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OOTB 25 – 18 Apr 2002

Nelson & I started proceedings with ‘Weather In June’. I wrote these lyrics when I was 19 and, quite frankly, it shows. I’ve always liked Nelson’s guitar part, though – very haunting. I like ‘Cowboy Song 2’, it’s so simple it borders on the idiotic. People tend to listen to it more intently than our other songs, though.

First up was the petite, curly jet-black haired, softly spoken Falkirk-ite Jill. Getting us in more of a spin than the Falkirk wheel, her gentle songs and lilting, high-pitched vocals are always a treat. Lines like ‘I’ve been stargazing so long/I’ve missed the chance to shine’ (‘Idle World’) and  ‘I’ve no plans for the future/Despite of that I’m getting there’ (‘Lotus Moon’), betray a definite sense of melancholy but there is hope and light there, too, and the effect is spellbinding. See you soon, Jill.

Sporting a Woods’ no.3 haircut, Olle was next. ‘I’m Just A Fool’ set the tone for his fifteen minutes – ‘a song about Autumn and Christmas’. It was brilliant but brief. His next song, untitled, was so new that Olle had brought the lyrics on a sheet of paper that he balanced on his knees. The paper kept falling on to the floor in comic fashion and I was paper roadie for the night, picking it up. He roped in Norman on djembe for his catchy last song ‘Wrong Girl’. Once more, super stuff from the eccentric Swede.

Dave Christopher made his debut tonight and a top quality one it was. Norman played guitar while Dave sang with crystal clear vocals. ‘Not Walking On The Cracks’ was from a play Dave wrote. It’s an optimistic song written from the point of view of a homeless person looking to the future. ‘Carry Them Along’ was a  happy sing-song written for a children’s charity and I, like many of the audience, found myself smiling and singing along to the chorus quite the thing. ‘Soul Connection’ enlisted the help of The G on percussion. There was some very tasty harmonizing going on with Norman. All in all, a very impressive set.

The G stayed on and got bonus points for dedicating his first song to Nelson and I. ‘Part of Something’ was immaculately played on guitar with a wicked harmonica part thrown in. By the way if anybody wants to dedicate me a song, please don’t hold back – do it. The town of Callandar got a dedication next for the song ‘Two Ravens’. There was a folk feel on this one and a lot of symbolism in the lyrics (ravens vs. doves/black vs. white/good vs. evil – am I reading too much into this?). The G has 4 CDs for sale at £3 each, including a meditation CD. His CD ‘funkycountrypunkypop’ comes with my recommendation.

I Looked Up, the supergroup of Out Of The Bedroom, featuring Norman, The G and Alison burned brightly again tonight. Norman introduced the songs as downbeat, which I suppose they were, but they were wonderful too. ‘Call Back, Fall Back’ had some wonderful harmonising and a longing desperation which was warm and humanising. ‘Crying In The Street’ transports me to Paris as it has an Edith Piaf-like melancholia about it. ‘The Sea’ is the epic song in the I Looked Up set. Norman said it took him 7 years to write. No doubts, it was worth the wait. Look out for I Looked Up at the Edinburgh RUSH festival.

It was mightily fine to see Scott Reilly back in the fold again. He’s certainly developed more than most over the months and years of the singer-songwriter scene in Edinburgh. ‘Press Erase and Start Again’ was full of emotion and regret, though catchy and poppy too. I suppose we’d all like to go back in time to change the past at times…  ‘It’s A Curse’ was new and great it was, too. It’s always good to hear a few ‘na-na-na-nas’ in a song. ‘Free To Be’ was almost happy-clappy and I can imagine throngs of people swaying to and fro in Glastonbury field to this one. Great stuff, Scott.

Norman doubled up for another set and introduced Dave Watson to the audience. Dave produced Norman’s ‘The Ballad of Bob Dylan’ CD and has a website www.dhwatson.co.uk  . He was quite simply a demon guitarist and he had an injured finger! On the subject of websites, Norman’s is www.normanlamont.com  . I Looked Up came back up to play the glorious ‘Winter Sky’ – beautiful, simple and brief – and ‘The Desert Was Better’ is familiar as a Norman solo number but The G’s ridiculously fast-fingered guitar solo was a pleasant new addition.

The mystery prize was a Chinese benediction anklet and was won by Dave Christopher.

*** I’ll have more info next week regarding the special Edinburgh RUSH evening at Cafe Royal featuring some of the regulars from Out Of The Bedroom.  ***

Take care
Jim

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