – Calum’s first, “Weather in Melbourne”, is a funky acoustic rock –fest, the sliding barre chords lending an untamed element to the rhythm. An explosive start to the set. Following this, we hear “Sleepy Time”, the second song of the evening dedicated to insomnia. Some nice acoustic noodling is followed by lazy sounding chords. This is contrasted by a harsh sounding middle eight. One could almost imagine this as a song that the Beatles could have done, (in the vein of Golden Slumbers I suppose).Enjoyable material. His last, “Don’t Go Away” sees Calum go into drop- D mode, with thick luscious chords. The unexpected key change in the chorus grants the lyrics a sense of grandeur, as he sings “I’m safe here”. Another strong set from Calum.

Alan Young – Next, we have a squashee slot from Alan. The chords slide up and down the fretboard, lending a dreamlike, psychedelic feel to the song, supplemented by the theme of the lyrics. The words are perhaps a little inaccessible, however this may be the point. Anyway, its refreshing to hear someone with as distinctive a style as Alan.

Lee Patterson + David Williams (Featured Act) – I have been looking forward to hearing Lee play for quite some time, and tonight he does not disappoint, giving the audience a master class in performing and songwriting. We know that we are in for a treat from the off, as the first song sees Lee stroke the guitar with a violin bow, producing an atmospheric layer of sound with intelligently used hammer-ons. This is complemented by the mystical lyrics: “Siren you are a mercy on me”. This develops into some beautiful interplay between Lee’s strumming and David’s intricate guitar work, as Lee sings about an affirmation of love. “The Captain and the Pony” is a real foot tapper, and gives David any excuse he may have needed to do crazy things on the fretboard: I seem to remember one particularly outrageous scale being used at the end of the song. Lee exhibits excellent mic control, in the louder! vocal parts, and keeps the listener intrigued by the story in the lyrics. Lee performs alone on his third, a jaunty number founded upon a descending bass line, and engaging runs between chords, showing the audience that he too can run about admirably on the fretboard. “I’m not dead yet, I’m just a little unwell”, he sings. His forth which I guess was called “Long time Coming”, again tells a story of doom in the verse, before a change in the mood in the chorus as Lee sings “I’m coming home”. The contrast between the verse and chorus keeps the listener interested, but the two are linked seamlessly, offering evidence of Lee’s skilled songwriting. This is followed by “There’s me and the sea”, a song about walking along the beach with some great lyrics on show, with lines about horizons coming undone, and other idyllic imagery. On this song in particular, the performance is aided by the fact that Lee! does not need to put on the cheery disposition that the song&! rsquo;s delivery requires, as he is clearly enjoying himself so much playing live. However, lest we forget that Lee can also do ‘nasty’ music as well, as he finishes with a rock and roll romp, with some hilariously bawdy lyrics: “The things you do with fruit/ I wish you’d to me”, being a case in point. This explodes into distorted thrash, which creates havoc at the sound desk. Really good to get a glimpse of the gutsy performance that Lee is reputed for, in addition to the serene acoustic numbers we heard tonight. Inspirational set from both players.

David Maxwell – A semi debutant if you will, David begins with “Can’t we go up”. A quirky chord progression, with a rich sounding guitar, sounds original, and the soft vocal timbre is well suited to the imploring nature of the lyrics. “You’ve got your feet, in the Water of Leith” is a dark observational piece: “Laugh at drunks in the street/ At least they act the way they feel”. Has an almost Leonard Cohen feel to it, in both the sound and delivery. His last, “Killer” was my favourite of the set. The guitar is funereal, maintaining the dark mood, established by the second song of the set. “Sometimes love just falls apart”: Ain’t that the truth. In general, I thought David was adept in creating ambience with his music, which is an enviable ability.

