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Out of the Bedroom 653 review – Thursday 21 September 2017

Back after almost two months, I think we at OOTB were a bit worried that people had forgotten about us. Thankfully that was not the case and we had one of OOTB’s most eclectic line ups ever. Peach was the excellent host for the evening and Jack Blimey was the sound desk guru.

Small Feet Little Toes OOTB 653Peach kicked off the evening as Small Feet Little Toes with some sparkling silver shoes to contain those feet. ‘Helium Heart’ showcased her unique style – beautifully crafted acoustica combined with a complex, barely-discernible lyric and a vocal which soars and dives like a mighty eagle. An impressive mouth trumpet during the instrumental break. ‘Tales of Blue’ was a song about addiction, featuring some very impressive guitar picking. This was intense – you could feel the addict’s acute pain. SFLT finished with a new song, currently without a title, which was a slower, hypnotic number. This will appear on her new album to be recorded in early 2018. Watch out for that!

Three Point Compass OOTB 653Next up, making their OOTB debut, was duo Three Point Compass. Well-known at other events around Edinburgh (such as Pressure Valve), Scott and Katie played a tremendous set. ‘On the Run’ was a confident, driving pop song reminiscent of the best of Amy Macdonald. Katie’s endearingly smoky voice was controlled and powerful. ‘Find the Dawn’ was a social commentary, with inspirational lyrics such as “live long/be strong/fight on/find the dawn” that could have been penned by Bob Marley. ‘Same Old’ was a great tune with a fine combination of strident guitar and ballsy, soulful vocal. Hopefully this young, promising duo will be back at OOTB soon.

Startled Bee OOTB 653The artist formerly known as Matt Elton has now metamorphosed into Startled Bee and he seems to have drawn power from this new persona as this was his best OOTB performance yet. A love song ‘Rain’ was a sweet song sung passionately and confidently: “it’s the little things she does/ the little things she says to me”. ‘Baby Bee’, like ‘Rain’ co-written with his friend Phil, had Mr. Bee hitting some high notes with neat guitar playing in the solo. ‘In the Future’ was another love song (“you are who I need in the future”) and exhibited his powerful vocal range. This startled bee is flying high!

Sam Pocker and Gemma OOTB 653Los Angeles-based Sam Pocker made a storming debut. Sam invited audience member Gemma up on stage to sing “ooh-ooh”s in his song ‘Weekends With You’ about spending time with a girlfriend and taking pictures and uploading them to Instagram. The video on YouTube is worth watching. For ‘Party All Night’, Sam stepped into the back corner of the room and played acoustically, asking the audience to shine lights on him from their mobile phones or the pub’s tealights. We sang along and this was a bit of light fun for the evening.

Tau Boo OOTB 653Tau Boo changed the mood to something more introspective with the dark and brooding ‘Reverie’. The repeated strumming pattern and vocal almost like a monk chant provided a dramatic build-up of tension drawing the audience into an inner world of mystery. It would be interesting to hear this song with a full band arrangement. The more up-tempo ‘Levitator’ used the full width of the fretboard and made me think of a sound like Paul Robeson singing with shoegazing band Slowdive. Very much the yin to Sam’s yang, Tau Boo proved variety is the spice of life.

Tina Avery OOTB 653Last on before the break was the lovely Tina Louise Avery starting with ‘Dance Til The Edge of Time’. This was a delightful, uplifting song about living and loving in the moment and enjoying the simple, primal pleasure that is dancing. ‘Memo to Youth’ was addressed to her budding rock star nephew and was a poignant tribute. A joyful performance from OOTB’s next feature act on 5th October.

Jack Blimey OOTB 653Jack Blimey started with a new song called ‘Get Lost’ which wasn’t an instruction to the audience but was about his “legendary map reading skills”. Like a mid-60s Dylan, but less druggy, this was a deeply poetic, symbolic and self-deprecating lyric typical of Jack’s oeuvre and up with his usual high standard. The dark, bleakly-comic ‘Demolition Street’ had its gothic-ness intensified by Jack’s black clothes. The incessant staccato guitar playing and angelic voice is an intoxicating combination. I look forward to hearing more new material from Jack!

Beth Myers OOTB 653Final debut of the evening came from Beth Myers who was “a bit nervous” on her debut but there was no need as she was amazing. ‘Haunted House’ used Beth’s stunning, soulful voice magnificently and the sound enveloped me so much I imagined that I was right there in that house! Very affecting. ‘Shipwreck’ had another quite eerie and powerful image which kept that haunting feeling going. There were some pauses on the guitar but that voice and the overall sound were wonderful. Beth, please come back to play at OOTB again!

Majk Stokes OOTB 653Majk Stokes has carved himself a musical niche that is undoubtedly original with comedy songs of the intellect. An example was his new song ‘Testify’ which was about how men in ancient Rome would hold their testicles when orating so that you would know they were telling the truth. This is apparently the same as baboons! The catchy refrain was “Testify/hold on to your balls”. ‘Bubonic’ was a parody of Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’. You would have to come along to OOTB to hear the lyric as I didn’t make any notes as I was laughing too much! Suffice to say, “bubonic” and “mnemonic” were used to profound effect. Majk will be our feature act in the coming weeks.

Natalie Docherty-Gibson OOTB 653Natalie Docherty-Gibson had not played at OOTB since the early Waverley Bar days and it was very nice to have her back and sounding better than ever. ‘Victim’ was written for an ex-boyfriend who “played the part of a victim”. Natalie sung the line about being happy to be the “mistress of your heart” with a mischievous glint in her bright blue eyes! Natalie’s splendid voice was also evident in ‘The Colour of Your Heart’, her “Andy Williams song” but a more caustic lyric than Andy was known for singing as this was a powerful lyric about a man with a black heart who treated his ex-partner like dirt. Sending out a message of bad karma with a smile on her face was quite disconcerting. Loved this and I hope Natalie comes back soon – certainly sooner than the 10-15 years since the last performance!

The Old Town Rambler OOTB 653Last up was the feature act and former accordionist The Old Town Rambler. He quoted Oscar Wilde saying his definition of a gentleman was “someone who could play the accordion but chooses not to”. The ‘Rambler’s choice of instruments this evening were guitar and harmonica, both of which he played with consummate ease. ‘Wildfire’ was a strong opening song with some neat harmonica playing, immaculate guitar playing and a soothing vocal. ‘Travelling On’ was TOTR’s attempt at a “West coast of Scotland guy trying to be Woody Guthrie” and doing it well. ‘While There’s Daylight Left’, a sad song about living for the moment after your parents have died, was classic songwriting with great lyrics. His “Jimmie Rodgers train song”, ‘My Heart Is on The Train’, was about wanderlust but we were denied the yodelling Mr. Rodgers was famous for. More yodelling next time, Mr. ‘Rambler? The Old Town Rambler with harmonica OOTB 653A couple of drinking songs, ‘Punch Drunk’ and ‘Drowning Sorrow Blues’, took us mentally to a Wild West saloon, without the gunfire but possibly with the loose women. I’d like to think the ‘Rambler has been wild in his youth… ‘Lost It All ‘Cept The Blues’ kept the melancholy, bluesy feel while the mood flipped with ‘Not My Problem Anymore’ – a ragtime celebratory number about splitting with his “baby”. The OTR finished with the ultra-romantic ‘If I Had My Time Again’ was a glorious love song about being so happy with his partner that he would relive his life exactly the same if he has a second chance. A very enjoyable experience.

See you next time at OOTB 654 with loads of great originals, including feature act Tina Louise Avery.

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