Home » OOTB Reviews » Out of the Bedroom 690 review – Thursday 18th April 2019

Out of the Bedroom 690 review – Thursday 18th April 2019

Running order: Small Feet Little Toes, Queer Faith and TheMany, Terry Weston, John Porro, Ross Neilson, Jonas Cimermanas, Michael, SMUT, Jo and Kevin, The Old Town Rambler, Angus Gibson, feature act: Neil Matthew Fox.

Peach was host this evening and James Igoe was on sound desk.

Small Feet Little Toes: ‘The Tide’ – written at a songwriters’ retreat, this was a tender, gentle, spacious song, sung with control. SFLT’s voice moved from guttural to honey-sweet and the guitar was plucked gracefully. ‘Sweeter’ – an earlier song about escaping a bad relationship. Staccato, constrained guitar which occasionally exploded. Powerful use of soft-to-loud dynamics. Unsettling in a good way – cathartic, fierce anger. Sneaked in a short, confessional work-in-progress ‘ Song In Love’ which sounded very promising.

Queer Faith and The Many: ‘When Will We?’ – incredibly brave to sing a cappella and an absolutely stunning stage costume. Radical faeries incarnate. The bright light held in their hand – illuminating us? Sample lyric: “we are doing life / G sharp like a knife”. Lyrics not necessarily logical but flowed poetically with deep, rich symbolism. Profound feeling expressed in a romantic song with a strong, theatrical vocal. “My heart has become a cashew”. TheMany will be playing ‘A Fluffy Night Away’ at Leith Depot on Thursday 9th May.

Terry Weston: ‘Running Out Of Reasons’ – about going home or possibly not wanting to go home (“running out of reasons to go back again”. Nifty guitar playing and a dandy riff: Terry said he was rusty but he sounded great to me. ‘Catch Me If You Can’ – not about a girl he knew 40 years ago(!). A ballad, intricately picked. Very evocative of a moment in time, possibly a summer romance? A very enjoyable, economical vocal.

John Porro: ‘First Born Son’ – warm, rich vocal pitched perfectly with a variety of lightness and a rise in volume. A perfect poem to his son. Gorgeous chords, John sounded better than ever. ‘Mr. Winter’ – the name of an appropriately-named farmer when he was growing up. A great tribute to the man’s life and some top notch harmonica playing. Created a terrific atmosphere – I was transported to Greenwich Village in the 1962 watching a young Bob Dylan or Fred Neil. Quality.

Ross Neilson: ‘Eye Of The Storm’ – a new song: strident, anthemic and very much in Ross’s trademark style. Reminiscent of The Verve in their pomp, I could imagine this being sung by Ross’s adoring fans in a bigger venue. ‘Don’t Hide It, Like You Just Don’t Know’ – the song flowed very nicely. Mellower than his opener, this was a heartfelt plea (to a lost love?). A universal theme which many in the room would identify with.

Jonas Cimermanas: two songs written in the last two weeks. I think tonight we saw a new side of Jonas as he chose a more conventional song structure. Modern sound (post-rock?) with ethereal sounds often heard coming from new Scandinavian bands, especially those composing for film and TV. Flowed like a glistening Kattegat. Song two was another beauty. Very simple, based around a two-chord sequence. Played expertly and with more focus than before. I’m enjoying the new Jonas very much.

Michael: ‘Paris ‘69’ – a love song for a lady he met in Paris in November of that epochal year for the city. Sung with plenty of Gallic flair from Michael. Sample lyric: “the nightingale was singing close by / he must have seen a tear fall from my eye”. ‘Love Is A Funny Game’ – an uptempo, catchy number about the mystery that is love. Possibly a hint of The Seekers’ ‘60s classic ‘Georgy Girl’ in there? Sample lyric: “one day is up and down / you’re a king / you’re a clown”. Classic songwriting from a class act.

