Here’s an enjoyable way to spend an hour.
Rough Trade have launched a shoplifting podcast, a hipper version of Desert Island Discs for artists visiting their store. I mentioned Ryan Adam’s episode here.
The latest episode features conversations with and selections by Barry Adamson.
Barry’s career has been long and varied. Starting out as the distinctive bass player in Manchester’s eternally underrated post punk pioneers Magazine, he joined Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds for their first four LPs before forging a career writing and performing imaginary and actual film soundtracks. His debut “Moss Side Story” soundtracked a fictitious thriller set in the part of Manchester where Adamson grew up. Mention Moss Side to me, and it brings back fraught afternoons visiting Maine Road as a Wolves fan when they played City in the 80s and 90s. It was third only to Port Vale and Elland Road in the realm of unpleasant and potentially violent football grounds.
Adamson’s solo work has always had a cinematic element to it, much like David Holmes, whose Unloved project I wrote about here. His selections were similarly widescreen and somewhat eclectic including classic Wu Tang Clan, Gil Scott Heron and King Tubby but are consistently of high quality. He also tells fond tales of encounters with Joy Division and the Buzzcocks in late 70s Manchester. Adamson is engaging and an hour in his company flies by. They introduced a few new tunes to me alongside such favourites as The Stooges and Gil Scott Heron.
He is talkative and charismatic guest, telling stories of encounters with both the Clan and Heron. He tells a particularly lovely story about when he was playing bass on Iggy Pop’s “Blah Blah Blah” tour in 1987.
He asked Ig what the encores would be and the answer he got back in Stooges shorthand was literally:
Dog, Fun, Eye
Adamson said his life was complete, having got the opportunity to perform “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “No Fun” and “T.V. Eye”, in that order presumably.
Of the new songs to me, the pick is Raury’s “Devil’s Whisper”. This is a melding of blues, soul, folk and hip hop drawing from the artist’s roots in Atlanta, Georgia and is rather good.
Another gripping selection was Luis Bacalov’s “The Grand Duel”. This was a Morricone-esque slug of Spaghetti Western music that was originally from a Lee Van Cleef 1973 and was then picked up and used by Quentin Tarantino in “Kill Bill”. A strummed acoustic guitar and a ghostly harmonica, Bacalov was an Argentinian contemporary of Ennio. He won an Oscar in 1996 for his soundtrack to “Il Postino” and Tarantino has since used his work in “Django Unchained”, Bacalov having scored the original “Django” movie.
The podcast also promotes Adamson’s forthcoming EP “Love Sick Dick” which is released in the middle of April. He’s touring around the same time, playing Hackney’s Moth Club, where I saw Son Little in 2015 (coincidentally similar to Raury, selected above). It is an excellent little venue and I may go along.
The lead off track from the E.P. is “Sweet Misery” which is a swinging bluesy number – very impressive indeed.
“Love Sick Dick” is available from Rough Trade in limited signed quantities for pre-order here.