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Happy New Year!

Happy new year everybody. I took a week off from the OOTB email last week due to the festive season, and now the OOTB email is reclining into its new delivery window of Sunday lunchtime, which means the deadline for gig listings to be included is 10AM on Sunday from now on.

Secret CDs and Acoustic Edinburgh were great last week, and were quite well attended, which was encouraging for 2011. I’ll be giving you a few of this week’s upcoming listings in a minute but first…


Many people have been asking me if OOTB is starting back up in The Tron. NO, it isn’t. Here are all the details you will need to attend OOTB…

It’s at the Montague Bar on the corner of St Leonards and Montague Street, and it’s on every Tuesday night, starting next Tuesday 18th January (not this Tuesday). It’s an 8pm start but get there by 7:30pm if you’d like one of the open slots.

Now, i just noticed that all the facebook and myspace invitations say that OOTB 407 is covers night. Now it’s out there, i don’t think there’s much we can do to take it back, so if you want to do a cover song on 18th January only then go for it, HOWEVER OOTB is for performers who write their own material only, we usually ask people not to perform anything they didn’t write themselves. Most of you will know this but it’s worth reiterating for any newcomers.

I would also stress that you are allowed to do your own songs on 18th January. You don’t have to do covers. You decide.We believe it’s possible to play, and hear, good music that you wrote yourself, without having to resort to yet another rendition of Hallelujah, Wonderwall or Redemption Song (no matter how excellent those tracks might be). Let me also stress that OOTB is a night that can be enjoyed even by those who aren’t there to perform. We’ve seen a lot of listening public at OOTB, however among the minds of the musicians, there is a certain air that they are only there to perform, some of them even signing up at 7:30pm and then leaving the pub until their slot comes up. It goes almost without saying that if you take this approach, you won’t enjoy the night, and furthermore, there’ll be nobody to blame but yourself. Sermon over, all i’m saying is, the main purpose of OOTB is to be enjoyable, so come along, have fun and enjoy it. 🙂

Next thing on my agenda is to tell you about Ben Young’s Atheist Advent project. He’s done 28 songs during December 2010, and they’re all stoaters, so go and check them out at atheistadvent.com.

Before we get to the events, i’ll remind you it’s nearly time for another FAWM. For those who don’t know this means February Album Writing Month. It’s a personal challenge that songwriters can set for themselves to write a 14 song album during February. In reality it’s a thriving online songwriting community. You can collaborate with other songwriters overseas and get practically instant feedback on all your new songs, and the bonus is, at the end of it all, you’ll have a lot of new songs (maybe not 14, maybe more than 14!) that you didn’t have before you started.

The whole thing is coordinated at www.fawm.org and their online community is already buzzing. I know a few Edinburgh songwriters have taken the plunge and got involved in previous years, why not give it a try yourself this year? Personally i have found it a very rewarding songwriting experience. Sign up now and get involved in the pre-FAWM discussions.

Okay, this week’s events. Well, tonight (Sun 9 Jan) it’s the Listening Room at the Blue Blazer on Bread Street. it starts at 9pm, with open slots, and then at 9pm it’s usually a featured artist, however i can’t see any information on their myspace about who this might be this week. Well, it’s all part of the unpredictability of life i suppose.

On Wednesday 12 Jan, it’s the first ever Edinburgh Unplugged, at 8pm downstairs in the Royal Oak on Infirmary Street. It’s only £2 to get in, and it features four acts, Lorraine McCauley and the Borderlands, Paper Truth, Hannah Werdmuller and Atomic Pigeon, all performing acoustically. Click the links, listen to the music (i actually got round to putting the links in this week!)

On Thursday 13 Jan, there’s the ReadEasy Writers Group at Forest, here’s what the organiser Harry Giles says: “We’ve set up the READeasy to be a safe and encouraging space forwriters to meet up, hear their words read, and get constructive critical feedback. The next open session is at the Forest, Bristo Place, 6 – 9pm, Thursday 13th January. It’s open to writers of any style, experience, identity and genre, and we welcome both newcomers and old hands — but places each month are limited. To secure a slot, e-mail inkyfingersedinburgh AT gmail DOT com in advance with your name and a piece of your writing attached — and then just come along on the night with cake and a ready mind. See the Writers’ Group website for full instructions (including length limits).”

On Saturday 15 Jan at Maggie’s Chambers, you can go along and support two OOTB related acts, Augustalia and Supermarionation are both performing in a Battle of the Bands at Maggie’s Chambers starting at 7:30pm. The other bands are Steel Rose, Fireproof Match and Deco Arcade, and it’s free to get in. Go along and be part of their success.

That’s it for this week, i hope you had a good festive season, and i hope you get yourself along to some of these events, because they’re all worth it, and you’ll enjoy them, and if you don’t come along then you won’t.

Calum Carlyle
Out of the Bedroom

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