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OOTB 21 – 21 Mar 2002

On a dreich Thursday evening (there seems to be a lot of dreich Thursdays as opposed to any other night for some reason) it was great to have a full card for the evening with four OOTB debutantes no less.

Nelson and I came on first as per usual and played ‘Cowboy Song 2’, a mellow number, with Norman filling things out on slide guitar. ‘Bacardi Breezer’ followed; it’s not an endorsement of the product or some political song inspired by Boycott Bacardi (worthy site though it is) – it’s a song about a lustful encounter which didn’t end up in the romance it should have. It is, as Jill pointed out, like the Proclaimers and I’m happy with that comparison.

Derek followed almost seamlessly in cowboy gear of denim jacket and jeans to entertain with more songs from the planned musical ‘Modern Times’. ‘When You’re Low Low Down’ about a nasty rich bloke (the baddie of the musical?) had a fine harmonica part and the whole effect was country-tinged. Interesting thought for a crossover: a country and western musical. Has it ever been done? Answers on a postcard to the usual address€¦ ‘Moments That Passed’ and ‘Wishing’, both played last week, were given an airing and very pleasant they were too.

Stewart Hanratty
was the first new performer of the evening. His light, slightly jazzy style was a breath of fresh air and had a mid-70s flavour a la Stevie Wonder. Stewart’s soaring baritone vocals created an atmosphere of summer cafes on the Mediterranean coast sipping a suitably iced drink enjoying the sun. The lyrics maybe didn’t reflect this, especially his song ‘about when you realize you’ve been an arsehole for a long time’ and ‘Love Bites’ – a love song for vampires featuring the lyric ‘someday soon I’ll plunge a stake through your heart’. Good stuff, hope to see Stewart back soon.

Jill Hepburn, everyone’s favourite Falkirk singer / songwriter – well, mine anyway – followed with a stunning brace. ‘I Don’t Want That Much’ has a catchy guitar riff with that voice. When Jill first came along her whispered vocals were not always clear but like the best singers she has improved over the weeks to the point where she’s one of the best vocalists at these nights and spellbinding at times. ‘Lotus Moon’ is a song of loss and delivered with a quiet intensity reminiscent of Nanci Griffiths without the irritating country twang. It’s always a pleasure Jill.

Julie King made her OOTB debut though she was a regular performer at The Tron open mic nights. Julie sings unaccompanied which I always thought was very brave – no guitar/piano to embellish the message. ‘Daytime Television’ was a housewife blues – a largely ignored lyrical genre – about being driven insane with the claustrophobia of housework, motherhood and godawful daytime TV. Having watched bits of ‘Kilroy’ and ‘Trisha’ I can empathise with those feelings of being driven insane. The line ‘The highlight of my day is when ‘Neighbours’ comes on,’ conveys the sense of monotony. ‘I Am A Martyr’ and ‘Spider’ were masochistic and slightly sadistic respectively and the passion no doubt comes from the theme of ‘Daytime Television’. Am I reading too much into this? Good to have you back on stage Julie.

Leslie, another first-timer from North America (USA?) played during the break and her piano instrumentals were very pleasant but unfortunately I was flogging raffle tickets and couldn’t concentrate. What I heard was promising and if Leslie comes again I’ll get her a better slot than the break!

Freeloading Frank & Iain came on for their first joint performance, I think. That most precious of rarities – a new Frank song – got its first performance tonight. The lyrics were, ahem, in the embryonic stage but the words ‘Where You Gonna Run To Uncle Sam?’ suggested that may be the title. ‘Celullite’, undoubtedly a Frank classic, was played with customary abandon. The ladies, almost universally, love the song which is a homage to the better sex with couplets such as ‘there is no greater delight/than to lick the cream from the cellulite’. Iain played one of his songs about a sheep who’s had a happy life living near Sellafield being shipped off to Belsen. It will be interesting to see if this duo become a more permanent fixture. Watch this space€¦

Norman Lamont stated off his set with ‘When I Went To Your House’ – ‘a story of infidelity and adultery’ which was brilliant – he is simply one of the finest lyricists in town. ‘Turn Turn Turn’ was a song of advice as Norman feels he is at the age where he can dispense advice! The sort of tune which demanded percussive backing (Nelson on bongo, Iain on back of guitar), the advice seems to be ‘keep your innocence in mind’. Norman’s fine final song ‘The Beggar Of Love’ is from ‘the ballad of bob dylan’ CD (only two copies left – it’s well worth the £3).

Lynsey took to the stage again, tonight she had a cold but she overcame it admirably. Her folk song for modern, complex times ‘Benjamin Denton Blues’ (see last week) started the show, the haunting ‘Breach’ followed. There was an epic, U2-Joshua-Tree feel to the song which built up into an emotional maelstrom by the end. ‘I Am Legion’ with it’s funny tuning again impressed. Be sure to visit/ play at Lynsey’s own open mic at Nicol Edwards on Monday nights if you get a chance.

Claire, who has played before but as a keyboard act, came on with a guitar which she hadn’t played for six months. If I hadn’t played my guitar for six months I’d be a laughing stock but Claire sounded like she’d be playing the thing every day for her whole life such was her ease with the instrument. ‘Out Of Sound’ was a sad song of longing with the lyric ‘I wish I could feel the rhythm of your breathing beside me tonight’. ‘December in June’, a homage to her time in Australia, was written when she was homesick. ‘Portobello’, about a romantic liaison in Edinburgh’s seaside, was sung a capella and ended the set very nicely.

Howard, the final act and debutante of the night, came on to a stormer. Dressed colourfully in green and white t-shirt and light red trousers, his light, sensitive vocals were crystal clear and he played a fine song which he’d written yesterday morning and had already played at Kin the previous evening! One thing, I don’t know if I’m using the wrong deodorant or my socks weren’t washed properly but Howard lit a joss stick on stage. On ‘Mind Over Matter’ Howard’s vocals were breathy and with lines like ‘my soul ever pessimistic and intensified’ reminded me of Jeff Buckley. He decided just before the end to change the direction to an old school hip-hop rhythmic vocal and got everyone in the place feeling funky! For more info and music downloads, Howard’s website address is: http://howardbbridges.iuma.com/ . It’s well worth a look.

By the way, our website – www.outofthebedroom.co.uk – will be up and running very soon. More details to follow…

The winner of the prize, a book ‘The Secret Thoughts of Women’, was David Pajor. Congratulations!

The next Out Of The Bedroom evening is at The Waverley this Thursday, 28th March from 9 p.m. See you there!

Jim

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