Cloudland Blue Quartet- Good to see CBQ back at OOTB, although this is the first time that I’ve seen him. “We Drove”, is a hauntingly minimalistic narrative. I wasn’t entirely sure what the lyrics were about, but lines such as “I’ll see you around/ don’t worry about the money” were suitably evocative. “Please Stay With Us” also had a unique lyrical style, narrating everyday occurrences in song, with an upbeat tempo. An interesting juxtaposition, but I did prefer the slightly more abstract take to lyric writing he adopted in the first song. Nothing wrong with versatility though. “Blend” was a strong finish to the set. Fantastic chord permutations made the three chord progression sound new and refreshing, which is by no means easy. The lyrics speak of blending in with the crowd in the chorus, and there are some absorbing lyrical ideas on show. Hope to hear him at OOTB again soon.

Rosie Nimmo- “Pavlov’s Dog”’s jazzy chord progression gives the song an almost show-tune flavour. It works though, perhaps in part due to the whimsical nature of the lyrics, comparing the unconditional love of a mother with the conditioning of the eponymous hound. Her second is anything but whimsical, a really raw, heartfelt number. “Sometimes there’s no easy answer”, she observes morosely. An honest delivery, of a poignant song. Just so that we don’t feel to blue though, Rosie ends with some good ol’ fashioned audience participation. A devil- may- care song, that probably would have had the audience singing along regardless of the invitation.

Pol Arida – Paul showcases a proficient string tapping technique on his first, whilst singing over harmonics. No doubt, he’s a very talented guitarist, but the playing seemed to take away the focus from the song as a whole. Fantastic guitar work though it must be said. “Get out of Here”, is an angry sounding palm-muted number. Prohibition is the name of the game in the lyrics as Paul sings “Don’t side with those fascist lies again”. This worked well with Paul’s vocal style, as the anarchic tone was delivered authentically. “The Last Song Ever”, has a menacing insistent chord progression. The lyrics are tenacious, as Paul attempts to blow away the back of the room with his vocal. The performance was committed, and I think that it would benefit form the backing of a band. Nevertheless, Paul is a unique performer who brought a different aspect to the night.

Gordon Imrie- The last performer of the night, good to see Gordon bringing some supporters that stayed for the whole night prior to the performance. “No Danger” is a wonderful celebration of egoism. Whilst songs lamenting the loss of love are two- a- penny, it’s really refreshing to hear a song about dishing out the pain. “Respect for you my dear is something that I lack”, in particular was bombastically delivered. “Broken Bones” has a verse that sounds like Athelete, with a catchy chorus which is very much in sync with the style of indie bands at the moment. Memorable stuff. Gordon finishes with the crowd pleasing “Cheerio”, a song about a break up as emancipation. It has a carefree, upbeat hook in the chorus which refused to leave my consciousness for quite some time. A fitting end to a really enjoyable evening at OOTB.

Compere- Rob Sproul Cran

Sound- David O’Hara

Review- Jonny Pugh

OOTB 325 – 4 Dec 2008

Posted 04/12/2008 By admin

OOTB 325 – 4th December 2008 – reviewed by Calum Carlyle (whoever he is!)

Ho there, traveller, and welcome to the haven known as Out of the Bedroom! None of your karaoke here, or those dodgy oasis covers you hear floating around the ether. It’s the final OOTB for 2008, if you weren’t there, you missed it. Never mind though, here’s a review of the entire night! just look up all the performers on myspace, then read the review for each one while their music’s on and you can sort of kind of not really approximate what it was like. Well, actually myspace is never going to be as good as live music no matter what happens, so you’ll just have to make the effort to come along to OOTB more often in future if you want to hear quality music such as the likes of these brave souls you’re about to read the review of (go on, read it, you know you want to!)

