Home » OOTB Reviews » Out of the Bedroom 688 review – Thursday 21st March 2019

Out of the Bedroom 688 review – Thursday 21st March 2019

Running order: Nyk Stoddart, Jim Bryce, The Real Jonathan, Ewan Stein, Jacob O’Sullivan, Michael, Gareth Herron, John Porro, Bill Philip, feature act: Lisa Rigby.

Nyk Stoddart was host this evening and Jim Bryce was on sound desk.

Nyk Stoddart: ‘Trust and Hope’ – Nyk gave this full gusto, with maximum feeling in voice and guitar. Left me wondering, how much trust and hope do we have in the Brexit / Trump era? [Ed’s note: the ‘B’ word is officially banned] Okay, voice heard Ed. ‘The Last Person on Earth’ – some seriously jazzy chord progressions, like John McLaughlin brought up on indie/alternative music and off-beat psychedelia.

Jim Bryce: ‘Don’t Suck The Stones On The Railway’ – following the sage advice of his mother, Jim has made it thus far. A country song, a crazy song and a lot of fun! Jazz mouth trumpet in the middle 8. In contrast, the next number was melancholy and wistful reflecting on a poor, impoverished gypsy lifestyle. Sample lyric; “when you’re lying at the bottom / and the top seems very far away / there’s nothing more to say”.

The Real Jonathan: ‘Small Doses of Dale’ – Nice riff and dynamics generally on the guitar. Jon’s voice was strong, prominent and gritty. However, based on the lyric, I have to confess to feeling sorry for Dale who got a bit of a roasting here and was unable to defend himself. ‘Glorious Technicolour’ – A confident performance and a positive outlook in the lyric. Nice picked break following the chorus. ‘The Good Times’ – a hopeful song about waiting for the good times to come again.

Ewan Stein: ‘Dirt’ – nice to see our one of our former feature acts returning after a hiatus. I love Ewan’s sound. Sometimes the themes and lyrics are impenetrable to me, but the eminently likeable voice and quality guitar playing had a genuine resonance. ‘Yellow Mountain’ – written on his travels. I thought I heard the lyric: “time passes / no such thing as death / can’t keep my eyes off your legs” mixed the philosophical and sexual nicely! ‘This Way’ – a touch of early REM circa 1990: spacious and epic sounding. Short and sweet.

Jacob O’Sullivan: squashee (or “squidgee” as Jim said). ‘The Funniest Thing’ – written about his grandmother who has dementia. A soft voice and the guitar was also played softly. Sample lyric: “I’ll remind you which one is my mum”. A great and truly poignant lyric. Powerful.

Michael: ‘The Promised Land’ – fun, country rock ‘n roll from the OOTB favourite and legend. Watching Michael singing “my head’s so full of joy / I’m just a happy-go-lucky boy”, you can’t help but smile. ‘Little Bird’ – a direct, undiluted, honest love song. People don’t write these kind of songs anymore. Perhaps Michael can inspire the younger generations to be less self-conscious? ‘Love’ – another love song (!) with great patter in between songs. Lyric: “moonbeams they’ve got me / sweet dreams tonight”. A tug on the heartstrings.

Gareth Herron: ‘The End Of The Beginning’ – a touch of angst in this lost love song. Sample lyric: “the days turn into nights”. Gareth’s voice, and occasionally his subject matter, reminded me a little of the legendary David Gedge of The Wedding Present. ‘Into The Unknown’ – a new song and, unusual for Gareth, this was soft, finger-picked and mellow. I liked the hushed vocal. Probably line of the evening: “life’s just a series of stories / waiting to be told”. ‘Castles In The Sky’ – floated along pleasantly! Perfectly played.

John Porro: ‘High Flying Woman’ – the first of three newish songs from John this evening. As usual, John sounded great vocally and is guitar playing was completely in sync. The lyrics had a wonderful flow: “aluminium queen / perfume and kerosene / on the runways of a dream”. ‘Last Walk’ – lots of cloud imagery, such as “white mist coming down”. This was his most embryonic song this evening, still in production. ‘Let This Tree Grow Green’ – John was not sure what this was about but it certainly fitted into John’s mighty canon of songs. Broke a string but played on like a trooper!

Bill Philip: ‘Intermission’ – a quick one before the break from the legendary poet and dancer!

Feature act: Lisa Rigby. Lisa played a mix of the new and the older this evening. ‘The Player’ – written about a guy with a somewhat cynical world view that Lisa met in Leith Walk some years ago. Sung beautifully by Lisa, the lyrics about the rogue father were powerful. ‘The Island’ – about a trip to Barrow-In-Furness, observing the minutiae of a place where she felt she could be happy on her own. Immaculate guitar playing. M-e-l-l-o-w! ‘Vampires’ – the protagonist in the song is “not named, just implied”. Absolutely first-class musicianship. In any decently-ordered and fair world, Lisa would be a massively successful musician. Hey ho. ‘Faltering Steps’ – intelligent lyrics about friendship, this was a sublimely arranged. Musical excellence and professionalism on a level rarely, if ever, seen in an open mic in Edinburgh. ‘Fortingall Working Song’ – about a woman who induced a plague on the Perthshire village. A cappella, sung in the Scots tongue, the vocal was exquisitely controlled with plenty of warmth and emotion. ‘Seaside Scene’ – dedicated to her partner of 10 years (another OOTB legend) about their romance which blossomed on the seafront. Deeply heartfelt and romantic, noting the classic seaside icons – such as seagulls and fish and chips – while dreaming of something bigger. ‘Wild Flowers ‘ – a discordant, jazzy number with an edge and lyrics of brilliance about the murdered and oppressed people of Palestine. Sample lyric: “sharp scythes / cut down the wild flowers in the garden”. ‘John Crow’s Devil’ – after reading Marlon James’s book about the killing of Bob Marley, this was based on the character of Lucinda. Lisa played a very unusual accordion-type instrument of the type that Ivor Cutler might have played with (what looked like) ease and exhibited her wide vocal range. Lisa finished with ‘Promise’ – from the new album in production. Complete silence from the audience for this one, as there was for Lisa’s entire set. Nyk introduced Lisa as “highlight of the evening” and by the end of the evening I wholeheartedly agreed.

Review: James Igoe

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