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OOTB 407 – 18th Jan 2011

One of the things we used to do at OOTB was to provide a review of every performance. This was done on a voluntary basis, and a year or two a go, the volunteers dried up, so we haven’t had reviews for some time. To celebrate the return of OOTB, however, i got out my pen and wrote reviews of each of the twenty two performers who got up to play at OOTB 407 on Tuesday night. Also included here are some nice photos by Malcolm Mclean and a couple of not quite so great ones by me. Click on the images to see full size versions and click the performer’s names for more info.


Nick Splinter Smith

Nick Splinter Smith

OOTB’s first performer of 2011, Nick swaggers up to the stage and confidently starts his first number “Easy To Please”, a sparkling tune with a catchy beat. “See what difference an inch makes” he quips as he adjusts his guitar strap. His second, “High Definition Man”, is another psychedelic folk classic, remeniscent of a more modern, musical Bob Dylan. Nick’s been doing a lot of playing, writing and recording recently and it shows through in his performance.


Jackie

Jackie

Jackie has a lovely clear and strong singing voice and she can certainly reach the high notes! She plays quite a simple accompaniment on the guitar, but the quality of the song shines through. I’d love to hear this material performed by a duo, with a few twiddly bits and some harmonies. Her second, “It’s A Hard Road”, has a different sort of rhythm but still shows off her voice to great effect. One to watch.


Dan Gillan

Dan Gillan

Another powerful voice steps up. Dan’s songs are quite rich. I find they get into your brain with repeated hearings. His first, “Impatient Soul”, is powerful and catchy. I want to say he sounds like David Gray, but somehow that wouldn’t be fair. He finishes with “What Have You Done”, one of his more memorable songs. A spirited performance with some lovely guitar work and soaring vocals. Nice work. Cameron says Dan’s like “good Dave Matthews” which is probably closer than what i said!


“Someone should be taking
a photo of that Colin Milne,
don’t you think?”

Colin Milne

His instrument plugs in! That’s new! Colin makes his own instruments and tonight he’s brought a nylon stringed beauty (possibly his trademark “glute”). A unique performer and songwriter, he begins with a lovely folk song, though i think our amplification puts him off a bit, and he summarily unplugs in protest halfway through his first number (causing instant technical consternation!), and still holds the audience’s attention. Malcolm almost convinces him to plug in again for song two but i think i agree that Colin simply comes across better unplugged, and i haven’t even touched on his clever, and daring, songwriting. Anyway, Colin’s our featured act at OOTB 416 on 22nd of March so come along and hear him for yourself. Also, my apologies to Colin, he’s the only performer we didn’t get a photo of.


Ben

Ben

He’s an OOTB debutante with some good self penned folk songs. He’s a little nervous i think, but once he gets up to the high notes his voice has definitely got what it takes. His second, “Cruel World”, takes on a slightly jazzier tone, the sort of song that’s catchy enough that you think it’s a cover even though you can hear it’s not. I like the way he pauses for effect before each chorus on this song.


Tina

Tina

“I hear she’s fantastic” Cameron says by way of introduction. I think Tina’s another OOTB debutante. Her first song, “All The Ghosts”, is an interesting song, and she plays a nice haunting guitar accompaniment. But i thought this song would suit a quieter environment, Tina seems a little like she’s fighting to be heard, though this didn’t stop me enjoying her songs. “Travel Writing” is a bit more upbeat and captivating, though still with a slightly “fighting against the background noise” feel.


Nicky Carder

Nicky Carder

Introduced as “the wonderful Nicky”, Nicky Carder does one of her newest songs, as yet untitled, powerful as always, she does a great solo performance, though she’s obviously not too happy herself as she apologises mid song. Excellent song, i thought, can’t wait till it finds its way into Neoviolet’s live repertoire.


