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Out of the Bedroom 706 review – Thursday 28th November 2019

Jonas Cimermanas

Running order: Majk Stokes, William Douglas, Neil Matthew Fox, Will B, Ben Murray, Alas de Liona, James Igoe, feature act: Jonas Cimermanas.

Majk Stokes was host this evening and Malcolm McLean was on sound desk. Venue was Woodland Creatures.

Majk Stokes: ‘Bear Song’ – about Majk’s two favourite bears, sadly not Rupert or Barnaby, and he cleverly interwove a message about deforestation into the story. A really good tune played in a very pleasant manner. ‘Please Santa Claus’ – a letter to Santa Claus from a younger version of Majk. A political song delivered in a friendly and original way. ‘I’m A Vegetarian’ – an amusing poem from Majk’s recent poetry book ‘Potatoes and Broken Hearts’. Putting the question about not eating meat unless you hunt and kill it yourself.

William Douglas: ‘The Loneliest Guy In The World’ – a hugely welcome return from an OOTB legend who had not graced our stage for at least 12 years. Standing up for the meat eaters in his introduction, William was in great form playing this favourite from one of the first hundred OOTB evenings. ‘Yogi On The Run’ – a newer song played supremely well on the house guitar. Freedom through meditation and sex; good advice for all the family. Not the usual lyric! Nice “omm-ing”. ‘Come On Sunday’ – homage to the laziest day of the week. Great to see the Miracle Glass Company mainman in great form.

Neil Matthew Fox: ‘Left For Dead’ – new song from the forthcoming album (Ed’s note: his recent album was only released in September!). Some excellent picking, quite astonishing. This is a man who gives generously to his art. ‘Wish You’re Happy Now’ – this was a song of forgiveness after a break up. Honest songwriting and lyrics of the highest calibre, with another incredible display of fingerpicking. ‘I Would Sail Ten Million Miles’ – that’s a distance even further than the Proclaimers classic by quite some margin. Anthemic, I could hear this being sung by a group of men alongside ‘500 Miles’ after a night on the real ales. Neil needs, and deserves, a bigger audience.

Will B: Apologies to Will, as I missed his set of poetry while away chatting to William Douglas. Will got a great reception from the audience, so he must have been on good form.

Majk Stokes (reprise): due to a slight shortage of musicians and a healthy audience, Majk stepped back up to play ‘The Beetroot Song’. This was a quirky love song and the first song he ever wrote, showing his incisive, intelligent wit at his musical inception. A good, positive message, especially for the beetroot lovers in the audience.

Ben Murray: ‘Some Animals’ – Ben’s first OOTB performance of 2019, this was a children’s song which involved the audience guessing the animal he was describing. This was great fun, and I hope Ben’s career as a children’s entertainer flourishes. ‘Holy Silver’ – as Ben said this was “a more grown up song”. Poetic, metaphysical lyrics which I interpreted as silver representing ambition and money as well as something mythical, eternal and liberating. Reminded me of Mike Scott of The Waterboys. ‘The Endless Coloured Waves’ – “another one about nature” with an incessant picking pattern. Watery imagery: “ships passing in the night / stars shining in the night”. A gentle tale and excellent work from Ben.

Alas de Liona: ‘Make Believe Yourself To Me’ – bam! Straight into the song, no intro – and on her debut too! Picked beautifully and a voice that shone wonderfully. A dense, poetic lyric with a powerful riff underpinning. Powerful music: “confess all your guilt to me”. ‘Two  Minutes To Midnight’ – a more uptempo number, strummed, this was again quite heavy and dense. The voice was pure, with an edge and much variation. Amazing. ‘Take Me’ – her fierce intelligence came through again on this one. This was one of the best and most professional debuts of anyone at Out of the Bedroom on this year, or any other year. Clearly Alas had done this before and we need to hear her back at OOTB again very soon. 

James Igoe: Played ‘Braveheart Beggar’, ‘Inge’s Eyes’ and ‘Cowboy Song 2’. Unreviewed this week.

Feature act: Jonas Cimermanas. ‘At Ease’ – a very confident performance, Jonas is one of the most improved performers this year. The picking on his acoustic was gorgeous and there was a strong, engaging feeling in his voice. ‘A Million Miles Away’ – co-written with his wife Nicole. More simple and direct than his original material, this was more classic rock than post rock. Very enjoyable. ‘Back At You’ – joined on stage by fellow Lithuanian Paulius on electric guitar. Written after watching a documentary about space. Some impressive accompaniment and soloing. ‘In Between’ – an instrumental with the two guitars. When I first saw Jonas and Paulius I thought that Paulius was the better guitarist, but they seem like equals now with Jonas having over a year of live experience. Spacey and very enjoyable – just too short! ‘The Sea Song’ – pleasant, slightly unsettling, immersive, rich, atmospheric and expansive. Paulius provided a creative ripple effect on the electric and they both brought us the shimmering edge of the stark solitude of sea travel. ‘Alchemist’ – some fantastic, fascinating guitar duelling – shows what two creative guitarists can do. Jonas took over some of the solo work. Next up was another new, untitled song freshly out of the bedroom. Waking up to a new dawn and a new day? Minimal singing, there was beauty at the core of this. Finally, another new song with music written by Paulius. Nice riff from Jonas and minimal singing again. Paulius showed us some of his remarkable guitar licks and sublime, sensitive playing. Jonas needs to record his new songs and get them online as he’s producing some great music at the moment. 

Review: James Igoe

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