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OOTB 333 – 10 March 2009

Tonight, a golden night of stars, wishes and other things maybe…With the moon, full up ahead – which seems to glow in the shifting sunset of the evening…

Rob Sproul-Cran
Robbie states that he sees stars…this is a new-old song which he sings in his characteristic high stiletto voice that aims to still the heartbeat of an amazed and expectant audience. “Frost-bitten fingers…sky wrenched asunder” adverbs Rob – which just bounces along – very much like the audience at this point.
No, i don’t know what that meant. This is a review by me remember!

Davy Watson
Sitting on the “elf-seat” surrounded by the stage – Davy deftly plays through one of me fave songs of his – “Black Light” – which is also a great title BTW – with its gloomy shifting minors and majors. He plays this song from a place deep in his heart, and has the audience spellbound.
“Try to comply…shows you blind on your side…ghosts of the past” evokes Davy as he hypnotises the audience. “I love you three” is a song that Davy gave to Spamborksee/Sparrowhawk/Spam originally a while back – and it’s fab to hear the original played by the original (?!) – i think this performance adds extra heart and powerful emotion. “Made up my mind” He sings “I left my heart outside” which he picks with flowing fingers – i hope he
plays more often at OOTB in future, as he is a class act!

Lindsay Sugden
Talking of class, What better way to celebrate a full moon than with a set from Lindsay Sugden – although bereft of the storm for tonight, she pulls out her solo set remixes.
“Promises can fade in the daylight” she sings whilst dancing, spindly chords form around the catchy melody line. This is a piece that has grown over a period of months, and fulfills it’s promise as a fascinating and atmospheric song. “On the wire” is one of her “greatest hits” you know – “Let me see your epiphany…i mean it…” she states, and i for one believe her!
“Time stands still” – Lindsay notices that often “amazing ideas fall on deaf ears” –
and that is while she reflects that “a lifetime away…where a miracle lies” – she sings this with a fragile beauty that evokes fantasies and dreams projected upon the world from a wistful heart.

Broken Tooth
Mr Broken brings out all the hits tonight – there’s no way that i can do justice to the intricate lyrics and varied musical styles this man embraces, so i’ll just witter on about haircuts and other military things…
“Hold fast” is a statement on atheism, and its many subtleties apparently – he bellows that this “ship ain’t sinking yet” whilst fast and slow bits smelt into a rising crescendo of prog. Yes. Prog. As in Prog. Rock. I say it again. Prog.
“Guns in the desert” We sold weapons to Morroco apparently, and he also mentions refugee camps – two reasons Why we should not travel there…propping up their economy and the damaged excuse for reality that is called their government.
“Borderline” an older song where he sings that “There’s no such thing as the devil” “What you know about the devil ?” he wails, along with a great central riff! The Prog blues king rulz! Yeah!

Daniel McGeever – Feature act
“It’s everywhere” Our feature act for tonight is the well respected Daniel McGeever – deceptively simple songs with lyrics like “Should have woke up…a long conversation with a good friend of mine…understanding feelings that are hard to say twice”
In “A visitor from Mars” he is discussing the images on the TV screen – he sees sci-fi through the lens of a real alien !
“On your way” has Davy Watson on harp – a travelling/driving song with the blues twist.
“In my heart” has a slow, sad harp from Davy – it tells of “trying to be myself again” “I don’t want to go home” with its images of New Orleans, Cleveland, Montreal etc. give it a rambling but interesting and kaleidoscopic quality. “What can i do” – “is it too late to change your mind ?” he asks while he weaves this into an intricate pattern including the line “I’ve got a feeling tonight that everythings gonna be alright” Next is a song that segues on from that in “Alright” – which has a bit of comping from the acquired taste that is the “Revolution 1” re-mix thing – something to be heard at any rate. “Felicity Vaughan” – A very pretty but simple love song.
An encore is requested and he plays “Everything’s coming my way…” which has jazzy, melodic chordings. A professional finish to a polished collection of songs – he has everyone glued throughout his entire set. Although not literally, as that might be very unfortunate…

Johnny
A sort of American indie – accoustic number or two. Two songs exactly the same – he states- not quite…there is the start of some interesting ideas here and hopefully he will return again with his spangly haircut and decisive chops as he obviously makes a strong impression on the audience. I must mention the hair again. “Fantastic, where DOES he get his hair done ?” says someone in the audience.

Calum Haddow
Eccentricity. Electricity. in human form. in the shape of a bat stapled to a leopard. In “Tetsio/Tesaro/Tesco” he sings that it “rains so hard the aeroplanes fell from the sky in giant drops”. class. “No name” because he didn’t want to offend Mr. Radiohead by its original title “Wolf at the door”. my fault for telling him. duh! he casually mentions that “All of my tendons torn…” and that something is “screaming at me in wolf”. Geniusmad.
“First Aid” Never has a song had such an apt title. It’s a bruised, jaunty, singalong, merciless mother of a song. Leadership training for overactive toddlers.
And that was Calum Haddow. Madness in a bottle – stapled to a gazelle.

Johnny Pugh takes over the reviewing reigns as Nyk Stoddart plugs in “Black Beauty”. Neigh!
“Indefatigable” says Rob Sproul-Cran “Gimp boy” a smile ripples across the audiences collective face as Nyk launches into his firm favourite.
Instantly recognisable from the catchy riff. Few people could say the words “Gimp Boy” to a roomful of people and still be considered something of a genius. Nyk is one of them.
“I dreamed my life away…” Psychedelic sounding intro. with chords sliding about the fretboard. This is one of Nyk’s “serious” songs (you can tell because he’s taken his Russian hat off) and it offers an effective contrast to his first song. One of the darkest I’ve heard from Nyk as he sings “I dreamed my life away”. “Bad Blues” – Davy Watson adds a real authenticity to this blues number. Underlies the vocal really well. What’s this ? Broken Tooth on the bongoes ?! A positive plethora of blues talent on show !

Thanks Johnny…(the tenners in the post BTW!) and now back to er…me…again…

Cameron
Cameron strides onto the stage, he very quickly shows that he has a good voice with an effective range. In “Won’t you save me ?” he sings plaintively of the possibility of rescue. “Try to stop” Has floating chord sequences with strumming on alternate beats. “Inside my mind” Is a more introverted tale, with his voice rising over lyrics that tell of many a night of dark introspection.

Rosscoe Galloway

Rossco Galloway and Friends 21 April 2009

Rossco Galloway and Friends 21 April 2009

Rosscoe hasn’t been to OOTB for a while…and it’s great to hear him back. An oak-seasoned pro just back from the alternate olympics, he begins with “Into the light” which shows his solid songwriter abilities. “Get Free” is a very catchy song – one of my faves – with interesting lyrics mentioning the Galapolas islands of all things – a signature song for him. Rosscoe is a songwriter and performer that writes from the heart and conveys many different meanings each time i hear him. To finish, Rosscoe does a Tica Douglas cover “Home from Home” with extra grunge – great to hear another version of this amazing song – a bittersweet finish to the night as Tica Douglas herself is now back over the pond in the U.S. – and Rosscoe does her song proud – capturing her almost-but-not-quite hip hop mellowness and mixing it in with his unique steadfast folkiness.

Now the stars go out, one by one – to the noise and the traffic of the Edinburgh streets – their paths which were entwined become difuse again, while the moon looks sagely on – as it has for a very long time – do i detect a smile from the face on the moon, between those craters and loose rocks ?

review by Nyk Stoddart

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