OOTB will be back in 2009, and no doubt we’ll badger you with emails before then telling you all about it. Till then, here’s my review of Out of the Bedroom number 325 to give you something to read on those long cold winter nights:


NICK – “I love you, England, you’re a diamond geezer”

Nick starts the evening off with three lovely scratchy jangly folk tunes. He detunes the guitar quite shockingly but to good effect. Ray Davies style lyrics (at one point he rhymes “butter” and “nutter”, lovely!) and John Renbourn style guitar are in evidence, both of which i very much approve of. His voice is very distinctive also, i keep trying to think who he sounds like, but can’t work it out.

AL YOUNG – “Being in your own space can be a positive thing and it can be a negative thing”

Al plays us three songs of what i’d call ethereal acoustic pop – like Coldplay if all their awfulness were harnessed and somehow used to do good in the world. It’s like hearing a song on somebody else’s radio that you try to sing along to, but find you’ve never heard it before. His second song, Africa Dancing, has seven beats to the bar, nice. Two protest songs in Al’s set tonight, mainly because he’s plugging an evening of protest songs that he’s hosting at Forest Cafe on Sunday 14th December. His final song has a hint of good old psychedelic chordal improvisation and Al’s trademark unpredictable chord sequences.

MISTER BROKENTOOTH – “ninety nine names for God, not one of them is ‘father’, for what kind of parent would ask his son to be a martyr?”

Toothy starts with old favourite, Hold Fast, he gives us a spirited rendition as usual, i’m always impressed by his ability to be about twice as loud as everybody else. He’s a bit tired tonight, but this doesn’t detract from his performance, instead he incorporates it into his style. Toothy’s a Scottish bluesman. He doesn’t sing blues in an och-aye-the-noo accent or dress in tartan, but he does play blues, instead of mimicking the American mode of blues he puts his own life experience into his music, which really is what blues is about. His final song, Summer Rose, breaks the mould a little, acoustic pop with Toothy’s usual broken vocals. Somehow nostalgic. The first half’s like hearing a Billy Bragg song sung by Tom Waits, and the second half’s like hearing a Black Crowes song sung by, well, Brokentooth!

AILEEN – “I’m a ghost in the queue at Haddows”

Tonight’s only first timer i think. Lovely voice, lovely songs. The first song was quite mysterious and curious. Aileen’s got a lovely voice. As she’s playing her second song, Nobody’s Daughter, i’m thinking she sounds like Tanya Donnelly if she was from Glasgow. That’s definitely a good thing in my book. More nice acousticness with the third song, and this time it’s mysterious and curious, but also slightly insidious. Also, maximum points for using the word “dystopia” in a song.

MILO – All day i’ve been sitting here waiting to be given some work that is humiliating.

Later on this evening, Milo will win a much coveted OOTB T-shirt in tonight’s raffle but for now, in these early innocent hours, he plays us some interesting music. He stops during the intro to his first song to comment “That was obviously wrong”, and then carries on immediately, into a song reminding me of 80s ska, like The Specials or the Beat. Second song was the hit single out of this set, in my opinion, I’m Not Your Mailman, plenty of interesting tempo and pitch changes and imaginatively written too. It’s almost like he’s doing all his own backing vocals as well. More tense depressingness for the third song (and i mean that in the nicest possible way). “You’re going to want your money back when you find out what’s wrong with me” he sings, well i didn’t think there was anything wrong with him, myself!

NYK STODDART – “Ho ho ho, secret Santa”

Nyk does a quick squashee (what a word!), and sings his Syd Barrett style song about Christmas in Edinburgh. Also featuring surprise (even to him!) special guest Robbie Sprout-Cranberry on bongos (yes, very seasonal). Everybody sang along of course, well you would. Life’s too short not to.

*** NICKY CARDER *** – “What we do we just do and I don’t know why we do, we just do”

Nicky is tonight’s featured act, and i for one am very pleased about that. Nicky’s really impressed quite a few people since appearing almost from nowhere a very short time ago. She’s got a lovely voice. This is the sort of honest voice i think pop singers should have. She has lovely songs too, full of syncopation and interesting chord voicings, setting the scene for Nicky’s huge vocal delivery. Nicky’s second song, Ice Cream, could be my favourite of hers, but it’s tough to decide. As i said she keeps up the quality the whole way through her set.

