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OOTB 335 – 24th March 2009

OOTB 335 – 24th March 2009

It’s another mammoth pot-pourri of excellent music tonight at OOTB, so without further ado, here’s what i wrote about it, hurriedly, and on borrowed paper…

Furious (Willie) – Furious starts us off with a ninetiestastic slice of what was once enthusiastically called Britpop. It’s quite nice that Britpop’s lasting legacy is the singer-songwriter ethic. Furious exemplifies this well. His second song recalls the nineties as well (for me anyway), and it’s another slow one. His third picks the pace up a bit though, it’s called Curiosity which, given his stage name, would look great on the cover of a single. It’s quite complex and entertaining. This is my favourite of the three for sure.


Alex & Donald (Seven Deadly Sins) – They start with Miss Parker, a bittersweet country pop song, a bit like a strawberry milkshake on a hot day. The bridge has a bit of harmonica which is nice. Good harmonies too. They carry on with Silver on Gold, more twin guitar countryness, there’s some lovely lead guitar on this song. They quickly plug their band (Seven Deadly Sins) and finish with a song which is a bit groovier, sort of a timechanging rock folk acoustic vibe. Colin mentions to me that the chap on the right has “good hands”, surely a compliment!


Nicky Carder – This is the first public performance of Nicky’s newest song, I’ll Find You Unexpectedly, about a chance meeting between three musicians in Glasgow Central station, an upbeat pop number with foot tapping rock overtones. Nicky’s busy guitar playing is a great backing for her soaring voice. Secondly she plays Little Purples, it’s a quieter, contemplative number made all the more poignant when you realise it’s about her shoes! Finally, one of my favourites, Between The Floorboards. This is the song Nicky played when she successfully qualified for the regional finals of “Vodafone Live & Unsigned” (which will be held in Newcastle on 2nd May). Always a pleasure!


Broken Tooth – I personally think it’s fine to use some of your fifteen minutes to state your opinions, but Broken’s comments about the arms trade seem to be a bit lost on the audience. Still, he keeps it short and appropriately plays his new song Guns In The Desert. The guitar part in this is particularly nice. Mister Tooth does a great job of making a six string guitar sound like a twelve string here. He tells us a quick story about the Hellfire Club and launches into Hoodoo Man, one of my favourites off his CD actually. I like the atmosphere f this song and it’s been a while since i’ve heard it. Again, lovely guitar. Finally, a new one, Muse’s Song, about songwriting. He did this recently at the Blazer, more confidently in my opinion, i feel like Toothy sometimes comes across better in a lower tech setting, though to be honest the highly lamentable lack of a monitor speaker at OOTB may well be the low tech setting that’s putting him off his game slightly in this song. If so, he’s coping valiantly.


The Angel Conversations – Nice to see these guys again, still playing as a duo rather than as a larger band as they used to do. It doesn’t stop them playing some powerful ballads though. They introduce their second as one they’ve “not quite written yet”, but to me it sounds like a good one with plenty of highs and lows, with a good combination of quiet verse and noisy chorus. They finish with Rain and Shine which is very well sung and very well played, and it swells up beautifully for the middle 8. I think my favourite of the set was the new one though, which is always a good sign.


Townhouse – Playing as a three piece band, a configuration i haven’t seen them in before, Townhouse sound professional from their first note. Lisa Paton has a really powerful voice and it’s backed well by the band. Interesting songs too with plenty of hard hitting lyrics. Key changes and unexpected harmonies crop up frequently too, but always in the context of the song, like a well folded cake mixture. Very smooth and very tight, but still very real.

I’ve heard Stuart and Lisa separately before, and playing as a duo, but with the full three-piece band they take it to another level, it really works. They’re really good at singing harmonies with each other. By the third song, Lisa’s got her mandolin out. It’s excellent to hear mandolin driven songs at OOTB, there should be more of it. Keep it up Lisa! The third song also features a whistled hook line from Stuart which genuinely sounds as good as a flute.

Townhouse were only going to play five songs but luckily they relent and play Stuart’s excellent song about childhood social conditioning. It’s great, one of my favourites of his actually. You should hear it. They finish with a stormer of course and leave us wanting more…


Lorraine McCauley and Peter Michael Rowan – Lorraine and Peter are two thirds of a soon-to-be-unleashed band, the third party of which is Rob Sproul-Cran, should be interesting. Anyway, Peter plays a different instrument for each of the three songs, mandolin (yeah!), fiddle and guitar. Lorraine has a lovely voice made of chocolate and camembert, and Peter’s accompaniment is very complimentary to it. He knows how to add to the music without obstructing the song. I’ll certainly look forward to hearing the full ensemble. Their first Edinburgh gig as a three piece will be at the Blue Blazer on Sunday 17th May (get there for 8pm, free admission).


Colin Milne – Playing his much talked about glute he tells us “all these songs are sort of true, with exaggerations, you know”. Colin’s unique. He gives us three surprising songs as usual(!). Colin’s got a unique songwriting style, a unique outlook on life and a unique demeanour in general. Not only that but his lyrics are enough to make anyone blush! He’s a true performer, and i don’t think he plays his songs many other places than Out of the Bedroom, we’re lucky to have him!

Calum Carlyle – I played a song next and when i got back to my seat, the following review had magically appeared on the page! Written by Mr Pugh possibly, here’s what it says: Whispers in the Wind – an intelligently picked chord progression around G effortlessly accompanies Calum’s gravelly vocal. Not his usual vocal style but I think it’s a really effective change for this song. Laid back, but upbeat song, really catchy chorus, again with some great bassline runs.


Ryan – Ryan seems a bit nervous, but he performs admirably regardless. He says his first, Soldier is “the oldest song I’ve written that I don’t hate”. He manages to rock out though, despite technical issues. His songs are slightly uneasy, slightly apprehensive, but there’s a certain unashamed amount of rock in there somewhere. His final song is a murder ballad, one of my favourite subgenres at the moment. This one’s about euthanising your loved one after she’s been shot, not played for laughs at all, which is good. He assures us he’s never done this in real life, which is a relief to me at any rate.

Sam – Sam’s great. He’s a powerful performer with a strong voice and lovely expansive guitar playing. Beautiful fingerstyle guitar parts and really catchy vocals, he’s a joy to listen to actually. It turns out i have heard Sam before at an event in Orkney, here’s the review: http://www.orkneyfolkfestival.com/23.pdf Many people had left by the time Sam came on which was a shame because i thought he was one of the best solo performers this evening. He’s a bit like if David Gray was incredibly good and could also play guitar like Bert Jansch.


Ivor – One instrumental from Ivor, another interesting fingerstyle guitarist. It’s lovely and it involves quite a lot of interesting harmonics and hammer-ons. Quite an organic piece, it’s the sort of thing that could easily go on a CD as the first track even though it’s an instrumental. Nice work, Ivor, worth staying up past bedtime for!

Jonny Pugh Compered and Jim Whyte did the sound (i think) and Calum Carlyle (who?) did the review.

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