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OOTB 24 – 11 Apr 2002

After Nelson and I (‘Bacardi Breezer’ this week), up stepped Olle to the mic again with his extremely pleasant pop songs. ‘The Hedgehog Song’ clocked in at under 30 seconds and had the audience laughing despite the song being about a hedgehog that gets squashed. ‘A Girl Like You’ was played by request and quite rightly so. It’s one of the best songs to come out of Out Of The Bedroom and I can’t help but rave about it every time Olle plays it. The Swedish-language ‘Nymph’ was again aired. Does anyone know if it’s true that you get a deep voice through having lots of sex? If so, Olle must be Sweden’s answer to Errol Flynn (without the dodgy moustache).

Keeping it in the family Anders, Olle’s brother, made his debut using the monstrous house keyboard. He was equally as bonkers and entertaining as his brother. His first song he said was Swedish as it was sung by the band Blue Swede (a US band) in the 70s… hmmm. All his songs were covers (including a Swedish hymn for children) which is generally a no-no but as Anders was on holiday braving springtime Edinburgh an exception was made. Suffice to say he played and sang very well.

Stewart Hanratty is a stalwart of the open mic scene from the early 90s. He’s flitted in and out of the Edinburgh scene through traveling and playing on cruise ships (hence his healthy tan). I thought it was his best performance tonight, he seemed very comfortable and assured. His ‘cha-cha for the guy that found the holy grail’ gave me the feeling of flying above the earth in Willy Wonka’s Great Glass Elevator.

Leith-schooled Lynsey played with fire and passion. She played on despite a cold tonight – that’s the kind of spirit I like to see at these nights. ‘I Am Legion’ has moments of Led Zep at times and that, mixed with Lynsey’s love of comic books, makes her one of the more unusual female performers. ‘Moccasin’ again had that Bert Jansch/Jimmy Page hypnotic drone and was great – I think that’s my favourite of hers so far. You’ll find this prolific performer hosting an open mic at Nicol Edwards on a Monday evening from 10 p.m. and Lynsey will be helping with our night at the Edinburgh RUSH festival. More news to follow.

Our second new act of the evening was Andrew & Kathryn from the band Gingergreen. I met Kathryn at a 50-act open mic four months ago and finally, after receiving our emails all this time, she came down. It was well worth the wait. ‘Amistad’ featured her on lead vocal with Andrew providing seamless harmonies. ‘Screw You Up’ had, apparently, been written that evening which I find hard to believe as it sounded very tight to me. The next song was written from the viewpoint of a frustrated gangster’s girl and was their best one of the night. I’ll definitely be checking out the next gig of Gingergreen.

Freeloading Frank. What can you say? The man is an institution, an enigma, unforgettable, with the most infectious lyrics of just about anyone I’ve ever heard. You sing his songs in the shower whether you like to or not. Until he gets his CD together and becomes the international cult superstar he should be, we’ll get the benefit of his talents in the setting of open mic nights.  ‘Scully’, ‘Bloodshed On The Way’ and ‘I Wanna Be A Guru’ are all simply wonderful, wonderful songs.

Graeme, boyfriend of Julie who played at OOTB 21, finished the night with his fine songs. Looking like Buddy Holly on speed, his subtle, ridiculously effortless guitar playing is always a joy to behold. ‘Go On’ is about being dumped and all the inevitable sadness that accompanies it. ‘Real Life Cinderella’ is about ‘being shagged by your boss’, metaphorically (I think). It’s a cracking, intense piece with 150 bpm strumming on the guitar. Good to see you back, Graeme.

The mystery prize was won by Kathryn Flint who won some Henna body paste. We expect nothing less than a full on tattoo workshop soon, Kathryn.

Jim

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