Her third and fourth songs, Pacing Shoes and Your Words, come and go and she maintains her power throughout, managing to move effortlessly up and down her dynamic range. She’s no slouch in the rhythm department either, with several of her songs changing rhythm quite effortlessly. Everything’s there, all the ingredients. This is the sort of thing that Radio 1 should be playing. The fifth song, Trees, had some crazy augmented or suspended chords in there. Nicky’s songs remind me of my favourite songs from back when i was still young!

Powerful + Honest = Impressive. I could have listened to Nicky Carder for another half hour yet with no complaints to be honest, but the show must go on.

YOGI – “The inner rage is inside of me, getting higher in intensity”

Go on it does, with a squashee from Yogi, he attacks his song, Prevail, playing lots of interesting suspended chords and other curious things. This is a triumphant no nonsense rock song on one acoustic guitar. Good stuff

ROB SPROUL-CRAN – “She thought my piety would last and she was wrong”

Rob Sproul-Cran in 2006

Rob Sproul-Cran in 2006

Possibly tonight’s quietest performer. He starts off with a groovy swing number, but done in Rob’s signature minimalist style. Everybody’s rapt, but somehow i want to hear a screaming electric version of this. Maybe that’s a sign of good songwriting. His second song, I See Stars, was written tonight while Nicky Carder was playing! That does impress me. There’s actually been quite a lot of “improvisation” at OOTB recently, and i certainly applaud it, honing a song actually in front of an audience. Well, that’s what you’d do in your actual bedroom, so why not bring it out of the bedroom to… well, Out of the Bedroom? Anyway, the song’s lovely, but it does veer precariously close to Coldplay at times, but not in a bad way.

SAM BARBER – “There ain’t no millionaire made it by playing fair”

Sam Barber regales us with pop ditties from a land where guitars smile but singers know life’s bitterwseet aftertaste. I detect the ghost of Ray Davies in here too, and possibly Donovan as well. All his songs are good, his second song, Equals, is a protest song, a good few of them being played tonight now i think of it, nothing wrong with that, quite the opposite in fact. I wonder if all these protest singers are popping along to Forest on the 14th of December. A solid performance from Sam.

MARTIN – “The stratosphere won’t let me know how it was born. The alphabet is less complex, but I use it more”

Martin’s stuff is a bit weird. Not weird bad, and not even weird inaccessible, but weird in a sort of indefinable way. You can’t actually hear why it’s weird, it just sort of suggests weirdness somehow. That’s great though, for me weirdness is a prime ingredient for a performer and/or songwriter. Spread the weird, i say. His first song’s about the aplhabet. Lovely Bert Jansch style fingerpicking and a nice harmonised chord progression. I’d like to hear this played by a duo, just to see how it could be developed. His second and third are just as good, and just as imaginative as the first, the third one being quite bluesy. Imaginative is the word with Martin, actually. His second song’s a bittersweet tale about a laughing asthmatic, for instance. Don’t go away, Martin, you’re good.

TICA DOUGLAS – “Nineteen years old is the perfect age to give your old heart a thrill!”

Tica’s a relative newcomer and yet somehow it’s almost like it wouldn’t be OOTB without something from her! Anyway, she plays a squashee (!) song, Five Years Isn’t Bad, that she wrote on the piano, and which she plays standing up (a first for Tica at OOTB) on the guitar. Hadn’t heard this song before and it’s a little different from her usual, though still recognisably Tica. Jolly, nice long lines, clever song construction, bouncy accompaniment, smooth vocals. Tica comes across as a relaxed and confident performer. she recently threatened to go back to the USA but i think somebody must have blackmailed her to make her stay, which is no bad thing.