Julien Pearly

Julien Pearly

Julien takes a quick break from filming the entire evening to do one song, “A Man And A Dove”. “It’s in French”, he tells us. A very unusual accompaniment for sure. Instantly interesting. His voice, guitar and songwriting are all quite unusual and attention grabbing. He finally switches from English to French in the second verse.


Atomic Pigeon

Atomic Pigeon

Cameron Robinson’s new band debuted last week at Edinburgh Unplugged as a four piece band, today they appear as a trio. They’ve got some cracking songs and they’ve really worked them out well for the band, and i’m a sucker for anything with a ‘cello in it. Having said that they’ve got really good songs and i hope we hear more of them very soon. Speaking of which, Atomic Pigeon are our featured act at OOTB 415 on 15th March so don’t miss that.


Sir Tom Watton

Sir Tom Watton

Tom starts off with some casual syncopated drop D harmonicky fingerpicking and gives us a lovely sparkly song that i don’t think i’d heard before. Tom’s become such a friendly and familiar face at the Listening Room and McEwans Ale House open mics that it’s hard to remember that he’s another OOTB debutante. Tom sort of bends the no covers rule for his second song and does the traditional folk song “Matty Groves” (you can hear a version of this song by Tom and Broken Tooth on youtube, from a recent Listening Room performance). He certainly makes the song his own, anyway, it goes from subtle pleasure all the way to screaming pain. Although tonight’s is a more subdued version than usual, i think i prefer the song this way.


Sarah and Sarah

Sarah and Sarah

More OOTB debutantes! They’re a keyboard and violin duo, who are two members of a band called Luz Da Lua. I didn’t catch the name when they said it onstage, i’d say it’s definitely important to say your band name clearly on stage. Really interesting songs though, Sarah has a great voice, and Sarah starts off by playing low accompanying notes on the violin and then stands up to join Sarah on the keyboard for the rest of the song! Definitely original. Their second, “Stormy Weather”, has a very pensive feel, very rich. Nicely different from their first song, and it’s lovely to hear the violin and keyboard together, creating a lovely layered effect. Ones to watch for sure.


Stephen Harrison

Stephen Harrison

What a lovely sparkly sound he makes! His first song, “Nobody There”, reminded me of “I Know My Babe” by John Renbourn from his second album. A bit like Ralph McTell doing a Richard Thomson song, or maybe the other way round. His second song was equally lovely and emotive. Stephen’s a very good fingerstyle guitarost and he knows how to use what he’s got.


Northern Poetry

Northern Poetry

She’s another OOTB debutante, i think, with a nylon string guitar and a couple of very catchy and listenable songs. Her first song sounded a bit low for her voice actually, a capo could be the extra 10% the song needs, possibly. Her second was an incredible acoustic rap number. Must be heard to be believed. Try and hear her performing live soon if you can.


Flick

Flick

This is maybe the second time i’ve heard Flick performing solo (the first being at OOTB 400 i think, though my memory is often wildly inaccurate). She’s got some great songs and a lovely voice, though it’s not a voice that cuts through the hubbub too well. Nevertheless she does a great job tonight and i really enjoyed both her songs. I’m not sure if Flick’s got any gigs coming up or anything, but if she does, they’ll be worth going to, especially if they are of the the sit-down-and-listen variety.


The Weather Underground

The Weather Underground

2011 is the year of artistic endeavour and the Sun, so i’m told. Something of this rejuvenated energy finds its way into The Weather Underground’s set tonight, and his social commentary songs seem somehow more optimistic than usual. Anyway he’s full of beans tonight and it shows.


Hannah Werdmuller

Hannah Werdmuller

It’s great to hear her being this spiky (for her first song anyway), she’s got a stunning voice and a charismatic stature, she starts with her ear catching murder ballad “Canny Man”, rapidly becoming my favourite murder ballad! Her second is a lot more introspective, totally different but still very skilful. For an acoustic performer, she’s electric! I got a copy of Hannah Werdmuller’s new CD album “Pre-Apocalyptic Love Song” last week at Edinburgh Unplugged and i’ve spun it two or three times since and thoroughly enjoyed it. Go and get yourself a copy, before they sell out.


