Mike Atkinson

Barry Adamson – Nottingham Rescue Rooms, Sunday April 6

Posted in gigs, Nottingham Post, Rescue Rooms by Mike A on April 7, 2008

Barry Adamson gig outside London is rare enough, but a full tour is something quite unprecedented. Last seen here in 1984 with the Bad Seeds, Adamson’s long overdue return saw him fronting a six piece band, and promoting his eighth solo album, Back To The Cat.

Although a multi-instrumentalist in the studio, Barry played no instruments on stage (unless you counted a vintage Rolf Harris Stylopohone, which was briefly brandished and caressed in the manner of an axe hero giving a virtuoso performance). Shaven-headed, sharply dressed and powerfully built, he prowled the stage with the arresting presence of a retired boxer, immersing himself in the characters of his filmic, retro-flavoured “imaginary soundtracks”.

As the set progressed, selections from the new album increasingly dominated – as well they might, given that this is possibly Adamson’s most immediate, audience-friendly work to date, and hence the inspiration for breaking with precedent and staging the tour. I Could Love You flirted with deep soul, Straight ‘Til Sunrise mixed Bacharach-style breeziness with lyrical darkness, and the rousing, anthemic Civilization drew the loudest cheers.

The band encored with the album’s brooding opener Beaten Side Of Town, before closing with a slinky re-working of Sly Stone’s (and Magazine’s) Thank You.

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