Last time we saw Adam Green live we were in 2010 in Lausanne, Switzerland after the concert @Les Docks we managed to exchange a few words with him and I remember complaining about the fact that he didn’t play “Friends of Mine” my favorite song of him. He answered back telling me: “Dude, I cannot play every song every night” and we concluded laughing that he had too many good songs.
This proved right again this last Friday in Camden Town, London as he took Dingwalls‘ stage over, sailor hat on, in better shape, slimmer but as bright and funny as ever. It was a great “out of the box” 1 hour 15min of jokes, stage diving, strange dances and music, most of it playing songs on demand from the fans.
The minstrel from New York went through a setlist that spanned through most of his albums: Dance With Me, Bluebirds, Friends of Mine, Jessica, Emily, Gemstones, Tropical Island including Here I Am, from his recent collaboration with Binki Shapiro.
On this solo tour Adam shares the stage with former band mate from the Moldy Peaches Tony Goodhshank and while Tony plays most of the songs of the planned setlist Adam happily takes over the instrument when the songs requested by the crowd are so old that even he might not remember how to play them such as “Boss Inside” because: “I’ve forgotten how to play it after all these years” he says in a smile. When he does remember the songs he’s as sharper as ever on those acoustic strings.
After high-fiving half of the first rows he goes out and comes back for the encore that includes “No Legs“, “Her father and her“, “Lady Boy” before turning off mic and amp to close the concert with “Prince’s Bed“. He waves at the fans thanking the crowd for the great evening and claiming “Thank you very much, it was fun, this was my first time at Dingwalls but I might be wrong!“. Before leaving the stage he drops the surprise giving “rendez-vous” at the Purple Turtle to continue the party with some more songs.
After a well deserved pizza we crawled down Camden High Street to the Purple Turtle where around 11.30 Adam took over the stage again for an on-demand second half of the concert that included: “Choke on a Cock” without guitar, because he didn’t remember this one either, “Mozzarella Swastika” from his debut album, the anthemic “Drugs” and “Who’s got the Crack” from The Moldy Peaches.
“Buddy Bradley” his last single from 2010, a first half of “Castles and Tassles” before bringing the night to another level inviting on stage an old friend of his: “directly from The Libertines, Mr Carl Barat“.
Carl took over the guitar to close in a shamble the gig with “What a Waster” The Libertines‘ first single that Adam Green recorded as a b-side of the Jessica’s EP. If Adam looks in much better shape unfortunately we cannot say the same thing about our dear old Carl that looks utterly wasted, fat and struggles to even sing one verse of the song. Anyway, we finished the night with goose bumps. We had fun, and that what rock’n’roll is about, in the end.
This past week 2 different people asked me “what kind of music Adam Green does?“ I honestly struggled to put him into a bucket. Is he indie-rock? Indie-folk? Anti-folk (WTF)? Auto-ironic, funny, 7 albums in the box but as close as ever to his fans. I think he’s on a class of his own and Friday night in Camden across Dingwalls and the Purple Turtle he proved it again.