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OOTB 20 – 14 Mar 2002

After Nelson and I got things going with a particularly enjoyable set (if I may say so myself), we were entertained by a couple of newcomers by the names of Olle and Miika. I like surprises and these tall, blonde Scandinavians certainly were a surprise of the pleasant sort. A-strumming and a-blowing, their heartwarming, melodious songs were a breath of fresh air. ‘A Place Where I Will Grow Old’ was a tribute to Scotland where Olle said he felt very much at home. ‘My Morning Song’, featuring some subtle harmonica playing, spoke of lazy days without a job with the lyric ‘I get up and there’s some breakfast for me/My mum has left me some bread and cold tea’ and having time to play his morning song. It might be a generalisation but mainland Europeans seem to be less angst-ridden than us Brits… These two have obviously been playing a lot of late as their duelling guitars were tight as a gnat’s chuff. Look out for them around Edinburgh in the near future.

Rosie Bell was up next. A debutante to Out Of The Bedroom, antipodean Rosie has been a pivotal figure in the Edinburgh music scene for a couple of years and helps run an open mic night at The Maltings on Wednesdays from 9pm and is well worth investigating. Back to our night and Rosie’s music, like her blonde hair, was very spiky in a challenging, thought-provoking way whilst playing a vibrant, pulsating keyboard coupled with a breathy vocal style. ‘Early Warning’ spoke of bitter experiences of one-night stands, ‘Pollen & Salt’ was at the other end of the spectrum as it was a homage to the attractiveness of men ‘smelling of pollen, tasting of salt’ (is that how all men smell and taste? answers on the back of a postcard€¦). Rosie certainly has strong feelings and is most articulate about a variety of subjects. Go see her!

Derek continued to take us through the musical odyssey that is the as-yet unpublished musical ‘Modern Times’. Two love songs stood out: ‘Moments That Passed’ told of a lady (the heroine perhaps?) who is engaged but falls for her fiancé’s best friend after he sings her the song and ‘Wishing’, a duet – which Derek magically managed to convert to a solo piece featuring some fantastic whistling – between the leading man & leading lady. It’s great to see a songwriter with a dream and I hope ‘Modern Times’ gets its premiere at the Festival Theatre soon.

Those young and gifted men from Matt’s Band a-strummed, a-picked and a-bongoed their way into our hearts once more. The line-up has changed to a four-piece with Kenneth joining on bass guitar and he added to the already full sound of one of the truly up-and-coming acts in Edinburgh right now. These chaps are among the most commercial of the acts at The Waverley and on tracks like “Lovers Fall” and ‘Cellarful of Letters’ there were some great harmonies reminiscent of The Eagles at their height.

It was good to see Lynsey back after a couple of months. She’d been playing a residency at Bannermans during February and she’s also running an open mic on a Monday at Nicol Edwards, Niddry Street on Monday nights. She found some time to play at our night again though and it was good to hear songs like ‘Brother Grimmer’, ‘Benjamin Denton Blues’ and ‘I Am Legion’ in their full glory again.

Colin Donati never ceases to amaze with his breathtaking musical canon. ‘Stand Me Nowhere Near’ was an energetic, slightly quirky number while “No Central Axis” was written the previous day and was inspired by a misheard lyric – ‘being god ain’t easy’ – from a jam session (Tuesdays at Aubrey’s bar in Jamaica Street). Slightly Talking Heads in style, it looked at life, the universe and everything from the point of god, and it succeeded in being dryly funny and thought-provoking at the same time. ‘Kafka’s America’ was an interesting culture clash idea song and underlined that when you see Colin play, you’re not only entertained but educated.

The wonderful John Hunt returned after a few months’ absence. His flowing mane and character-imbued face give him an advantage to the rest of us normal-looking folk. His songs are equally as interesting such as ‘Out in the Countryside’ which tells us to cancel September and October and pick mushrooms (possibly the ‘magic’ kind) and is a lazy, laid-back cracker. ‘I Am Totally Resistible’ is a brilliant song about being unemployed, along the lines of Freeloading Frank’s ‘Yippy Dippy Doo-Dah’. The final song ‘Orgasm’ is about just letting go. Great to see John back.

A friend of Olle and Miika’s (sorry lost the name) won a Travel Connect 4 in the prize draw.

Jim

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