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OOTB 280 December 6 2007

OOTB 280 December 6 2007

Carolyn Scott, Ghost Boy, Paul Gladwell, Echo, Ross Neilson, Tone, Nyk Stoddart, David O’Hara.

Our review was two-fold this week, as Rob Sproul-Cran picked off the first few acts, and a brave Nyk Stoddart was inducted to the OOTB review fold after the first break. Enjoy!

Carolyn Scott
Our compere for the night kicks things off with some very fine tunes. She mixes finger-picking and strumming fluently. The fact that she doesn’t feel the need to affect any other accent than her own speaks volumes, and is extremely effective. Moving on to a tale of torn love, separated by circumstance, it is a welcome departure from the tried and tested ‘I hate you now! I got dumped!.I ran off with your brother’s friend’s cousin’s dog!’ This is trickier territory to navigate, but Carolyn manages just fine. Her final talks of ‘going home for Christmas’, but not in the saccharine, Cliff Richard style one might fear. Rather than the soft focus treatment, we get a knowing depiction of being ‘crowded by nostalgia’ and a pleasant return to familiarity, though to ‘friends I barely even know’.

Ghost Boy
‘One’ is carried by a gravely voice that gives depth to quite cheery lyrics. It all feels quite familiar, though I can’t decide whether that is a matter of originality or just tapping in to common truths. His second retains a religious undercurrent with lines such as ‘Oh Lord, let me breathe’. Nice chords prevent Ghost Boy from ‘drowning in silence’.
Actually, he needn’t worry , a mobile phone ringing displaces any threatening silence. Funny thing is, it’s his own. I would love to say that’s the first time I’ve seen that happen, but it’s not. ‘Falling Down’
is neither a Muse nor Duran Duran song, nor a Michael Douglas film, but another solemn tale from Ghost Boy! until his phone goes again.

Paul Gladwell
‘Easy Street’ derides those who take all for granted and drift through life unfulfilled as a result. It’s ‘heaven or bust’, as everything must be perfect or nothing. This is clearly from experience, and benefits from some really interesting thumb-strumming. Next, Paul takes the proverbial and turns it into a song. We start out with love as a card game, and meander through great references in a new context. The stand-out line has to be ‘you are my flour, when I’ve got no dough!’ Genius. ‘Truth or Dare’
sees Paul liberated with a plectrum, and unleashes his satire as a more biting and earnest Jarvis Coker, were it possible.

I pass now to our second reviewer for the night, Nyk (with a Y) Stoddart.

‘You Can Use It’: Of groovy hair & leather jacket, ramshackly radiance abounds with a plaintive reggae thing about the music ‘taking control’
with some fantastic dark, chordy chords with some latino influence.
‘Waiting In Vain’: is a Bob Marley cover (boo! Hiss!) with some percussive elements & a vocal which matches its naturalistic elements.
‘Better To Have Loved’: a mournful ballad about accepting pain without self-damage-which transmutes to & fro into a rocky ballad utilizing skeletal chords with some flying descending bass notes.

Ross Neilson
Despite suffering from a bad cold Ross decides to try out some new stuff.
As is sometimes the case, his vocals only seem to benefit from his temporary affliction, giving them a more gritty realistic quality. ‘Shadow In Night Falls’ has such emotive singing , with lines like ‘Lines are drawn when you decide to steal her’ & the mention of a ‘fragile tear’; it has a lilt that pleases the ear. ‘Junie Come Home’ has Neil Young-ish chordings & ‘Stereolite’ is a catchy driving song , it’s good when a song tells a story.

With what sounded like new strings there was some great fingerpicking reminiscent of Paul Simon. ‘Feels Like I Told A Lie’ has much hummage & a rippling, cascading tone flowing like a river across the desert. ‘You Don’t Want To Be Alive’ has some mellifluous rippling guitar with some melodic hootage. All the songs benefit from that melodic catchy edge that keeps an audience interested.

(Dave O’Hara takes over review for the next one[- everyone take note, this is a definite first!])

‘Scarecrow Man’ , Heavy Strumming [cheers Dave!!] ‘Lollipop Lady’ Dedicated to Wayne Rooney. He states that its not his best set tonight – being beerful as is sometimes the case with this chap.

(Nyk returns)

Dave O’Hara
And a very good end to the evening it was too! Flaming of cap, Dave O’Hara starts with ‘Song Before The 2nd One’, which is like sunsets boiling in the desert haze of tequila evenings reflecting on distant sorrows.
‘Arabian Nights’ is a signature piece for Dave with some fantastic runs & ruminating notes while ‘Flamenco Thing’ gets the handclaps going.

Compere: Carolyn Scott
Review: Rob Sproul-Cran, Nyk Stoddart and Dave O’Hara
Sound: Malcolm McLean

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