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OOTB 5 – 29 Nov 2001

Hello you music heads,

Thursday’s shenanigan’s at The Waverley Bar were kicked off in lively fashion by none other than Freeloadin’ Frank. His country-tinged tales of wit and humour were put momentarily on hold while he delivered a full broadside to the vehicle industry with his anti-car song (don’t know the real song’s name!), which has one of the eeriest alternative guitar tunings I’ve ever heard. Quite brilliant, and as Norman Lamont opined “He should do serious more often”. Then the spell was dispersed in the best possible way with his irrepressible “Magic Cornflake” which despite having, shall we say, “possible pharmaceutical references” is widely enjoyed by children across the land, due to it’s instant chorus and catchy good-naturedness.

Next up was Devon Perry who hailed I believe, from Canada, reciting his poetry. Not something that we do a lot of at OOTB, but sometimes we feel like letting someone do it. Devon’s rapid fire, beat style, stream of consciousness poems were appreciated by the crowd, and anyone who can speak that fast has got my respect, especially when they’re saying big words.

OOTB bedrock Norman Lamont climbed on stage next, opening in a jazzier mood than I’ve seen the fellow in for a long time. Very pleasant, then that was followed by two effects drenched raga-like droners, namely a radically re-worked “She Said” (Beatles) and Norman’s majestic (only) “The Sea”. The set culminated with a new song to me, “Portobello Slam”, which conjured the image of a huge brawl on Porty beach.

After a short interval, next up was OOTB newcomer Shane Knight-McGrath, who was the possessor of a splendid red acoustic guitar. His two songs had a picked guitar backing, and the vocals had a bluesy feel slightly reminiscent of Robert Plant, although not everyone agreed with me there. His “Face Of An Angel song” had a particularly plaintive, haunting quality.

Kin stalwart Ally Price then betook the stage, and as Jim remarked, she certainly has improved her vocal projection a lot over recent months, displaying her intricate vocal talents to good effect. At times echoes of a female Cat Stevens, but her “Castle Song” was all her own, even to her spoken introduction, where she wondered if the castle itself had remembered her visit, somewhat spookily.

Not to be outdone by a fellow non-British English-speaker, Anne Easthaugh (from Australia) also did a quick poem before launching into a very pleasant strummy acoustic pop song. Jim later found out that she was leaving the country and won’t be back for several months, but we wish her a speedy return to OOTB.

Last week’s keyboard sensation Claire Milne was in a more experimental mood this week, with her beautiful “A Matter Of Time”, preceded by the “Bridge Song”, which had some very nice strange notes. They’ve probably got proper names like suspended ninths diminished or something, but I don’t know much about that. Still good though.

Topping off a damned good evening was Graeme Mearns, who like Claire, also used to play at the Tron Songwriter’s Showcase. His blistering version of his own “Cinderella” has to be seen to be believed, and it’s a wonder that Shane’s guitar survived intact. A damned catchy tune though, I found myself cheerily singing “Everyone one’s a whore, nothing less and nothing more” days later. Can we expect a fuller set at some later stage, I wonder?

So, an extremely varied evening of performers, and well attended by non-performers too. The raffle? That was one by Claudia who for some strange reason didn’t want a pair of boxer shorts with Homer Simpson on them, so she took Jim up on his gallant offer of some blank cassettes instead. Next week we’ll have to raffle something else!


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