Andy

Andy

He’s got a strong voice, a relaxed guitar style and bouncy songs. Maybe this is sacreligious but his voice reminds me of Leo Sayer (but in a good way!). He’s really interesting both to watch and to listen to as well. He retunes for his second number and treats us to some bluesy John-Renbournesque guitar. I don’t think Andy’s been to OOTB before but i certainly hope he comes along again.


Owen

Owen

Smooth voice, smooth guitar style, a little jazzy, more like intelligent acoustic pop actually. It’d be really nice if more performers gave their full name. Now i know that i like Owen’s music, there’s no chance i’ll be able to find more of it by googling his name. Both his songs are really interesting and i hope he comes back. Daniel commented to me “he should have been on earlier when all the student girls were here”


Calum Carlyle

Calum Carlyle

(reviewed by Steve Osborne, because i could hardly justify writing a review of myself!)

‘Octopus Man’, because Nyk said so, and ‘He Turned Up’ because Dave said so. A vigorous presentation of his perennial favourite “Glad Rags” and very impressive at that. Even the ‘mistakes’ sounded good. Could knock the spots off an elephant. A killer rendition (with a fancy ending). “Something Worthwhile” followed, and it certainly was, Calum makes playing something so complex sound easy to do. One of the best renditions i’ve heard him play.


Nyk Stoddart

Nyk Stoddart

Nyk treats us to a melange of unusual notes and chords, it’s like moving up and down the dial of a comedy acoustic radio. Finally the dial settles on “Bad Blues”, a Nyk Stoddart classic and a very good rendition it was tonight too. It seems the new year/new venue has kickstarted quite a few of tonight’s performers and Nyk’s no exception.


Jamie

Jamie

He does one song, “Strategic Lady”, almost an acoustic rock number. Interesting timing, and quite inyaface lyrics. I quite liked the chorus, but i wonder if the song might really be looking for a band to do it justice.


Caro Bridges
and the River

Caro Bridges and the River

Very interesting to hear them all plugged in and with Tom playing an electric bass guitar rather than a double bass. Very captivating. Caroline’s voice was a tiny bit lost in the mix but her band are really good, so it didn’t matter too much, and incidentally they’ve got enough hair between them for almost another band which is always a good sign i think. These guys are playing an acoustic gig on Saturday which i’m really looking forward to (but by the time the OOTB email comes out it’ll be past, so tough luck. Or not, if you were there!) Usual set finisher “Cardboard Boxes” is tight and impressive as usual. It’s well worth hearing this band when you get the chance. Caro Bridges does have a CD as well, which i do suggest you get a copy of, but i hope there’s a full band CD coming from these guys sometime in the near future too.

Compere: Cameron Robinson, Sound: Malcolm Mclean, Review: Calum Carlyle


That’s it! A fully successful OOTB relaunch. I’m not going to be writing a review every week, by any stretch of the imagination, but i may do one every now and again. However, if you the people would like to see more reviews, there’s nothing to stop you reviewing a night yourself. You can see roughly what’s involved from my review above. Basically, make sure every performer gets a few sentences said about them, you don’t have to review every single song, and one very important point, send the review to: reviews@outofthebedroom.co.uk by the Saturday following the night you have reviewed. If you send it in late, you’ve simply wasted your own time, because it’ll be too late to put in the Out of the Bedroom weekly email. Because we’re not doing reviews on a rota basis it might also make sense to try and make sure there’s not someone else reviewing on the same night as you too (or split the review between you if there is). Anyway, till next time…..

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One Comment

  1. Comment by jeff jeffrey:

    Well done, Calum. Great reporting and reviews.

    See You soon,

    Jeff and Mike (“Still Alive!”)

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