HENRIK AND CONRAD feat DOCTOR BARNEY – “I’m red like the devil, I’m blue like the sea”

No messin’ stompy jugband bluegrass rhythm and blues, including some great blues harp, played with real feeling, as well as some highly extravagant rug cutting, and special mention must go to the excellent tambourine playing. the amount of times i’ve heard a tambourine actually being played well in my life can be counted on one hand, but that number’s increased by one tonight, good stuff. Sometimes a bit ragged, these guys really make it work for them rather than against. A nice skiffle combo, they really get it going.

CALUM CARLYLE – “You were the one true thing that i could believe in”

I finished up the night with three songs, and when i’d come offstage i found that Jonny Pugh had helpfully reviewed me as i performed! So here’s what he had to say about me:

1)Living Proof, Nice to hear with a fresh audience who really appreciated the whimsical lyrics. Well delivered by Calum tonight, guitar work had some nice embellishments which sounded delicate high up on the fretboard. The song works particularly well because of the elegant musical backing.
2) The Sound of Falling in…, This song washes over the listener with a beautifully warm timbre. The lyrics speak of an aching loss made all the more poignant. Emotional honesty on show, “I wanted to be there just to see you smile”. Peaceful music, anguished lyrics.
3) Ain’t Gonna Look Back, Foot tapping stuff, quick pentatonic runs lending a bluegrass feel to the intro. Sense of emancipation in the lyrics matches the excitable guitar work, which shows off both Calum’s dexterity but also his ability to craft a catchy melody.

OOTB 323 – 20 Nov 2008

Posted 20/11/2008 By admin


The Weather Underground kick us off tonight with a song about the singer’s
“girlfriend’s orgasm” amongst other things. The violin (or viola, I can
never tell the difference) provides a piercing introduction, while the
chord alternates between hammered on chords. I thought the double
stopping towards the end thickened the sound well, and maybe could have
been used a bit more. Their second entitled “Matter of Time” begins with
some intricate interplay between the guitar and the violin’s pizzicato,
before exploding into a thumping, rock riff, and lyrics about the
“passions of youth”. The singing style is unique, in restraining itself
where others would turn to shouting the lyrics, and it works well here.
They finish with “Father Forgive Them”, which had some interesting lyrics
such as “The Government deals with the devil’s hand”, over the contrasting
staccato chords on the guitar and the flowing violin line. Enjoyable start
to proceedings.

Sam Barber gives us a quick squashee performance with new song “Catch”,
which is (quite fittingly) very catchy indeed. “I wouldn’t want a piece of
your shadow” he sings over confident strumming. I think this would work
well with a band, but the songs stands well in solo performance as well.
Would have liked to have heard a few more, and I hope that I will soon get
the opportunity to do so at OOTB soon.

Calum Carlyle The newly appointed webmaster begins with an instrumental
entitled “walking through the shallows”. It has quick sequenced runs
through the scales which showcases Calum’s proficient technique, without
descending into over indulgence and keeps a fine melody as well. I
particularly enjoyed the brief allusions to an augmented chord in some
parts. Next, Calum takes to the mic and belts out “Drinking and Driving
(My Car)”. This is a real bluesy number, it almost has a show tune quality
to it. Whatever, it had the audience feet tapping and finger clicking.
Calum has a great voice for this sort of thing, and can reach the falsetto
notes most proficiently. Finally, we hear the techno influenced “Acid
Test”, which shows a different side to Calum’s guitar playing, using
intelligent chord voicing to build up a menacing sound, whilst he laments
“I still need you”. Cracking.

