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OOTB 286 – 31 January 2008

OOTB 286 – 31 January 2008

Performers: Arran Arctic, Edvard Bredok, Simon T Munro, Tim Holehouse, Aaron Lowenberger (Featured Act), Calum Carlyle, Jonny Pugh, Broken Tooth, Ross Neilson, Angus Coull

Arran Arctic (debut) It’s a freezing cold night at the Canon’s Gait, and it’s kicked off by the appropriately named Arran Arctic, who is here for the first time. He warms up the show nicely with his Tracy Chapman Jeff Buckley lilting songs. ‘These things I Write, they grab hold and don’t let go’ he sings, and not without reason. His third song takes quite an apocalyptic turn lyrically, though I found it quite musically relaxing – an interesting juxtaposition. All this, plus an amusing comedy turn with a piece of chewing gum! If you weren’t there, you missed it! http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=609875 10

Edvard Bredok next, all the way from Norway, so I’ve probably spelled his name wrong, it’s his first time here as well. He starts off with ‘I’ll Throw My Magic at Your Soul’, a nice groovy bluegrass feel, with a voice a bit like Kevin Ayers, it’s a nice hippie number. His second song, ‘Rain’ bounces along in an upbeat Donovan Leitch kind of way with more nice bluesy fingerpicking. He finishes off with a quick retune and keeps the groove going with a toe tapper called ‘Goodbye’.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=637102 08

Simon T Munro is up next, it’s his first time here, and he starts off with a compliment and successfully gets on our good side. His first song, ‘Liquorice Lips’ is a Mike Scott meets Dylan upbeat American/Irish style folk song with plenty of sparkly guitar. Then, a very poetic song about fresh love called ‘Dance of the Summer Breeze’. He finishes with ‘Sailor, Sailor’, quipping ‘It’s about a sailor!’, it’s a nice smooth voiced folk song and I’d have liked to hear it with a few more instruments, or some backing vocals. Luckily, i might get my chance by visiting his website: http://www.myspace.com/simontmunro/ or http://www.myspace.com/simontmunro

Tim Holehouse next, another first timer. He may be the first person at OOTB to be selling 7′ singles of his music, he starts with a song called ‘Vessels That Sail in the Night’, and i find myself thinking that the song goes up and down like the waves. It’s a song about the Marie Celeste and it has six beats in the bar in the verse and ten beats per bar in the chorus! His second song, ‘A Poem About a Horse’ was dedicated to me for tipping him off about OOTB! Thanks Tim! That’s actually the first time somebody has dedicated a song to me! It has a slightly relentless beat, while still climbing over a good few highs and lows along the way. His final song’s more experimental, ‘Found Dead on the Beach’ has mainly spoken word lyrics along with Placeboesque emo guitar. Every beat and note carries weight. The audience is somewhat rapt. There’s a lovely angry indie section, there’s not enough of that these days. Listen again at: http://www.myspace.com/timholehouse

A quick break occurs during which the bar does a roaring trade, several people decide to inhale the fumes of burning plants through small paper tubes in the freezing cold, and i find out how to spell Simon T Munro’s name…

Aaron Lowenberger, Featured Act And we’re back for the featured act who’s going back to New Jersey next week so it’s a good job he’s getting to play a decent sized selection tonight. Aaron Lowenberger plays only instrumentals but he’s given all of them titles especially for tonight, which is most charming I think! Incidentally a huge number of incidental noises happen during Aaron’s set, phones, doors, scraping chairs, if a pub could have belched loudly, it would have! I thought it all added character. Anyway he begins with ‘A Break In The Clouds’, it’s a nice contemplative number, quite airy with a hint of the first breeze of autumn. His second, ‘In a Tranquil Way’ lives up to its name. Some very relaxing progressions in this one, almost like a man contemplating where to go on holiday. He explains that he started with two slow ones to give his fingers time to warm up, then launches into ‘Uneasy Feeling’, it’s a couple of gears faster and it really creates its mood, fairly through composed, like all of these pieces, it carried the listener on an uneasy journey of sorts.

