Adam Green – The Wardrobe, Leeds – 22/1/14

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I like @wardrobeleeds gigs, not least because they retweet you if you mention you’re going to see one of the shows there. And they did it again following my afternoon tweet at the prospect of seeing @averagecabbage, one of my #antifolkheroes.

I was particularly wide-eyed with excitement having been an Adamite (I just made that up) since being introduced to his work a couple of years ago by a film producer I was working with (that sounds exciting, but it was actually a corporate promotional video). I’d also missed his acclaimed live tour with Binki Shapiro last year.  And I’d just had a large slice of Bob-the-Chiropodist’s homemade Panettone-Bread-and-Butter pudding too. Delicious btw.

I reckon someone had put something in Adam’s dessert because when he came on stage his eyes were as wide as the plate I’d just eaten mine off.

Adam Green

Dressed in skinny jeans, studded belt and frilly shirt, Mr Green would have passed for any regular indie rocker in a New York look that has been passed down from the Ramones to the Strokes and beyond. But the sailor’s hat made it special.

Green was on top form, entertaining Bob, me and a couple of hundred others to a grab-bag of his greatest vignettes from a solo catalogue studded with gemstones (geddit?), and ably supported on acoustic guitar by fellow Moldy Peach collaborator Toby Goodshank.

Top treats included Gemstones (natch), Bluebirds, Emily, Friends of Mine, Tropical Island, Party Line, Carolina, The Prince’s Bed, No Legs, Pay the Toll, Novotel, Drugs… Did I mention he likes drugs? His songs are short so you get plenty of them in a show like this.

And if that had been it, then it would have been brilliant. But there was more…

AG Jez

Adam Green is known for his visual art, movie (The Wrong Ferarri (sic), featuring McCauley Culkin, Pete Doherty, BP Fallon, Jeffrey Lewis and others from his crazy, (allegedly) Ket-fuelled world filmed entirely on an iPhone and available to watch free here), as well as his anti-folk, indie, bluesy, comedic songs of life, loves and drug-taking. Did I mention he likes drugs?

And so he regaled his tales through song, narrative and, erm, dance. He even managed a stage dive and, much to Toby’s bemusement as well as ours, a refrain of Springsteen’s Born to Run in the middle of his rendition of the wonderful Jessica, probably his most famous number.

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He is truly a very talented lyricist, songwriter, guitarist and offbeat entertainer.  If you don’t mind the randomness. It’s the randomness that makes him brilliant; a flawed genius, perhaps, or a diamond in the rough…

Which brings me to his next project, the soundtrack to a new film, Aladdin, for which he intends to use a real movie camera this time. But don’t hold your breath. Green intends to Crowdsource the funding as he has no money just now (where did all the money go?) and our offer to buy tee shirts won’t quite cover it.

But buy a tee shirt I did and Bob and I got a chance to say hi to Adam after the show. He even offered to sign it for me. But we couldn’t locate a pen before he was whisked off to chat with other Adamites (there’s that word again).

I’d had his signature quirkiness all night, I’d even had Bob’s signature dish. I didn’t really need an actual signature too.  Two of anything is all it takes for me to be happy. I mean “how many drugs does it take to find something to do, everybody?  It takes two.”


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