Home » OOTB Reviews » Out of the Bedroom 692 review – Thursday 16th May 2019

Out of the Bedroom 692 review – Thursday 16th May 2019

Running order: Drew William, Tau Boo, Queer Faith and TheMany, Matthew Keyes, Michael, Enradgey, Roy McIntosh, SMUT., John Porro, Siria and Ash, feature act: Rosie Smith

James Igoe was host this evening at Woodland Creatures, Leith and Tau Boo was on sound desk.

Drew William: ‘Every One Of Us Sings The Blues’ – fingerpicking and strumming like he was at one with his instrument in a symbiotic relationship, Drew was singing like a young Neil Diamond. Immense. ‘Small Crimes In The Way Of The World’ – an interesting lyric about ordinary people trying to make ends meet; challenging the mainstream in an honest, unflinching way. Great resonance in Drew’s voice. ‘It’s All About The Game’ – a new song, and another short one. A critique of the Capitalist system in terms of day-to-day living (sample lyric: “about the dotted line babe / where you sign babe”). Nice guitar solo.

Tau Boo: First song was glistening, ethereal, shimmering… Like Paul Robeson had signed to record label 4AD, fronting Cocteau Twins in the 1980s. Sample lyric: “standing in the steps of giants” and indeed he was. Second song was a straight pop song, or as conventional as Tau Boo can be! Great cathedrals of gothic Notre Dame (pre-fire) proportions. Drama, intrigue, swathes of chorus and reverb and a chiming, crystalline sound.

Queer Faith and TheMany: ‘Free The Wolf’ – coincidentally, the border terrier dogs in the room barked for the first time when this song was played! Utterly magnetic with incredible makeup; we were privileged to have them make the special effort with music and visuals this fine evening. The second song showed their rich, deep voice through a cappella. Ritualistic, tribal music. Hewn over several weeks, this was possibly my favourite QF&TM performance at OOTB so far.

Matthew Keyes: making his live music debut. ‘Fake Drunk’ – a cautionary tale about drinking single malt by yourself. A rare outing for the house keyboard, Matthew’s expressive voice was very pleasing to the ear. Hints of a young John Cale?  ‘Sunshine’ was a work in progress which included some improvisation. Magic, and also delicate. This was as confident a debut performance as I can remember and I hope there will be more to come.

Michael: The first song was about a girlfriend going in the huff with her boyfriend. Some top quality countryish strumming on Michael’s guitar (Michael’s main instrument is keyboard). About “love’s strange illusions”: you got the feeling Michael knows about such things. ‘How Come?’ – about his wife “putting up with [him]” working during the day and going out playing with his band in the evening in the 1960’s. Classic songwriting style from a real smoothie! Sample lyric: “love you like there’s no tomorrow / love you with all my heart”.

Enradgey: ‘The American Cowboy’ – inspired by the book ‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’ which Enradgey described as “a gruesome story of how the west was won”. A quality tune with some euphonious playing on guitar and harmonica. Reminiscent of prime Neil Young – with checked shirt to match! Next song was introduced as “for all the bad people in the room”, resulting in a few sniggers. Bluesy combination of strum and slide, played with skill and dexterity. His mainly gruff vocal became much softer at the higher notes. Quality harp playing once more.

Roy McIntosh: ‘House in Pittenweem’ – about a song in the Kingdom of Fife near to Anstruther where Roy comes from. An original song with a nod to traditional folk song ‘House of the Rising Sun’. A lesson in Fife slang and local history. ‘I’m Gaun Home’ – inspired by the Homecoming event in Scotland in 2009. A little bit of politics, mixed with Scottish landmarks and tradition. Apparently “whisky clears the heid”. Classic stuff.

SMUT. : ‘Unknown’ – playing her original music to a backing tape this evening, SMUT. introduced her songs this evening as being on the theme of mental health week. Loved the vocal on this song – nice melody. ‘Conversations In My Head’ – a heartfelt song which used her wide vocal range, reaching up to a high soprano. Her Shetland accent occasionally shone through. ‘Little Death Wish’ – adventurous, ambitious, this was a noticeably more confident performance than her recent debut. Spoken word morphing into soprano. Sample lyric: “feeling selfish / feeling like I can’t handle relationships”. Resonant, powerful music.

John Porro: ‘The Ghost In Me’ – about Mr. Winter, a farmer now sadly passed away who John grew up with. Evocative of a kindly old man with a house in the valley. Sample lyric: “the ghost of me comes here”. ‘First Born Son’ – deep, resonant voice and top-quality guitar playing. Warm, sung from his heart with feeling. It’s always a pleasure to hear John.

Siria: ‘The Water’s So Soft’ – “about the feeling when everything is perfect… then it’s not”. Solid guitar playing from Ash and a voice of richness and purity from Siria. Just beautiful music – I cannot wait to hear the new recordings they are currently working on. ‘One Look At You’ – “about a breakup” but not with Ash! The song was acted out by Siria, not merely sung. Wonderful emotion in her voice – like a young Mariah Carey without the histrionics. Spellbound the audience as she poured her heart into this. Star quality.

Feature act: Rosie Smith. ‘Still You Wonder Why’ – a deeply sad song with a simple, affecting melody. Painful to hear how words can hurt. Sample lyric: “you build me up to bring me down / still you wonder why I’m not around”. ‘The Great North Sea’ – inspired by a camping trip to Cramond Island, this is one of Rosie’s most memorable and catchy numbers. A tremendous energy and so romantic that there is a tangible electricity in the overall sound. Possibly the only song to mention a trangia camping stove. ‘Standing Still’ – the second song she ever wrote, this was about self-doubt and feeling invisible in a relationship. Sample lyric: “spent my life between a kind man who won’t touch me and a bad man who will”. ‘Widow’ – possibly my favourite vocal performance of the evening from Rosie. A gorgeous melody for a sad tale of paranoia and feeling trapped with secrets. ‘Lola’ – a romantic relationship that never was, but Rosie wished had happened. An angelic voice; I’m sure Lola would be touched if she ever heard this song. ‘Pentland Hills’ – a personification of the regional park to the south of Edinburgh. Rosie stated her profound, romantic feelings for these range of hills: “she is with me wherever I go”. ‘Catherine Howard’ – written after watching a TV documentary about the executed Queen of England. Tears fell when hearing of the injustice. ‘Teenage Blues’ – Rosie’s “most miserable song”, about a girl who lost her life jumping off a balcony, which makes her cry. Powerful lyric on the subjects of teenage pain, depression and addiction. ‘Song From The Courthouse Steps’ – flip side of the traditional, misogynistic murder ballad where men kill women. About a violent, perhaps justified, reaction to physical abuse. ‘Snow on Arthur’s Seat’ – again finding inspiration in a local natural monument; on the occasion, Edinburgh’s famous extinct volcano. A very physical song, this was about the desire of a physical relationship. Sample lyric: “I need to be wanted… don’t have to love me forever / just until the music stops”. ‘Gentlest Storm’ – the song that a gorgeous guy in her dreams wrote for her. Reminded me of an early ‘60s ballad that someone like The Shirelles may have performed. Nice idea to write a song that you would love someone to have written for you. A focused, thought-provoking performance from Rosie which provided uneasy listening at times juxtaposing with the innocent-sounding vocal. The themes were deep and profound; the kind of songs that linger long in the heart and soul.

Review: James Igoe

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