His fourth song, ‘Dancing on the Head of a Pin’  has some fingerpickin’ groovy beats and harmonics. It’s a tune that almost wants to get where it’s going in a hurry, a bit like getting ready for a day out with someone you like. Fifth song (though technically it’s a tune) is ‘Catch Me if You Can’, a fingerpicking monster of a tune, it’s all over the neck! Meanwhile the bass notes conspire to take over the tune. His sixth one, ‘Waiting for You Waiting for Me’ is a happy but mournful folk instrumental which takes us on a little journey through expectations and realities. ‘How many have I got left?’ He asks, ‘hmm, a couple’, glad to hear it! Next tune is ‘Solitude’, another thinking tune with blues swirls and inquisitive dischords. He’s consistently masterful. This tune involves a reach of six frets (from the second to the seventh i think) between his thumb and pinkie! Finally, ‘The Lost Man’s Jig’, it’s a ridiculously difficult looking though composed jig with several parts and recurring themes which has everybody deedle-deedling along under their breath. Still inquisitive, still optimistic, reminds me a little of Bryan Maclean, Aaron played one section of this jig almost entirely on harmonics! I couldn’t find Aaron on the old interweb except for here: http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron_Lowenberger/722967084 {and here (rob)… http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=564726 84 }

Calum Carlyle Next up, it’s me! I’m not going to write my own review but here’s what Rob’s written down about me: Double Decker Bus to Heaven – funk acoustic belter ‘If it’s not one thing it’s your mother’ That Weather Song – bopping little number from Melbourne whether the weather. Blues and jazz informed vox. 3rd – Brave exposed high open line, slow with drones. ‘When i saw you in the evening, rainbows in your hair’ nice open chords. http://www.myspace.com/calumcarlyle or http://www.calumsmusic.netfirms.com/

Jonny Pugh The final act of the second half, its Jonny Pugh, who’s been here once before. He starts with a loud jangly song with a hint of youthful angst. Nice to listen to, it encourages you to emote along. His voice reminds me of Graeme Mearns, which is no bad thing. His second song, ‘Nothing Less, Nothing More’, is in 3/4 time, it has smooth warm chords. ‘You’ve got to sail the rivers to get to the seas’ he sings. Dischords appear exactly where they should. His third song has truly beautiful fingerpicked chords, a bit like Dougie Maclean, it’s an atmospheric post-break-up song. Sweet guitar, bitter singing, there’s real emotion in it. http://www.myspace.com/twocarvedstones

I had to push off in the second interval so Rob’s promised to get someone else to review the third half…..

And I did it myself! (Rob)

Broken Tooth The next act brings an era to a close as the former Electric White Boy becomes Broken Tooth (shocked murmurings from the audience… a woman faints). Opens with his trademark aggressive blues singing, if hell don’t want me, gonna crawl right back to your side.   It sounds like he brought the voice back from hell with him. You don’t deserve a song,   is Tooth’s answer to the girl who dumped him. So he wrote ‘Hold Fast’ for himself, a post-break up self-help of sorts. It’s a sea shanty of a man drowning in sorrow. Evocative, it gains authenticity the more disturbed he gets. ‘Riding on the rails’ has Tooth’s heroes (Led Zep) shining through. It rocks along as he sings I mess with hobos…   Quite. This may or may not be him: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=291593 2

Ross Neilson Hmmm… nice shoes. Sorry, right, music. Ross Neilson opens with broken staccato chords on ‘Far Away Now’. His next, ‘I’ve been waiting’, which is brand new, starts falsetto. I know she’s been watching.   The mid-tempo normality hides a lyrical menace. ‘Halo’ comes with a catchy chorus. This is also hot off the press, apparently. In your minds there’s a halo.   No luck finding this guy on t’internet, sorry.

Angus Coull ‘Caribbean Dance’ is biting and twisted. Love is a disease (like MRSA), and Angus plays the desperate devotion with beautiful deadpan. This melodrama is certainly, as he puts it, better than Bathgate.   By the end, the whole orchestra on his keyboard is joining in. Great. ‘Nothing is going my way’ is a Venus fly trap as a song: vibrant and vicious. As the vitriol builds it all gets quite scary. Finishes his set and the evening with slightly happier song ‘Yes’. Or so he says. It starts like a film soundtrack and talks of giving up a girl to a better man. Quite depressing, actually. Good, though. This should be good start: http://cdbaby.com/cd/coull

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