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OOTB 297 – 17 April 2008

OOTB 297 – 17 April 2008

Michael Dunnigan, Colin Milne, Broken Tooth, Kat Healy (Main Act), Nyk, Ross Neilson, Julien, Stephen Harrison, Angus Wallace.

Michael Dunnigan This was Michael’s 3rd and final time at OOTB as he has to return to London. Well, at least until his brother has another baby! What a great final slot! We were treated to a monarchy in music – starting with ‘The Queen of Sheeba’ then ‘The King is Dead’. This was a song about the late John Peel and I’m certain the legend would have approved. He ended on an apt Scottish ballad about the beauty of West Lothian. What a challenge to set oneself! However, Michael rose and produced a great wee song about Binnie Craig. You will be missed. See you next time you’re up.

Colin Milne Even before Colin starts I’m instantly intrigued by his instrument he has with him. I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to music (I’m happy to admit that) and I just thought it was a mandolin. I was soon put right when I was told that it is if fact a glute and it’s the only one in existence as Colin made the thing himself! I’m very impressed. His set was equally impressive. Great melodies paired with cracking lyrics. I particularly enjoyed the one about the lassies. I didn’t actually catch any of the names but I smiled throughout. I also liked the way he didn’t use the mic. I felt it added intimacy to the room.

Broken Tooth Tonight, apparently, he had been asked to ‘just go for it’. Not quite sure what that means but I presume we’re in for an intense 15 mins. He started with ‘Sing my Funeral’. His gravely voice has a rocky feel to it and his guitar playing also has quite a hard rock influence. Both first and second songs had quite a frantic feel to them with some very fast finger work. It showed off his talent well, but I can’t help thinking it was a bit fiddly (possibly just personal taste). He ended on a slow song called ‘Dust Around the Sun’ which I felt was a bit clichéd in the lyrics. Overall I enjoyed the set but I would have liked to get a little more emotion from the lyrics.

Kat Healy (Main Act)- Kat has a very warm and unpretentious air on stage which endears and engages the audience right from the start. Oh and she has a great name too. So I like her already….. Once she starts playing the room is instantly mesmerised by her beautiful and powerful voice. A once bustling and talkative room is turned to silence, captivated. She sings with a great mixture of high notes and full voice. I could maybe have done with a little bit more definition on the words as I couldn’t always make out what she was saying. However, I did really enjoy the song about being and tart and pulling a famous person (I’m so intrigued about who it is). As Kat sang the lyrics to this sultry song Hold me   I could sense every man in the room wanting to run up on stage! Next was a song called ‘Breakdown’. Is this perhaps because the famous guy didn’t call? Whatever it was, just by the tone of her voice I could sense some real emotion. I do love that in a song. Seamlessly, she moved to a man hating song called ‘Frozen Smile’. Am I sensing a theme here? This was quite a dark song but again I found it difficult to make out the words. Kat ended on an old song which she was asked to sing randomly when she was in Australia called Sweet November. With the lyrics ‘Marry me’ sung so softly I can guarantee most of us probably would. What a perfect end. Thanks a lot for coming and please come back.

Nyk With a ‘Y’. Sorry I got that wrong last time. Slightly disappointing start when Nyk announced he would not be taking his shirt off for the set. Gutted, but I’m sure we’ll survive! As usual we were in for a real treat with Nyk. I enjoy when he just lets rip on the guitar which he did in his second song ‘Out of the Fire, into the Rain’. This also had quite a bluesy feel to it which I liked a lot. For his final song he asked Broken Tooth to join him on stage. I’m not quite sure what happened next but it involved a pine cone and green monkeys. Interesting to say the least! Thanks Nyk. Never a dull set.

Ross Neilson Ross informs us that his set is going to be a bit bruised and battered tonight. That’s ok, we like that, and after all that’s what ootb is all about. His first song is called ‘Halo’ where he shows that he has quite a good vocal range. I like this song and think the chorus is quite catchy. I did feel that his voice went a little scratchy on some of the high notes though. When you write lyrics like ‘Bitterness and pain is all I see’ I can see what he meant about it being bruised and battered. I hope that’s not coming from personal experience! I don’t think he told us the names of the songs but I enjoyed the set.

Julien in 2004

Julien in 2004

Julien Julien’s French accent instantly makes me want to like him. I know its shallow but oh well at least I’m honest! He is our one and only squashee this evening. His song is dark, interesting and quite refreshing. I can’t make out many of the lyrics (possibly the accent again) but he hits the high notes with a touch of Thom York. Great. Don’t leave it so long next time.

Stephen Harrison Stephen brings to the stage the first electric guitar of the evening and starts with his song ‘Sad and Blue’. His low sultry voice brought this song to life. Next a small plug for one of his albums ‘Chips for Supper’. I do love that title. His second song was quite lovely with lyrics ‘I believe I found you innocent’. I thought this was beautiful, poignant and quite heartfelt. After another plug for his old album ‘Faded Colours’ Stephen finished with his song called ‘Tomorrow’. This lacked a little in focus but I still enjoyed it. Good set, I liked the tone of Stephen’s voice.

Angus Wallace Ironically the act with the most Scottish sounding name is actually Australian. Angus has a funky, plucky way of playing that I liked and a voice to match. We were treated to a full range of songs from politics to his home country. I’m not sure anyone really ‘got’ the one about unions, or maybe it was just over my head! He ended with a kind of retort to Michael’s Scottish song earlier. With his song about Oz, Angus was pretty convincing about its beauty. Maybe we should all go and do a special OOTB from there! Great ending.

Sound: David O’Hara, Compere: Darren Thornberry, Review: Cat Douglas

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