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Out of the Bedroom 669 review – Thursday 17th May 2018

Running order: Majk Stokes, Ben Inglis, Nyk Stoddart, Ewan Stein, James Igoe, feature act: The Trailer Park Saints.

Host for the evening Majk Stokes opened the evening with a gangster rap song that he tried out at Out if the Bedroom recently. More polished now, Majk’s rap celebrated his love of Yorkshire managing to rhyme “Yorkshire” with “Porsche” which was possibly a world-first! ‘Your Days Are Numbered’ was a birthday song (!) influenced by local act Jim Bryce’s birthday song and Monty Python’s ‘Galaxy Song’ – most amusing. Majk closed his set with ‘We Need The Bees’ about the current and impending environmental crisis. “Where can a bear shit when there aren’t any woods?” was a sample of the honesty and humour inherent in Majk’s very fine repertoire.

The first, and only, debut performance on a very sunny, and strangely quiet, OOTB evening came from Ben Inglis. ‘Believe In Me’ showed an appreciation of classic songwriting with a nod to the mid 90’s “Britpop” era. This anthemic number was about believing in himself and making a change – always a brave thing to do in conservative Britain. Rocker ‘Long Way Down’ was an example of honest songwriting sung in Ben’s strong Scottish accent. The passion and simplicity showed that he has the potential to appeal to a large, mainstream audience. ‘Keep On Rolling’ was another positive song about moving forward and not looking back in anger. Ben is one to watch and will hopefully be back soon.

Long time OOTB favourite Nyk Stoddart made his first appearance of 2018. Starting with ‘Driftwood’, Nyk displayed some exquisite guitar fretwork which was both jazzy and reflective and mirrored the melancholy and ache in Nyk’s vocal and lyric. ‘Milking It’ had no intro and was one of the shortest songs played at OOTB coming in well under two minutes. The (very brief) lyric showed Nyk’s humour, “I’m milking it, can’t you tell”! Nyk’s final song was another short one, ‘The Man with X-ray Eyes’ and the guitar had some impressive dynamics leading to a very full and rich sound. A memorable chorus, almost flamenco such was the speed of Nyk’s playing. A unique and precious talent.

After the break we had the return of recent feature act Ewan Stein. ‘Bleed’ was a cryptic tale of a relationship where “[his] touch leaves you bleed” which I’m assuming it’s metaphorical as Ewan is not Edward Scissorhands. A strong chorus which included the word “sun” which was weather-appropriate. ‘See You’ was atmospheric, sample lyric: “a souvenir of where we were”, which looked back on where he’d been and never been. Beautiful guitar playing, nice riffing and quite hypnotic. Last song (‘Come Again’?) was sweeping, epic and slightly discordant, reminding me of Jeff Buckley. It was very nice indeed to have Ewan back.

Last act before the feature was me, James Igoe. I played a triptych of songs which were linked only by dint of having a name in the title and being written by me. ‘Inga’s Eyes’ is about the grass growing greener on the other side and temptation in general. ‘Dylan’s Tonsils’ is either a wry take on a child’s tonsils being removed or a nod to a certain ‘60s folk-rock superstar. You decide! Finally, an older song from my canon which occasionally sees the light of day, ‘Judas’. An intense tale of lost love when I was much younger, this uses ye olde biblical imagery to overlap into the modern world of the mid ‘90s. I don’t feel that way anymore but isn’t it strange how playing an old song can transport you back in time?

Ending the evening were our feature act – Lithuanian duo The Trailer Park Saints. The first song was called ‘Never Coming Back’, I think (singer/guitarist Jonas kept the song titles close to his chest). Jonas’s plaintive vocal was accompanied by some stunning guitar playing from lead guitarist Paulius reminiscent of Bach’s ‘Toccata’. The overall sound made me think of peak Radiohead. The next song was epic piece of post-rock magnificence, featuring a blistering guitar solo from Paulius. ‘Firefly’ was dedicated to Jonas’s friend Francesca, who was in the audience.Paulius played guitar on this as if the song were from a 1960s science fiction TV programme or an episode of the Clangers, alternating with some classic slide guitar. ‘The Sea’ was a mellow, watery piece with atmospheric rippling sound effects from Paulius who also threw an amazing distorted guitar solo into the mix. Jonas sung this brooding, low key epic with deep meaning and soul. Next up was a song dedicated to his grandfather who spent eight years in a Siberian gulag shortly after World War Two. It would be extremely difficult for most of us to imagine what that was like but Jonas tried to put himself in that scene (sample lyric: “I wish I could tear those tracks apart”). Heartfelt lyrics and a breathy vocal full of yearning underpinned by an incessant guitar riff. Two new songs to finish and the next was upbeat played with staccato rhythm and moving time signatures – did I hear a 5/4 shift? Some graceful open chords from Jonas and psychedelic solos from Paulius. Probably the song with most commercial potential from their set tonight. Finally, the eponymously-titled ‘Trailer Park Saints’ with Jonas experimenting with no chord progressions. This was a two-chord wonder in the post-rock genre and a fitting end to a great set. Look out for The Trailer Park Saints album which should be out in the next two weeks.

James Igoe

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