Home » OOTB Reviews » OOTB 303 – 29 May 2008

OOTB 303 – 29 May 2008

OOTB 303 – 29 May 2008

Nick Splinter Smith, Cate McDonald, Passenger (Featured Act), Francis Hayes, Ghostboy, Paul Hughes, Rosie Bell, Nigel Ashworth

Nigel Ashworth
He offers immediate intrigue, with ‘Another Autometer’. He lets rip by the
end, but the drive is always lyrical. ‘Passers-by’ recants adolescent
years in a harsh light, with forceful minor chords, and lots of space
around them for effect. It’s all pretty epic. Like the trees on the hill,
you pass me by  . ‘Sweet vulnerability’ talks of the finest points of love
as compromise. For the sake of audience impact, he could knock a verse or
two off each of these songs, but the quality is good.

Rosie Bell
‘Why don’t you meet my friend?’ Rosie is entertaining and acerbic as ever
with this tale of (I think) taking boys home with disastrous consequences.
Follows with ‘Hallelujah’, which is about the world and its dog murdering
that song, The critic will write how this wrecked his night.   Thank god
I never sang it (in public)! Finishes with a softer one about leaving,
maybe, He’s out there by the side of the road, forever.

Paul Hughes
His voice is the awesome driving force in all of Paul’s stuff. As it
should be, because he can seriously sing. On ‘Time’, his style may best be
described as lilting power-rock, if only because his tunes are so littered
with melodic hooks. Also the case with ‘I don’t know what I’d do’. Other
players would make ten songs out of his three. His last contrasts a light
treatment with a heavy subject matter, that of infidelity and its
repercussions. Effective, though even a light treatment sees the vocal
chords hit the back wall.

In his particular high-tenor, he sings I’ve lost all feeling.   He follows
with, unusually fast and off-beat for Ghostboy, ‘My point of view’. It’s
good to hear new stuff from him, as I believe this was. It seems to be
more self-aware than previous offerings, too, there’s an irony there that
is to be welcomed. Ends with a favourite, as he sings I’ve fallen down
again.   Either a song about wrenching depression, or Humpty Dumpty… you

Francis Hayes
Second up in our ‘Lungs the size of Finland’ category tonight, Francis,
like Paul, can also belt a tune or two. Likewise, he underpins this with a
sort of power ballad, but this is more of the fingerpickin variety. Fine
stuff. His second is of a love that’s not to be, I won’t speak because
you’re spoken for,   which is just as well, because he forgets the words
one verse in. Did he ever get the girl? Who knows? A third, ‘I will hear
you’ is given full energy to compensate, I will soothe your cries.
Squeezes in a cheeky fourth, ‘Runaround’, which features nice transition
between full voice and falsetto. I hope he doesn’t make the mistakes I’ve
made   What, like forgetting a crib sheet? Joking.

Passenger (Featured Act)
Few acts are brazen and audacious enough to wangle a featured slot on the
back of the promotional busking they’ve been doing only since they got
into Edinburgh that morning. Few are this good. We gave them the slot on a
whim and they delivered, not only in Bums-On-Seats, but with a top set.
There’s an obvious Turin Brakes comparison to get out the way, suffice to
say that I doubt even the Brakes would produce a sound this full with only
two guitars. This is thanks in part to the immaculate interplay honed from
hours of busking and performing. Lyrics like My girlfriend’s not
impressed. I should call her my ex-girlfriend, I guess,   hit the mark
between humour and sympathy, especially in their pleading delivery. All
the girls swoon in unison. ‘Things you’ve never done’ continues the
reflective mood, You’ve blown out all your candles one by one.   Next,
the lead singer takes one by himself, and if it’s as new as he claims,
does a very good job. ‘Table for one’ builds from soft to roaring, and
shows off impressive control from both. The set as a whole is carried off
with verve by a group clearly on the ascendancy. I’ve written down the
best line of the last song as example lyrics, but as they’re the
denouement, I can’t tell you – you’ll just have to go see these guys. I

Cate McDonald
Has to follow that, and wisely goes for low key, with intricate
finger-picking and low vocals. She a little over-awed by the previous
performance, but needn’t be. On her second, ‘Serbian Rain’…Falls like
shrapnel   It’s political and genuine, but doesn’t preach, and thrives on
its hard and energetic nature. ‘Liffey River Homesickness’ is about
searching for someone, but not finding them, I always wake up in my own
bed, alone.   As this girl improves with every visit, I want to see more of

Nick Splinter Smith
Opens with the punchy and frankly scary ‘Wanna Piece?’ He sings, Can you
feel my vision?   We have no choice. At this point Nick offers his arse for
sale, a highlight of anyone’s set, I’m sure you’ll agree. ‘Harmony’
follows. Lofty or lowly, the sun shines fairly on your faces.   It’s
prophetic and powerful, and he manages to reference just about ever 20th
century song in it, to boot. Ends with a rambling blues funk. It’s a fine
close to a night of superior quality.


  1. Ping from ghostboy:

    humpty dumpty who did this review a 4 yr old

  2. Ping from admin:

    Gary/ghostboy, it’s a shame that you can’t seem to spare the time to write a review for Out of the Bedroom, and yet you have the time to criticise others’ work, that they do for us on a voluntary basis.

    I think your reply, to a review which is positive overall, really says something about the level of respect you have (or don’t have) towards your fellow performers and the organisers of Out of the Bedroom. I might also suggest that if you have such a chip on your shoulder about Out of the Bedroom, maybe you will want to patronise other open mic nights instead in future.

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