Home » OOTB Reviews » Out of the Bedroom 693 review – Thursday 30th May 2019

Out of the Bedroom 693 review – Thursday 30th May 2019


Running order: Majk Stokes, Will O’Donoghue, Beth Clarke, Roy McIntosh, Colin Whitelaw, Jim Bryce, (Michael) Taylor, James Igoe, feature act: Siria.

Majk Stokes was host this evening and Jim Bryce was on sound desk at Woodland Creatures.

Majk Stokes: ‘Beltane Song’ – a knowing, nudge-wink nod towards the Beltane culture in the guise of an Olde English folk song. Chancing his luck on several Beltane nights with a variety of “merrie maidens” in this ultimately cautionary tale with amusing lyrics. Oom-pah-pah guitar playing. ‘Morning, Noon and Night’ – “about love and other mental health conditions” and visits to the doctor. A more serious song, this was also romantic and quite funky. Great to see Majk back from playing the Brighton Fringe.

Will O’Donoghue: ‘I’ll Be Anything’ – debut from this East Londoner who was chronicling his open mic travels around the UK. Some great guitar playing in this very generous song about his lovely-sounding grandma who has dementia. ‘Long Lost Love’ – a love song which mentions Edinburgh. Tight and well-written, this had a similar feel to Ed Sheeran who was at school with Will. Sample lyric: “Edinburgh nights / the Cornish air / salty sea in your salty hair”. Atmospheric; I could imagine hearing this on daytime radio.

Beth Clarke: ‘Edinburgh Weather’ – a homage to the dreich weather as Beth said “bring on the haar / bring on the rain”. A happy song, showing that you can celebrate any weather when love happens. Refreshing, pleasant music sung with great feeling. ‘Union Street’ – a note from her current self to her younger self living, unhappily, in Edinburgh’s New Town. Very touching and a nice riff played through the song. Great to see Beth back at OOTB.

Roy McIntosh: ‘Carrick, My Homeland’ – “about being a bad wee boy and getting sent away” to Carrick on the Ayrshire coast… maybe no bad thing? Short verses and even shorter chorus which is something of a Roy trademark. ‘Michty Michty Me’ – about two guys, no longer with us, from Anstruther who stole cars and dustcarts to pick up girls. I think Roy’s view was that these were lovable rogues. A good singalong! ‘Isle of May’ – nothing to do with the outgoing Prime Minister, this was about the island at the mouth of the Forth. A reflective, quite romantic tale of something dear to Roy’s heart. Romance was clearly in the air this evening – for people and/or places.

Colin Whitelaw: ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ – one of the most beautiful drinking songs you’ll ever hear. A melancholy, frank masterpiece of solitude, existentialism and nihilism. Sample lyric: “Maybe drinking can wash away the past?” Many have tried and failed, it has to be said. ‘Lying Between Your Teeth’  – a song about betrayal and lost love. Lasted about two seconds – possibly the shortest OOTB song ever – and was funny! ‘Scottish Tango (Chips For Tea)’ – a truly Scottish song documenting the patois and the local diet, although the options are multi-national: McDonalds, KFC, Indian, Chinese, Turkish. A local classic.

Jim Bryce: ‘Confession’ – this is a Brycian classic that has stuck in my head for years. The lines “I must be a stupid bastard or a moron… I keep acting on things that I’m not sure on / And the things that I believe in I just don’t do” always resonate with me. It’s cathartic to know it’s not just me! Jim played keyboard in a boogie style similar to Fats Domino and his vocal was delivered with much gusto. ‘Breathing’ – a new song, an introspective ballad and quite different from the previous raucousness. Romantic, possibly coming from a doomed romance, and meditative. Wonderful stuff.

Taylor: Scotland’s top beatboxer, and the UK’s sixth best, in 2017. Taylor gave us a lesson in beatboxing step by step. Although Taylor made this look natural, it was anything but easy for us in the audience. A true skill. Taylor was inspired by an Australian beatbox champion Tom Thum. Went into hip hop territory with lots of humour and a tremendous vocal range – very deep. Some of the sounds were other-worldly. A unique, amazing performance.

James Igoe: I played a couple of my oldies in ‘Braveheart Beggar’ and ‘Cowboy Song 2’. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments, I enjoyed playing.

Feature act: Siria. ‘Stars Glow’ – a touching song about family, Siria sung this with deep emotion, control and a rare vibrato. ‘Freedom’ – about the first time meeting her husband Ash who was accompanying her on guitar this evening. “Freedom is learning just to let go”. True. I don’t think I’ve heard a voice so pure in all my years at OOTB. Reminiscent of Norah Jones, truly soulful and no note in the soprano/alto range seems to be beyond Siria. ‘You’re One’ – about a needy child whose story touched Siria. Fitted an amazing amount of words in the rat-a-tat chorus. Soaring from soft to loud, fast to slow. ‘The Water’s So Soft’ – “the moment when you think something is going perfectly then you realise it is going wrong”. Flawless guitar picking by Ash providing the bed for Siria’s gorgeous vocals. A delightful blend. ‘Before You’ – “a bit cheesy”. A simple, romantic, genuine song with an understated power. ‘Set Me Free’ – “a classic breakup song”. Siria acted out the songs this evening, which added greatly to the performance. Other singers, myself included, could learn a lot from watching Siria’s methods of communicating a song. ‘Dreams of You’ – about her grandfather from the perspective of her grandmother. Almost hymn-like, the intensity in the vocal was extraordinary. ‘Back Into Grace’ – funereal pace, adagio, giving Siria and Ash space. Nothing to do with Jeff Buckley’s Grace but a similar power in the melancholy. ‘One Look At You’ – happy/sad song about saying “goodbye” but knowing it’s the right thing. Ash’s steady, sensitive guitar quietly underpinned this while Siria sung notes of divine purity. ‘So Far From You’ – a love song and a track that Siria and Ash are recording for an upcoming EP. You can, and should, follow Siria on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/siriarutstein/.

Review: James Igoe

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