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OOTB 327 – 15 January 2009

Nyk

Nyk starts off the show with an uncharacteristically soft tune. He promises to plunge us into the deepest abyss then pull us out again with his second, more Stoddart-like tune. I did prefer the second of the two but it was nice to see him showing a bit of range.

Dave

I have to be honest that when Dave first got on stage I wasn’t sure his music would be my cup of tea. However, he pleasantly surprised me. His last minute set was original and well constructed (especially since most of the songs were finished on the train on the way here). He has a great range in his voice, demonstrated by the falsetto at the end. I hope to see more of Dave’s stuff in the future.

Roddy Renfrew

Roddy uses our left handed guitar for his set tonight. His first number is a toe tapping blues number called ‘We have just one chance’ which warmed up the crowd. I love his idea for his next song, which was a spoof country song where the man quits drinking and gets his wife back. Give me this over a country tune any day! He finished on a comedy break-up number called ‘Something must be wrong with my baby’….well obviously!

Paul Hughes

Paul assures us that he doesn’t intend to bring us cheer with his set and will stick to the usual singer-songwriter melancholy. His first two songs ‘Its over’ and ‘I just want to go home’ were true to this. Beautiful songs sung in his sumptuous tone. He apologises for his last song as he doesn’t like it very much……begs the question ‘why play it then?’ But I guess trying out songs is what this night is all about. As it turns out, I really enjoyed his first dabble into reggae. I’m not convinced it was exactly this genre but it had a pleasant beat with a bit of added whistling, which always gets a thumbs up in my books.

Paul Gladwell

As our compere pointed out, Paul is the second in our trilogy of Paul’s this evening and he doesn’t let down the name. I enjoyed his first song but I felt the lyrics were a little cliché for me. I started to feel the same about the second song ‘Great Expectations’, but as he plucked his way through the melody and sung us the love song, it started to come across as really genuine and I warmed to him. He ended his set with a much more dark song with lyrics ‘the end is nigh’……all very serious.

Paul Gilbody

Finally, the end to our exciting trilogy of Paul and our Featured Act for this evening. Paul is a big player here in the Edinburgh music scene but I have only seen him a few times. I think everyone in the room was looking forward to this.

He bravely starts off with a new song, which doesn’t have a title yet. It was kind of a folky acoustic tune and I really enjoyed it. He is clearly a very experienced and accomplished songwriter, as it had everything a good song needs. Perfect start.

Next Paul introduces us to his percussionist for the evening Mac Lamont, who accompanies him on his song ‘Ricochet’. I’m not quite sure what Mac was playing but it looked like a kind of clay vase with a hole in it. Nevertheless, the whole article of Mac’s playing and Paul’s funky beat really gets the crowd going and wanting more. Just to show us how eclectic he is Paul transports us to Asia with his Kashmir Valley-inspired ‘200 miles’. He is backed by Udit Duseja, who adds the perfect touch to this evocative number.

There is no doubt that by now everyone in the audience is very impressed. Yet, not as impressed as I was when Mac pulled out his hang (no, this is not a euphemism for something rude!). The hang is one of my favourite instruments. It looks like two woks stuck together and has the most amazing, haunting sound. This went perfectly with Paul’s song ‘Quicksand’, which was a moody atmospheric song. I love the diversity this guy brings to the show.

Paul definitely brought his entourage tonight and next up is Jane Seawright (Sorry if I spell it wrong) doing backing vocals. This is possibly my favourite song ever! Called ‘She Loves Sushi’, Paul and Jane bop around on stage to lyrics such as ‘The fox with the bento box’. That to me is just genius lyric writing! Topped with Mac on the tambourine, I could have listened to that all night, as long as I had some sushi to go with it!

‘Tell me what I’m missing’ is Paul final song. Its another toe-tapper, which starts off quite similar in style to the sushi song but ended in a crescendo of beat boxing by Paul that begs the question…. ‘Is there anything this guy can’t do?’.

Paul delighted and wowed the crowd from start to finish with his eclectic slot. In fact everyone loved it so much he was forced into an encore, which was great.

Colin

Who else makes their own instruments? Oh that’s right, no one! That means, for me, Colin is already on a higher level. Tonight he played one of his very fine, handmade guitars. His tunes flutter between funny and poignant. I particularly enjoyed the song ‘Remember your Angina’. After a quick trip to the ‘bracing Skegness’ he finishes on ‘Before you go’. He apologises as he feels the lyrics are a bit down-beat. I think he’ll be ok with this since he is playing to a room of singer-songwriters! I enjoyed his set immensely and can’t wait to see what instrument he’ll be playing next time.

Johnny Pugh

I’ve not seen Johnny play in ages so it is a great pleasure to see him tonight. Unfortunately, due to some technical hitches his set wasn’t as smooth as he hoped. But Johnny, ever the professional, kept going throughout, and I really enjoyed his set. His first song ‘Bigger things’ is a great song to start with as its got a great uplifting chorus that set a perfect tone for his set. However, it was his final song Inertia Acoustic that really stole the show. When Johnny gets into the chorus he takes the whole audience with him and silenced the room. Simply Beautiful.

Beggar Girls

The name was a bit misleading tonight as one of the girls was replaced with a boy but we were still treated to a set in true beggar girls fashion. I do enjoy a bit of accordion, mainly because it just looks so mind-blowingly difficult to play. Their sound is undoubtedly very different, especially here amongst singer-songwriters, which made is a refreshing set. Tonight, however I felt that the songs were all quite similar in tone and sound. Perhaps this is just a result of the instrument combination but I would have preferred a bit of variation.

Ross Neilson

With his distinct voice Ross definitely offers something different to the night. I do, however, have an overwhelming urge to offer this man a throat sweet as soon as he comes off stage because it sounds like he’s really stretching his voice with each song. I’m not sure if this is intentional or just his style but it concerns me a little. Unfortunately I feel that this over-shadows his songs a bit. I did nevertheless think his second song showed potential. I also feel he needs to explore the frets a wee bit more to expand his songs.

Bobby Nicolson

Our first (and last) newby of the night.

This end slot tends to be the last one that anyone wants. This is usually due to the fact that people are either leaving or have had a few too many beers to really pay attention. Therefore, you need to be really entertaining to hold people in. This is exactly what he did. With confidence and great stage presence he captivated people into his first song ‘Things to do when nothing’s on the telly’. Comedy wee song with some apt political jibes thrown in. Suddenly the flagging audience was back again. He kept this going with his numbers song and ended with the song ‘its going my way’. Full of energy and a perfect ending.

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One Comment

  1. Comment by Paul Gilbody:

    Thanks for such a lovely review! Just a wee addendum – my percussionist is Mat Clements (not Mac Lamont). (I was probably mumbling..!) Mat’s website is http://www.wherestheone.co.uk

    Thanks again for a great night.
    Paul

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