Barry Adamson at Islington Assembly Hall
How anyone can succeed in the music industry with a name like Barry is a mystery that has yet to be solved. Yet one only needs to look at Messrs Manilow, White, and in this case, Adamson, to see that impossible is nothing. Hot on the heels of his recent release Know Where to Run, Barry Adamson stormed into the Islington Assembly Hall last night to give us all a welcome reminder of the considerable expectation that comes with such a prestigious name.
Whilst the Islington Assembly Hall is a stunning venue, it does hold something of a “school disco” vibe to it, and, despite his best efforts, Adamson struggled to lift the atmosphere with his first few songs. He wasn’t helped by a sound system that was desperately quiet, or the plethora of circular tables scattered throughout. With a giant disco ball dangling threateningly from the ceiling, the audience could have been forgiven for thinking that they were stood on the set of Back to the Future. However, it wasn’t long before Adamson hit his stride as the delightful Cine City finally broke through the chit-chat and captured the audience’s attention.
Sadly moments like that were few and far between, and insipid fillers The Sun and the Sea and Evil Kind did little to inspire. It wasn’t all bad though: a special mention must be made for Adamson’s exceptional keyboard player. With the “Hammond organ” setting ramped up to maximum, it was a showcase in funk, and he was arguably the outstanding musician of the night. Claw and Wing was another highlight, injecting a bit of jazzy speed into the proceedings. Adamson himself looked resplendent in a red velour smoking jacket, and it was a shame that he was slightly let down by circumstances out of his control.
It was a show that is unlikely to live long in the memory of Adamson or the crowd, but considering it was his first gig in a significant amount of time, one is inclined to forgive him. Despite everything, his fans seemed content, and as a musician, that is all you can ask for.
For further information about Barry Adamson and future events visit here.
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