PREVIEW BY LACHLAN JOBBINS
Barry Adamson is unlikely to ever find himself at the top of the pop charts, but for the cognoscenti, his insistent bass grooves and tales of the dark side have been the soundtrack to the night for almost 30 years. Now he’s bringing his cinematic blend of noir-infused blues, cabaret and soul to The Factory in support of his latest album.
Back to the Cat is the second solo release from Adamson’s own Central Control International label. Described as a mix of Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, Kurt Weill and Hubert Selby, plus a healthy dose of Ennio Morricone, the LP continues his lyrical exploration of the night people ‘ junkies, whores and hipsters ‘ that has been a trademark of his work to date. It’s downbeat, upbeat, and damn funky too.
Born in Moss Side, Manchester, Adamson took to music at a young age, joining ex-Buzzcocks frontman Howard Devoto’s band Magazine in the late 1970s. After the breakup of Magazine (and guesting on The Birthday Party’s Junkyard), he joined the nascent Bad Seeds, where his bass lines are a distinctive presence on From Her to Eternity, The Firstborn is Dead, Kicking Against the Pricks and Your Funeral, My Trial.
From Nick Cave he took the hip swagger and shabby cabaret aesthetic, the sharp suits and dirty grinding blues that characterise his early solo work. Man with the Golden Arm was his first single, a horn-filled cinematic genre-buster whose title referred to Nelson Algren’s novel of 50’s American underbelly. The debut album Moss Side Story continued the noir bent with the epigram ‘in a black and white world, murder brings a touch of colour.’
The 90’s saw Adamson spending equal time on solo albums ‘ try Oedipus Schmoedipus ‘ and film soundtrack work. He contributed heavily to David Lynch’s Lost Highway along with Lynch’s long-time collaborator Angelo Badalamenti.
Lynch’s darkly surreal take on Americana has been an influence in Adamson’s commercial work ‘ he has written music for Ericsson, Adidas and McEwan’s Lager advertisements. He has also produced and remixed recordings for Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Einsturzende Neubauten, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and even Dave Graney.
Barry Adamson’s current visit is his first as a solo artist, coming at the height of his long career. He will be accompanied by a full 5 piece band and will perform selections from his entire solo career to date. So pull on your shades and vines, head down to The Factory and get ready to cut the rug.
The Factory Theatre
105 Victoria Rd, Enmore
June 20, 8:00pm
$45, bookings: 9550 3666 or www.factorytheatre.com.au