Colin Milne This is a first for me…. Colin is taking to the stage without
his world famous glute!! Instead we are treated to some songs on a nylon
string guitar. “Lunchtime” tells the tale of a gentleman’s affair with a
younger lady. Colin really is adept at creating pictures of the story in
the listener’s head, with great humour as well. “Folks I didn’t mean to go
that far” sees Colin put on an outrageous American accent for some lines,
as we hear of a farmer who had 6 daughters and….well I’m sure you can
guess what happens. Peals of laughter ring out as Colin assures us that
“when I climbed into that car/ I didn’t mean to go that far”. His last
sees Colin revert to “granddad” tuning (brilliant), and a song more
serious in tone entitled “The Attic of the Mind”. Here he sings of certain
thoughts which are best left in the metaphorical attic, such as “The
things you’ve done, you’ve left undone.” Colin carries this off possibly
even better than his more comical material, which given the laughter in
the room previously is no mean feat.

Darren Thornberry Our illustrious chairman takes to the stage for the
first time in quite a while, and shows us immediately what we’ve been
missing. He begins with an absolutely mesmerising a capella, whose lilting
melody would be enticing, were it not sung in such anguish. “Where is the
substance to this abuse?” he asks. This sort of thing requires a powerful
voice, but also exceptional control, and Darren pulls it off superbly. For
me, and I’m sure many others, definitely one of the most memorable
performances I’ve seen at OOTB in quite some time. To follow, Darren
accompanies himself on guitar with a gentler song, with real pathos: “The
wind is without mercy and maybe so am I” he contemplates. The song is
peaceful, which contrasts the sadness in the lyrics effectively. His last
uses a nice descending sequence on the guitar as sings “I just wanna walk
with you/ why is that so hard to do?”, which sounds more like frustration
than desperation. A really top set from Darren, hopefully much more of
this to come now he’s back with us!

Rosie Rosie describes herself as “an almost open mic virgin”…I only wish
that I could manage the vocal control she does tonight some day, let alone
after my first few performances. The chords are gently strummed with the
thumb, which provides a tender backing to the warning that loaded words
are “much to dangerous to let out on their own”. Her second is called
“Nothing to Fear”, which has a more rhythmic feel to it, with some nice
diminished chords knocking about. After a dramatic recall to the stage,
Rosie leaves us with a song about “Letting Go”. The descending major,
major 7, major 6, chord sequence adds an enticing quality to Rosie’s soft
vocal, which complements lines such as “I know that its right, but its so
hard to do” well. A superb (almost) debut, and I hope that Rosie will
return in a matter of weeks rather than years this time!

Furious George 19 April 2005

Furious George 19 April 2005

Furious is up next with a quick squashee performance with “feelings define
our chemistry”. The song is forceful in spite of the sparse arrangement
given Furious strong vocal. Some good lyrics on show as well, I
particularly liked the idea in the line “speak to me visually”.

Tica (Featured Act) Tica really is one of the most unique performers on
the circuit at the moment, so it was a pleasure hearing her give us an
extended slot. She begins with a new song which demonstrates her
inimitable lyrical and vocal style, the conversational approach mixing
acute observations with fine storytelling. Not many can write a song about
being mistaken for an Australian by a drunken punter. Really liked the
‘favourite book’ motif as a lyrical device. “Hip Hop” sees Tica sing over
a quick staccato riff, (which, by the way, is much more difficult than
Tica makes it look). Again some great lyrics (“its not that I’m unhappy/
my life just feels too planned“), which begin with the banal, (discussing
music taste), before exploring heartbreak and relationships, and back
again in one effortless swoop. Her third is a new one, which is a
monologue over syncopated picking, and rhythmic slaps on the guitar. The
long sustained chords of the chorus offer a good contrast, and offers the
song a strong structure. This is followed by “Sandwich” which sees some
good old fashioned strumming, and a fantastic allusion to a Simon and
Garfunkel classic. Again the lyrics are well crafted, describing a day out
to the beach with a crate of coronas (sounds good, especially in deepest
darkest November), a really upbeat, singalong number. “Crazy Bitch” is my
favourite of the set. The bitter words in Tica’s nonchalant vocal is
really effective, and the chorus sounds really pained, but also
incredulous. Again, I am impressed by a lot of the lyrical ideas in the
song, but I am constantly having to remind myself to listen to the guitar
work, which is really quite complex. Her penultimate song is in a slightly
different style which is well placed in the set, singing about karma and
that “it is all about energy”. The set finished with another upbeat
number, about choosing music in the front seat of a car, before Tica
assures herself “things must look up now”. The thing that strikes me when
I listen to Tica is the structural intelligence of the lyrics, which can’t
really be reflected by quoting a few random lines. Whilst most confine
themselves to either straightforward storytelling, or purely confessional
lyrics, Tica is an expert in crossing the boundary between the two. In
conjunction with her unique singing style, this causes the listener to
become totally immersed in her songs. Tonight was no exception, as we
heard a polished, versatile, and thought provoking set.

