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Out of the Bedroom 711 review – Thursday 5th March 2020

SCEViP (Stephanos Constandinou)

Running order: Tina Louise Avery, Jim Bryce, Startled Bee, Nyk Stoddart, Mike Wheeler, Gabriele Wolter, Roy McIntosh, feature act: SCEViP.

Tina Avery was host this evening, Malcolm McLean was on the sound and the venue was the back room at Woodland Creatures.

Tina Louise Avery: with a voice floating above the ether in a rarefied frequency, Tina gave us two of her lovely songs underpinned by some quality guitar picking. ‘Birth’ and ‘Tea Amongst The Birds’ were about her baby and her student years respectively. Dedicated to erstwhile musical companion Vincent and Laure who are expecting their first child. Aww…

Jim Bryce: started with a surprising song title in ‘Equestrian Meat Hating Island’. Nice whistling in this gentle, pastoral song about horse riding. Followed by a mellow, reflective Dylan Thomas-influenced song about an old love. Some very pleasant chords on the newly-restrung house guitar. Finished with a poignant song about his daddy, from the perspective of a five-year-old child. Very perceptive and delivered with total commitment. 

Startled Bee: showing his vocal range, the ‘Bee opened with ‘Tilly Dear’. This was an upbeat and positive song about gender politics with the comforting line “Tilly dear, you bend my ear so sweetly”. ‘Rain’ focused on the important things in life when, again, Mr. Bee was unafraid to show his feminine side, “it’s the little things she say”. ‘Take Me Out’ pushed all our doubts away.

Nyk Stoddart: With potentially troubled times on the horizon, ‘Trust and Hope’ gave us a positive, powerful message to take away. Nyk owned the chair, sitting like a blues Buddha. Next was a full-on performance of the Celtic-drenched ‘Alba’. The false ending fooled some, amusingly. ‘Fake Jazz’, the “old favourite, apparently”, saw some nicely-riffed scales. Mellow.

Mike Wheeler: first debut of the evening, ‘Out On The Boulevard’ reminded me of punk legend Wreckless Eric with some solid guitar playing. A lyric telling an old fashioned love story, it was nice to hear something light and un-intense. The reflective ‘Black and White’ was about looking at his childhood through rose-tinted glasses in stories to his kids. Very Who-like! ‘San Sebastian’ told of a legendary one-night stand and a lost Spanish love. Quality chords.

Gabriele Wolter: second debut of the evening. Unfortunately, Gabriella sang two covers so these cannot be reviewed. She sang a cappella and had an expansive, striking, powerful voice tapping into the gypsy mythology.

Roy McIntosh: playing his Epiphone guitar, Roy gave us ‘Am Goin’ Hame’ about his take on the Scottish Homecoming in 2009. Roy craftily weaved in some Scottish stereotypes and sung with gusto. A romantic, misty-eyed song about Robert Burns ‘Carrick My Homeland’ was a nod to the fabled poet’s writing style. His ‘Old Ford Popular’, about a trip to London, was popular!

Feature act: SCEViP. Possibly the most difficult review ever. SCEViP did not use words, and built up his complex, improvised songs using electric violin and loop pedals to mesmerising effect. Music that defies categorisation. Prog-rock / jazz-rock? Atmospheric. What would the national orchestra think of this? A sound to fill a concert hall and he deserves that status. Eerie riffs evoking a psycho-cop drama. A psychedelic jigsaw where somehow the pieces fit. “Freak Zone” music. Violin played pizzicato like a bouzouki. Music approved by Serj Tankian from System of a Down. New song ‘9 Over 3’ went from choppy Will Sargent guitar playing to very heavy metal to hints of an Irish jig. ‘Arabian Nights’ reminded me of mid-70s Isley Brothers at times. Complex time signatures. A cavernous sound with arabic scales – the reverberation and atmosphere he created was stunning. Like having a full rock band on stage. Classical influence peeping through on a song that could easily be part of a film soundtrack. Simply, one of the most stunning and indescribable OOTB performances I have ever seen.

Review: James Igoe

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