SMUT: ‘You Look Like You Needed A Friend’ – R&B/hip hop to a backing track, this was a novel set up for OOTB. A gothic sound and a lovely vocal with a little bit of grime. I don’t know much about the genre but liked it. ‘On My Mind’ – the first song she ever played, this soared and dived and showcased SMUT’s powerful and angelic voice. A nice contrast with Michael (or others playing this evening) though there were plenty classic elements to her performance. A top debut – let’s hope we see more of SMUT soon.

Jo and Kevin: ‘Heart of Stone’ – they sang together at one mic and their chemistry reminded me of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Kevin on guitar and Jo on tambourine provided drive and rhythm. ‘Come Away With Me’ – “a 5’6 guy from Canada met Jo’s sister and this song was the result.” Really nicely written. Peach noted their honest lyrics and voices and that they had soul. I could not argue as Jo and Kevin kept up the recent high standard of male/female duos at OOTB.

The Old Town Rambler: ‘Shooting Star Blues’ – about aspiring to your dreams. This was the ‘Rambler imagining writing for Bessie Smith in the 1920s. Expertly played, as we have come to expect, and more quality harmonica playing (following on from John). ‘The Grain and The Grape’ – the bluesy end of Ian’s Americana palette, this was a fun song and evoked those nagging voices in my head during a hangover hell. Wise words as the ‘Rambler advised us not to overdo it this Easter. Enjoyable at every level.

Angus Gibson: ‘(Nobody Knows) How To Talk To Girls’ – a laconic style with slow, acerbic lyrics. This was sensitive, intelligent indie-style music that I haven’t heard at OOTB for some years. ‘The Vital Statistics’ – title track from his Lower Depths album coming out tomorrow on Bandcamp. A very dry delivery, with a swagger and attitude of someone who knows they’re good. “The Verve having sex with Cigarettes After Sex and having Kula Shaker babies” was one quote… not mine! Reminded me a little bit of Tindersticks which is a very good thing.

Feature act: Neil Matthew Fox. One of Fife’s emerging talents, Neil started with ‘Escape To Hell’. Vivid imagery in the Dylan tradition, this was a dark tale of a man who retreated to the desert to escape the world. ‘What’s In Alaska?’ – based on a Raymond Carver short story, this put the focus on the small, difficult things to talk about and the gap between people. A tremendous lyric with impressive guitar playing and a moody vocal. ‘Angels In Disguise’ – his voice dropped on this into the range of Cash/Cave/Cohen with dexterous picking. I enjoyed this greatly but it was too short! ‘I Want To Write a Love Song But I Just Don’t Know How’ – title of the evening? A blues about leaving his woman (“the warmth of your skin / I miss your dark eyes in the morning”). Great use of space between notes on the guitar. ‘Basked In Rain’ – played the mandolin on this simple, three-chord love song about being “young and insecure”. ‘The Sculptor’ – sounded full; he strummed the mandolin effortlessly and has grown into the instrument well. ‘A Simple Choice’ – back on guitar, this was a brutally honest lyric, almost painfully so. Sample: “it was a painful choice / one of us had to go”. Ouch. ‘Wish You’re Happy Now’ – like peeking into a diary of someone riddled with self-doubt and insecurity. A window into Neil’s soul? Clever songwriting? Or a bit of both? A hundred-miles-an-hour picking showing nimble fretwork at its finest. A generous song with more shades of Cohen. ‘Silver Spoon’ – to the tune of ‘Leaving of Liverpool’, this sounded cracking. Like a sea shanty, with an Irish flavour. ‘Your Utopia’ – finishing on an upbeat number, Neil didn’t want us all to go home “depressed”. While this was a jaunty foot tapper, I wouldn’t necessarily file this under “cheery”. Sample lyric: “this may be your utopia / but it sure as hell ain’t mine”. Imaginative, vivid lyrics and some thought-provoking material from one of OOTB’s best up and coming young artists.

Review: James Igoe

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