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OOTB 402 – 22 July 2010

When I arrived, this week’s Out Of The Bedroom (OOTB) was already in full swing. I arrived in time to see the compère, musically known as Broken Tooth, play a filler song in his dark, blues-rock style. It was a strong performance, with big chords and big vocals, and broke me nicely in to the night.

The compère finished playing and introduced the featured act of the evening, a man of many names, tonight playing as Jason Kyrone. I must admit that the first song I heard reminded me initially of Coldplay, but I was soon proven very wrong indeed. The emotions in Kyrone’s songs are much more profound. He introduces his second song with a story: “This is about a famous tramp on Leith Walk, called Arthur.” The song is upbeat and the fast strumming creates a strange positivity. He sings of “A little black book of inexplicable plans”, a beautiful lyric. His next piece, “The Tickle Monster” is about the lies that parents tell their children to get them to behave. The lyrics are humorous but the arpeggio guitar makes the song incredibly heartfelt. “Compatibility” was his next piece, and I noticed how his strong Scots accent, used when introducing the tracks, was only noticeable in parts of the song. It helps make the overall tone very reflective and soulful. He has a great vocal range, with wails easily traversing high to low. The penultimate track was introduced as “A story about a one dollar bill.” He mentions the sentimental value of the piece, and the gentle plucking reflects this. “I made it into a plane and flew it instead”, he sings, a great metaphor for freedom. His last song, simply called “More to Us”, rounded of the set and left me in no doubt that this man is an accomplished performer, who could hold his own on a much bigger stage.

Steve was next on stage, and told us that the three songs he would play were all new, never before played outside of his house. That being what the evening is all about, the audience were immediately engaged. He apologised in advance for any mistakes, though it soon became apparent he need not have bothered. His first song, laid some calm, mournful lyrics against a strong bass-strum style, and instantly established his ability with an acoustic guitar. His second piece was faster-paced and more hopeful. Clean chord changes were indicative of a simple yet powerful song, and the steady rhythm carried the lyrics. Freedom is one of my favourite themes in a song, indeed one my own writing centres around, and this tracks lives up to all my expectations. A nice flourishing solo at the end concluded the track. His final song was slower again, with feelings of being oppressed and strong metaphors about love or marriage. There was some intricate guitar work again in the bridge, which was very impressive.

Following this performance was Nick Splinter Smith, who came on stage with an acoustic guitar and a mouth harp – not something we see very often. As a big Dylan fan I was instantly captivated, and Nick did not disappoint. His first song, “Brotherman” was a bluesy piece that used both instruments to great effect, contrasting the tune to his dark, husky vocals. The song was very powerful and sounded classic, but maybe with a slightly modern edge to some of the chord progressions. His second piece, called “Patience has left the building” is from a book of songs titled “Living in Skyland”. It was a much more mournful piece, with some great minor chords and a strong rhythm. The strumming was mixed with some tricky picking that gave the song a great texture, as he played backwards and forwards across the sound-hole, fading the sound. His final piece was “about how the prohibition of certain substances has made a small number of people very rich.” Again the guitar was solid throughout the track, and supported a heartfelt rant about the way things used to be and perhaps should be.

Hannah O'Reilly at OOTB 402

Hannah O'Reilly at OOTB 402

We were then treated to a track by Hannah O’Reilly called “Kill the man”. Her big voice was at once very popular and very West-End. The track sounded like it had come from an acoustic version of “Chicago”. She had an incredible control of her voice, from deep and dark to high and loud, with an incredible vibrato.

Paper Truth was next and I was glad to see him back from last week. His first song “I have to wonder” came up against a very loud bar, but he was not perturbed and played through it, beating the crowd into submission. He mentioned a new song available on his myspace: www.myspace.com/papertruth, which is well worth a listen. Introducing his second piece he asks us to “Not imagine the usual guitar solo, but imagine a keyboard solo.” He is once again very comfortable performing in front of an audience. The song appears to be about a struggle, the fast guitar emphasising a chase or toil. The chorus of “Get down” really rings true. His last piece again makes the most of his deep voice to produce strong vocals for the potent lyrics. The racing guitar manages to stay under control and the upbeat nature of his set means its over before you expect. I could certainly listen to more of this chap.

Joe at OOTB 402

Joe at OOTB 402

The penultimate act was Joe, accompanied by his friend John. The first track utilised a mic-ed up nylon acoustic guitar, a change from the standard electro-acoustics, producing a gentler tone. The lyrics were very humorous, but we must question the fact that John was reading them from a sheet. The audience seemed happy to laugh along. The second piece was similarly unprepared  but the performers were friendly and the crowd seemed willing to forgive. Their last piece started with some walking guitar on an electro-acoustic followed by a flutter from the other guitar, as they read the statement, “This is not generic”. The rhyming was hilarious and the room laughed aloud as they sang: “I ordered a drink to do some drinking. I think I had to do some thinking…I like this link ’cause I like linking.”

It was left to Felicity to close the evening as she had done last week, and there’s no-one I would rather have do it. She played the same set, but this time she had a male vocalist with her. The first song again reminded me of Martha Tilston, but Felicity was much more relaxed this week and her own unique style shone through. The plucking in the track was beautiful and the harmony of the voices was just right. Her second piece seems to be about the confusion of love and trying to unlock its secrets. The guitar work has some fantastic, folky sounds and the dual-tone of the voices is very emotive. The line: “Suzie says she loves you, and I can only love you to” is very powerful. As a solo performer Felicity’s style can certainly hold its own. This week’s set was just as good, the two-voices creating a very different sound. The final song of the night contained a strangely hopeful, fast-paced guitar line, betrayed by the haunting lyric: “We can never be together”.  The two singers overlapped lines of the chorus, to create a final, moving end.

The compère closed, thanking both the artists and the audience. “It takes us up here and you down there, to make a night.” And another brilliant night it was.

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