Not Andy begins with a protest song about those killed in war. Really
powerful stuff as he begs “let no more names be added”. I believe this
refers to a wall in Stafford according to ( not) Andy if I remember
correctly. This is followed by “The Ballad of Bob and Rose”, who make
“sweet music all of the time”. Good for them. This song had a good tempo,
but did sometimes rush the vocal. Really did get the foot tapping though,
and the lyrics told a convincing tale. The set finishes with what I
thought was the strongest song overall, “50 things to do before I die”
about “being pissed off“. This sees (not) Andy let rip with a rockier
sounding riff, and an anger which strengthened the vocal line. “I’ve found
a new website” he sings confidently, before listing the eponymous 50
things. Nice idea for a song, and well delivered.

Henrik (debut). This debutant begins with a song he wrote for an ex
girlfriend. The dom 7 chords lend a bluesy feel to the swaggering punchy
lick. There is a touch of the Jimi Hendrix to the part in which he sings
“It’ll all blow over”. This is followed by “Strawberries and Cream”, which
in spite of the pastoral title, mutates into a menacing, snarling
rant….albeit minus a tuba. This lamentable state of affairs is soon put
right in his final song “A wee waltz”, where a small orchestra of OOTB
members provide a tuba sound at the appropriate juncture (I wish someone
form the bar had walked in at this point). The song itself was written in
the rhythm and style of a waltz, which gives the song an almost cabaret
feel. A strong and memorable debut performance.

Martin Brooks (debut) Martin’s first is about the Bermudan tradition of
catching a shark, and using its oil to tell whether its going to be
stormy….music and cultural education tonight! The song is folky, and
suitably off wall given the subject matter. “White Rabbit” has some
interesting imagery, with lines about “electric fences”, before asking
“have you cast a spell on me?”. Not entirely sure what it was about, but
this may well be the point. His last is about Ospreys (the birds I
presume, not the rugby team), again using natural imagery, over some
delicate runs between the chords. An intriguing performance, and with the
confidence that will come from future outings, I think Martin will develop
into a really unique, quirky performer.

Cameron begins the long line of squashees that finishes the evening. He
plays a song of his brother’s (which I for one can’t complain about) which
is a pleasant listen, and provides a good platform for Cameron’s strong
voice. Don’t know the original, but Cameron gives a hearty rendition.
Would like to hear one of his own soon!

Rosie returned to the stage for the third time of the evening. Her song
has a warm timbre, with a nice spider/fly metaphor. “Have I ever told you
how wonderful you are?”, she sings softly. I can almost imagine this as a
Morcheeba, trip hop sort of song. Nice one.

Toby (debut) Toby gives us a song about a young lady, hope and whiskey.
“Angel’s share” is a cracking lyrical idea for a metaphor about lost love,
and Toby give a really strong performance. From the Ryan Adams school of
songwriters, I hope to hear a full set from him soon.

Nicky finishes the evening with “In Hiding”. This was a really raw,
assured performance. The song would sound great with a band, but tonight
Nicky takes up the stage and the song completely by herself, given the
great power in her voice. She is getting better each time I see her. Look
out for what I’m certain will be an explosive featured act slot from her
in December!

Compere: Jim Whyte
Sound: Daniel Davis

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