Truth... the bit that is actually true.
Well, in this reality
The Damian Coldwell and Christian Reilly story.
A new year brings a new tour - for 2003 news, see Part Three:
Part One - US/Australia 2002 from
Christian and Damian
Part Two - UK Tour 2002 from
Part Three - UK Tour 2003
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The boys do occasionally get a separate mention in reviews -
"probably too good to fit into the contemporary
The Independent - 6th January 2003
"great songs, all played with real fire and skill by his guitarist and bassist sidekicks, the Black Liars"
Taylor, The Observer, August 6th 2000
"Otis Lee Crenshaw is a brilliant creation by a brilliant comedian.
And his sidesmen are well worth the ticket price on their own!"
Dave Hornby 20.12.01
- on Chortle
"A toe-tapping bluegrass frenzy from The Black Liars
set the perfect scene for Otis's latest sold-out extravaganza"
Ishola on Chortle
Review of "Pernicious" Edinburgh 2002
"He's also managed to smuggle in a couple of fine Texas
musicians to help him out."
Edwards, The Blurb
"A couple of comedy festivals later and Otis has his own slick,
southern rockabilly combo called 'The Black Liars' backing him. Suffice to
say, they rock."
Revolver Magazine, Australia
"The Black Liars were fandantastic! (sic) Orson is a spunky monkey! Go see this show!!"
"...re: Janine's comment about the Black Liars - which one was Orson? I thought they were both spunky."
Melbourne Comedy Festival 2001 Guestbook
"Other highlights of (Edinburgh) 2001, for me, include...Midnight
Bowling with Rich Hall's backing band, the Black Liars."
Addison on the Mighty Boosh's Website, strangely
And when doing comedy in their own right:
"...the more promising newcomers. As if to
typify the latter, here's Otis Lee Crenshaw's guitarist, Christian Reilly
branching out on his own. "
Insight January 2002 - for full review see Sanctum
Comedy Club site
And as Novalounge...
"They are like the world’s coolest wedding band"
HermAphroditeZine - Reviews Edinburgh 2002 Sat 3rd
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The who's who of Guest Liars (seen on the UK tours, Edinburgh
Festival and the London not Tennessee video) - here are all the ones I know
Rob Childs (aka Myron T Buttram)
The guy in the hat who sits at the back on the pedal steel
guitar (when they can afford him, he says!). I could say more, but you
will find the biography
on his website much more interesting - lots of pictures...
Sang on tours and also on the London, Not Tennessee
video. See her
fansite. She has a single and album of her very own out in
September 2002 - see her record
company website for details of that!
Fiddle - Member of The Black Liars since Edinburgh Assembly Rooms August
2001. Plays all sorts of other wonderful instruments including guitar,
mandocello, dulcimer and theremin. See his
Another fiddler. Although it appears from this
website that he is mainly a viola player! Was on the "London
not Tennessee" video.
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The name "Black Liars" is taken from a line from Sam
Peckinpah’s "The Wild Bunch".
Damian and Christian are in another band - Novalounge -
who appeared at "Late n' Live" at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. They have also appeared at the Kashmir Klub in London - see the
reviews dated 10th
April 2000 and 3rd
July 2000. Quotes from these include:
"...years of touring have honed their distinctive
style and duo dynamics to perfection..."
"...never has self-deprecation sounded so
delightful...Despite their jokey patter, Novalounge are a seriously
polished, road-tested outfit, with a lot of variety in approaches and an
effortless and unfussy musicality..."
Some useful Liars-related things, taken from the FAQ on
Q: Are the Black Liars American/British?
A: The Liars are all English - and most use stage names - Orson Carson
is really Christian Reilly, Alvy Ronson is really Damian Coldwell, Myron
T Buttram's real name is Rob Childs. Nick Pynn's real name is.... Nick
Pynn. Not sure why he uses his real name!
Q: When did Otis and the Liars team up?
A: In October 1998 - the story goes that Rich had performed as Otis for
the first time in August of that year at the Edinburgh Fringe, with an
Australian band called the Gadflys. At the end of the festival the
Gadflys went home, but so many British comedy clubs wanted to see Otis,
Rich realised he'd have to get a new band. Darrell Martin, who
runs the Just the Tonic comedy club in Nottingham, knew a couple of
local lads called Christian and Damian who were good musicians and into
comedy. The rest, as they say, is history!
Q: What is the song they play before the "Otis" section
of the show?
A: "Orange Blossom Special"
Q: They also did a song about the Devil downloading souls onto a
laptop - the tune sounded familiar...
A: That's because it's based on a song called "The Devil
Went Down to Georgia". In the original, the prize is a fiddle
of gold, and the Devil challenges our hero to a fiddle playing
contest. Otis has just modernised it a bit...
Q: There are four Black Liars on the video but I only saw two when
I saw them live - why is this?
A: You probably saw them in Australia, the States or Ireland - outside
the UK the Black Liars are a double bass and guitar combo. On the UK
tours and at the Edinburgh Fringe, and on the "London not
Tennessee" video, a pedal steel guitar and fiddle player are added.
A question that was raised on the Yahoo Group
- why isn't "Jailhouse Rock" on the CD - is it because of
I asked one of the boys and the answer is this:
"Rich was under huge pressure
from the Producers of the DVD/BBC to drop Jailhouse Rock as the
copyright holders wanted a huge amount of money (thousands) for
permission to use it on the show.. fortunately for us he refused and so,
to the anguish of the bean counters, it remained.. however if you listen
closely he does get confused " No He Didn't... Next Verse.."
and then realising his haste to move on, back tracks... "I
didn't mean to cut you short there.. all I'm saying.." veteran Ois
watchers will realise this isn't the normal schtick at that point...
maybe it was playing on his mind.... (very funny though! 'tess)
One casualty of the cash for copyright saga was
Folsom Prison at the start.. Orson did perform it on the night, but the
boys changed the big chord ending to a one chord vamp repeating over and
over, so at the start of the show when Otis is walking to the stage, the
TV people faded in to nondescript musical accompaniment totally
unrecognisable as the Johnny Cash classic."
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