Saturday, 2 August 2008

Adam Green @ Koko, 08/04/2008

Adam Green + Noah And The Whale @ Koko
8th April 2008

Call me crazy, but I’ve never had Adam Green down as ‘twee’. Sure, The Moldy Peaches were cutesy teens in animal costumes with lyrics by turn sickly sweet and childishly vulgar. But his solo career has seen him explore far beyond the DIY sounds and in-jokeyness of his former band, bringing in strings and organs and now, on fifth solo record Sixes And Sevens, panpipes and gospel singers. In the meantime his voice has matured into a rich and mellow baritone (which may not be to everyone’s taste, especially those Juno-come-lately fans who’ve discovered his work via the soundtrack to the recent flick).

Still, someone decided that Noah And The Whale would be the perfect anti-folk style support slot for this UK tour. And to some extent they are – kitted out in blue and yellow like earnest little Ikea workers, they have a fantastic violin player who actually gets melody parts rather than the usual mournful backing bits they’re allocated. There’s a song that’s suspiciously like ‘Brimful Of Asha’, but the rest are excellent despite the odd banal lyrical tweeism. This undeniably British folk bears little resemblance to Adam Green though – the US anti-folk scene has its roots in entirely different soil. Still, they go down well with the crowd of bespectacled kids who already know all the words.

Wearing a t-shirt adorned with the letter A and white fringing flowing from his sleeves, Adam Green is nothing less than charming throughout, even while singing about herpes, crack and ‘genital outlaws’. A ramshackle but effortless performance, he’s truly the bizarre gem in the NY folk scene’s crown. Moldy who?

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