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OOTB 403 – Another Evening of Treats

Out of the Bedroom 403


I’d like to start this weeks review with a rant, a rant about misconception. There are still many out there who shun open mic nights, as being dark, dingy and more often than not, full of ruefully untalented musicians. I’d like to assure everyone of that mindset, that you are wrong.

Out of the Bedroom, as one of Edinburgh’s premier open mic events, is the perfect example of this. Held in The Tron, which as far as good pubs go is an institution, the event can be measured by sheer longevity. How would such an evening, without some justification, have lasted so long? Furthermore, the justification is simple: Out of the Bedroom has built itself a reputation for being the first stage of many successful artists, ones who have progressed to great heights and who still remember their beginnings. But I am not asking you to believe me, I am asking that if you have ever had a doubt about the quality, the atmosphere, or the sheer skill of the artists on show, get yourself to this Thursday’s event.


Rant over, let me tell you about OOTB 403. I arrived as Broken Tooth was closing his set with a classic, blues-rock number. His clever guitar work left me wishing I’d arrived sooner. After a short break the night’s feature act got under way: OOTB’s Cameron Robinson (who was compère two weeks ago).

I was excited to see Cameron play and his music did not disappoint, despite admitting that an hour before, “in true rock and roll style”, he had broken his high E string and replaced it with a B. He admitted that going from a set of three songs to six had been hard, and that three of his songs had consequently been written in the last few days. His first to songs demonstrated great emotion, with a variation of chords and picking, on both an acoustic guitar and Cam’s ukulele. The next two songs continued to showcase a strong vocal performance, and the lyrics in ‘Ghosts’ were quite potent. He overcame a technical error with his ukulele very professionally and with a cry of “Everbody” the final chorus swung through. He did seem to be struggling with his tuning a little, but the fact he was playing with the wrong strings was not noticeable, and very impressive. The different tunings made for a nice variation in the tones of his songs as well. His last song, ‘Keep it going’ was about casual relationships and like the others was quite short. But this didn’t matter, it was the emotion in Cam’s songs that set him apart, and also how relaxed and comfortable he was as a performer.

Next on stage was Stephen from band Collar Up. I had a strong feeling that I had seen him before, but could not remember where. Regardless, I was more than happy to see him again. His first number, ‘A Jam Jar Full of Wasps’, is a political rant targeted right at the expenses scandal. The line “Don’t justify it to me”, was incredibly powerful, and made me want to record the song, and blast it through the Houses of Parliament. His strong Scottish accent adds heart to his songs, and enforces the sentiments. A hangover was the topic and inspiration behind the second song and the third, ‘Pay the Cost and Drive On’ could be a modern day anthem for the masses. With occasionally shaky vocals, the skilled piano/keyboard work really carried the set through. Stephen is playing Secret CDs on 11 Aug, meaning the Pheonix Cellar Bar on Broughton Street is the place to be that night.

Calum Carlyle appeared next and this was the first time I’ve seen him play since Acoustic Edinburgh in April. ‘The Rest of Our Lives’ was his first song, written just a week ago, and was certainly not lacking in spirit. There was some great slide-guitar in his second piece, and the again strong lyrics shone through. The set closed with ‘Something Worthwhile’ which was a fantastic last song. The questions within create confusion, and a sense of begging for some form of clarity from the world.

Back again was OOTB regular Nyk Stoddart, stating that this time he would “start ballad style, then melt the guitar in front of you.” Opening with ‘Someday All These Things Will Make Sense’ he stayed true to the first part of his promise. This is a beautiful tune and created real emotion. His second song, ‘Calypso’ demonstrated some rather random lyrics but was nonetheless a very enjoyable tune. Finally in ‘The Blues’ Nyk showcased his ability to truly “melt the guitar” with a fantastic blues solo and some clean, lightning-fast shifts.

For the third week in a row the final set was provided by Felicity, and there is no-one I’d rather have do it. The second song I her set was a new one to the stage, the line “please don’t break my heart, it’s yours” sticking most poignantly in my mind. She dealt well with the distraction of a noisy audience, who stayed right to the end of the evening – good for OOTB and good practise for the artist. Despite the crowd Felicity never fails to please and seems incapable of hitting a wrong note. The now familiar line of “Susie says she loves you” as clear and crisp as ever. I would recommend trying to see Felicity if you can, and look forward to hearing her play a longer set.

And so ends the third Out Of The Bedroom VO has covered. We hope you enjoy the review and if so, come along next week and enjoy the music! Thanks again to the OOTB team, we hope to see you all soon.

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Review – Adam J Bell

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