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OOTB 10 – 3 Jan 2002

The new year at The Waverley started off with a bang as the biggest crowd yet came down to The Waverley to see a packed programme. It was great to see a lot of first-timer performers at Out Of The Bedroom, hopefully this year will see these singer/songwriters develop into even better musicians.

Helen Woods & Frank Macdonald came on first with Frank on guitar and vocals and Helen on lead vocal. Songs such as “Blue Jeans” and “Dreaming Of Berlin” may be familiar to regulars at Mondays at Whistlebinkies but they haven’t lost any of their quality with time, quite the reverse. It was the best I’d seen Helen sing, particularly, in a while.

Scott Reilly has a great set of understated melodic pop songs and again he was on form tonight. “Shades Of Blue” is a gorgeous slice of melancholia sung with genuine ache. “This House Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” is a singalong on the topic of separation.

A young chap with a booming bass/baritone voice by the name of Fraser Calder was up next. A very energetic, fiery, angst-ridden set reminiscent of the best of Pearl Jam at times. It’s fascinating the way Fraser stretches and bends words; coupled with the voice, it makes for a very intense experience. Look out for his band ENKI around the music venues of Edinburgh.

Gordon Ballboy played an entertaining set with his usual quality patter. “Stars & Stripes” was as mesmerising as I’ve ever heard it. “I Wonder If You’re Drunk Enough To Sleep With Me Tonight”    (and we’ve all been there) was most poignant. Look out for a new single from his band ballboy in the next couple of months and a warm congratulations to the band who had two songs in John Peel’s Festive 50 for 2001. Their website is at http://www.listen.to/ballboy and I urge you to visit it.

Fee Brown & Wez both from Australia (you’ve got to have Aussies at New Year(s)). Fee’s first song “A Child Carrying A Child” was about believing she was pregnant at 17 – a powerful song indeed. Fee’s voice is a fine instrument to behold sailing between anger and tenderness expertly. Wez’s very fine drumming featured on Fee’s next track (a newie) and Wez ended with an expertly-played instrumental – a gifted man.

Mike Evans from London won two differently-pitched little bells all the way from New York in the prize draw.

Lynsey Hutchinson, who debuted two weeks ago, played a top set. Her tribute to “The League Of Gentlemen” TV series, “Benjamin Denton Blues”, is a legendary track and showcases Lynsey’s unusual, interesting lyrical style. An instrumental “I Am Legion” was the first to be played at O.O.T.B. and a fine tune it is too. Lynsey has a residency at the Fire Station pub in West Port.

Young Stephen Watkins, from the band August 81, was next with the aforementioned Fraser on drums (another multi-talented musician!). He managed to break the bottom e-string – the thick one – on the house guitar but I won’t hold that against him. “Back To You” and “In The City” had bags of energy and I think you should keep an eye on the listings to see when the band’s next playing.

A Swiss trio – no less – were next. Called Momma Would Like It adapted their bass/12-string/drums to two guitars/three vocals/drums. This band were very off the wall indeed; I don’t think their first language was English. “The Secret”, a song about friendship, had a loping, melancholic feel (influenced by cult Welsh band Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci?) and the vocals were all excellent and almost complimentary. “The Man With The Pan” (co-written with Paul McCartney apparently) about cooking. I enjoyed the pronunciation of gourmet (goor-mate). This was an outstanding performance and the kind of thing that makes these nights special. If you’re ever in Corcelles or Neuchatel in Switzerland, look out for them.

Iain Firth, who kindly loaned his guitar to the Swiss boys, played one song, “Harriet” devoted to his fiancee (written last week).

The next show is on Thursday 10th, starting approximately 9.15, and is free.


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