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OOTB 27 – 2 May 2002

After Nelson & I started with ‘Tragic Clowns’ and ‘Summer Song’, Jill Hepburn stepped up to the mic more summery than usual in lilac pullover and denim skirt. Her music is gentle, introspective and very lovely. ‘I Don’t Want That Much’, with that riff, is about using the power of your imagination to escape and Jill thinks coming from Falkirk you need that. I’m saying nothing. ‘Too Much Night’ rounded off a confident performance.

Scott Reilly came back again – hooray! ‘Never Forget What You Are’ was a sweet love song with romantic lines such as ‘I like the things in you/you may not like yourself’. ‘Shades of Blue’ is a pop poetry at its finest, with an ultra-hummable tune. ‘It’s A Curse’ compares love to a sickness and uses the classic ‘na-na-na-na’ pop ending. He might not be a pop idol but Scott has more talent in his left pinkie than the mediocre drivel on that particular TV show.

Echo (aka Derek Archer) made a welcome return. He was selling his CDs this week though it doesn’t feature songs from his legendary unpublished musical. ‘Love At First Sight’ was a straightforward, down the middle love song. ‘Tonight’ is on the CD and ‘is about true love if there is such a thing’. Oh, love, love, love, all you need is love. Is it all you need? Maybe. Who can say?

Ben & Sally thankfully came back like a breath of fresh air. Again Ben’s demonic 12-string playing coupled with Sally’s strong, characteristic vocals was very effective. ‘How I Feel’ was about needing to feel loved, wanted and needed. It was a very sensuous, almost bawdy lyric – not at all platonic. ‘The Running Song’ (I think that was the title) again kept the theme going with the line ‘you can be Henry Miller and I’ll be Anais Nin’. Henry Miller was an erotic novelist/dirty bastard (depends on your point of view) of the mid-20th century. I remember another great song about Marilyn Monroe and Henry Miller from theTron open mic nights.

The Alpha again showed their class with even tighter harmonies than last week. It’s good to see such an improvement in such a short space of time not that last week was anything but great. ‘Shine’, ‘You Are Loved’ and ‘Postures and Positions’ again received an airing and overall they seemed more of a unit. Look forward to the Cafe Royal show on May 28th.

I saw Playtone the night before at The Maltings and they’re a completely new band to me. Two of the band, young and enthusiastic, gave an energetic, melodic and harmonious account of themselves. Like Ben & Sally the previous week, one of the very best debut gigs at OOTB. The lyrics were great, well-written for one so young, the harmonies were fresh sounding and the main thing was the sheer gusto the songs were given. ‘The Girl Who Just Wants More’, ‘When You’re Six Years Old’ and ‘Daddy’s Superstar’ were all memorable. Look out for the band round Edinburgh. I hope they come back very soon.

Eirik from Norway came from nowhere and looked very comfortable on stage for one so young. He plays in a band Josephine and looked great in his big beady collar and red sneakers. His English is very good and his songs ‘Found A Friend Today’, ‘Walking Deeper’ and ‘Play’ varied from the jazzy to the straight folk-pop.  Another act I don’t think I’d tire of seeing. I will definitely look out for Josephine and Playtone in the near future.

Lisa Harkin won the raffle, a dolphin letter/envelope set.

Jim

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