Truth... the bit that is actually true.
Well, in this reality anyway.
The Damian Coldwell and Christian Reilly story.

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Tour Diary
Guest Liars

Other snippets of Truth...

Tour Diary

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 Rob

Part Three - UK Tour 2003


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The boys do occasionally get a separate mention in reviews - such as:

"probably too good to fit into the contemporary country scene"
The Independent - 6th January 2003

"great songs, all played with real fire and skill by his guitarist and bassist sidekicks, the Black Liars"
 Sam 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"
Margaret 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."
David 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!!"  Janine
" Janine's comment about the Black Liars - which one was Orson? I thought they were both spunky."   Sheena

Melbourne Comedy Festival 2001 Guestbook

"Other highlights of  (Edinburgh) 2001, for me, include...Midnight Bowling with Rich Hall's backing band, the Black Liars."
Christopher 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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Guest Liars

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 about...

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...

Catherine Porter

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!

Nick Pynn

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 website.

Jake Walker

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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Other snippets of Truth...


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 the Yahoo Group:

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 copyright?  
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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