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Out of the Bedroom 686 review – Thursday 21st February 2019

Running order: James Igoe, Jonas Cimermanas, Gareth Herron, Roy McIntosh, Will B, Lorraine McCann & Gareth Overton, Jeanice Lee & Marco Morelli, John & Ali (Impossible Songs), Rosie Smith, feature act: Callum Mackinnon.

Rosie Smith was host this evening and Malcolm McLean was on sound desk.

James Igoe: ‘Inge’s Eyes’ – James kicked off the night with a song about imagined infidelity.

Jonas Cimermanas: ‘Suzy Q’ – beautifully strummed, with breathy vocal creating a hushed atmosphere. Almost meditative in his delivery. M-E-L-L-O-W. Second song “written after watching a Beach Boys documentary”. Unusually poppy for Jonas, this ballad incorporated the riff from the classic ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times’. ‘Slowly Growing Older’ – written last week, a simple song based on a 12-bar blues. Refreshing sounding.

Gareth Herron: ‘One For The Road’ – Gareth admitted “all my songs are biographical”. Symbiotic beat of the singing and pulse of the guitar. Booming bass voice showing some experimentation with vocal range. ‘Wishful Thinking’ – first song he ever wrote. Very romantic. Guitar experimentation using a loop pedal which was used in moderation and enhanced the song greatly. Nice lead part. ‘The Door’ – Almost punky intro, an epic sound. Lyric incorporated the famous Captain Oates phrase “I’m going out / I may be some time”. One of the best new lyricists at OOTB.

Roy McIntosh: ‘Isle of May’ – nothing to do with our calamitous Prime Minister, this folk ballad was about the island at the mouth of the Firth of Forth. Roy sung this with obvious affection for the iconic landmark. ‘That’s What I Think About Now’ – about “an imaginary girlfriend he will never get”. A simplicity and frankness in the lyric delivered in a way that was reminiscent of OOTB legend Freeloadin’ Frank. ‘For Popular’ – about Roy’s first car bought in 1970. Sung with loads of humour and gusto with the chorus: “Whoopee! It was a Ford Popular!”

Will B: ‘Moving On’ – touching poem about OOTB leaving the original home of The Waverley Bar several years ago. ‘The First Casualty’ – about discovering the truth and finding peace. ‘Intermission’ – the classic pre-break poem!

Lorraine McCann & Gareth Overton: Two individual OOTB debuts from our first of three female-male couples. First song was written when Lorraine was 16. Her voice sounded clear as a bell, and the tune was gorgeous – played expertly by Lorraine on guitar and Gareth on trumpet. Only their second ever gig and the first playing original material. ‘Come Home Come Home’ – Lorraine’s most recent song, she played this on banjo. Very nicely arranged and the harmonies worked brilliantly. Sounded very professional – incredible it’s only their second gig.

Jeanice Lee & Marco Morelli: ‘Beyond Never’ – the title track from the long-awaited upcoming album being launched in May. A forceful performance from Jeanice; epic and intense. Two acoustic guitars this evening, making a change from the electric rock line up. ‘On The Line’ – a soft rock ballad sung with deep passion. Quite a niche genre these days where acts formerly playing this music sold records by the millions. Nice backing from Marco with a peach of a solo. ‘North Star’ – a modern day ‘Over The Rainbow’. Wistful, refreshing, beautifully done.

John & Ali (Impossible Songs): ‘How I Hate’ – a fearsome, cathartic tale of a difficult breakup. There was steel in Ali’s eyes when she sang this. The “ba ba”s were an interesting juxtaposition. ‘Lullaby’ – John unfairly described Impossible Songs’ music as “twee pish” but this was evocative and poetic and there was a strong presence in the performance. Sensitive guitar from John and Ali’s soprano vocal was the highest in the range of any singer this evening or perhaps even this year at OOTB.

Rosie Smith: ‘Song From The Courthouse Steps’ – Rosie had previously avoided playing this at OOTB as it’s so long. About her love for a boy with curly hair. There seemed to be a regret and trauma about the relationship. Rosie’s voice sounded amazing: warm, true and well-rounded. ‘Pentland Hills’ – Rosie can see the Pentland Hills from her house and has fallen in love with them. Romantic, poetic and a very sweet song about communing with nature.

Feature act: Callum Mackinnon: ‘The Last Thing I Need’ – “about going out on a Thursday night and playing songs”. The lyric showed some insecurity about being unsure about playing music and the various feelings around performing. Ultimately, he sang, “it’s something I need” and for that we are grateful as this performance showed why Callum is a favourite at OOTB and beyond. ‘Bottle Of Rain’ – segued straight into this song which will “hopefully” be the title track of his next album. Played perfectly on guitar – an ultra-professional performance. ‘The Story of Me and You’ – “about a bookshelf” telling of (imaginary?) stories of a woman he is directly referring to. Truly great guitar picking. ‘Old Coat’ – a debut performance of a brand new song. Inspired by recent stories in the Leith area, specifically about an old man who went missing. A terrific musical tribute to the poor old fellow. ‘Snow On The Mountain’ – one off his mini-album from last year, “a country song about trains”. A melancholy cut of Americana and a vivid portrait of the rail journey. Callum was battling through a cough this evening but you wouldn’t have noticed for the vast majority of the time as his vocal was virtually flawless. ‘Hopelessly Free’ – another debut performance: “a new song about cancer”. A very specific song about the rituals of being in hospital, the small details. Powerful in its subtlety and my favourite song of the night from Callum. ‘When The Trains Came Through Town’ – “about going back to your hometown and getting hopelessly drunk”. A gentle, reflective song about how he had changed and many things hadn’t changed and never would. Hypnotic. ‘Maybe It’s The Cold’ – a melancholy take on the chilly Scottish winter weather. Also, the ennui of daily work and the amount of your soul you lose in the process of working in a job with “a boss getting on my back”. Vivid. ‘Leave My Heart In New Orleans’ – the last song from his ‘Under The Winter Sun’ collection and the last of the evening. About his home-away-from-home New Orleans. A totally professional performance with an energy and edge underpinning the Americana which can be a bland genre in the wrong hands. A splendid instrumental break and consummate guitar playing. A quite brilliant set from Callum.

Review: James Igoe

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