ADAM GREENEVOL @ O2 Academy 26/5/16
Some artists make music to sell as many records as possible. Some want to write songs with the aim of pleasing tens of thousands of people in stadiums. ADAM GREEN makes films with papier-mâché backdrops starring former child stars and writes songs about crack cocaine and paraplegic lovemaking. Luckily for the New Yorker there are sizeable crowds in towns around the world who have similar tastes.
Tonight, in the smaller room of the O2 Academy, there is a strong air of affection towards the former Moldy Peach. He bounds on stage to the jaunty melodies of backing band Coming Soon looking like he’s just told a very successful joke backstage. Singer and backing band are dressed in costumes from the film Green is over to promote – Adam Green’s Aladdin. He later proudly states it’s the best piece of art he’s ever made, quite a touching declaration from someone who has been restlessly creative for a long and fruitful career which has caused few ripples in the mainstream.
The songs from the film soundtrack perhaps don’t hit the heights of more of the established favourites such as Emily, Buddy Bradley and Drugs, but Green hasn’t lost his knack for writing delightfully skewed pop music: newer singles Never Lift A Finger and the joyous Interested In Music more than cut the mustard.
As well as pleasing himself with his array of projects and whimsical stylings, there is clearly a lot of love for Green amongst Liverpool’s muso fraternity. Midway through the set, Green stands alone on stage and invites requests from the audience. The more puerile elements of the singer’s oeuvre get an airing as a result. A bizarre singalong to the decidedly un-PC Ladyboy, as well as the rather childish No Legs, is received with delight.
A constant entertainer, Green keeps dancing throughout the set, eyeballing the crowd as he shimmies around the stage. Impressively, he manages not one but two rounds of crowd surfing on an audience that seems way too sparse to support a grown man (albeit a diminutive man wearing a fez). Songs from all of Green’s extensive solo back catalogue get an airing, each clocking in at under three-and-a-half-minutes and featuring the lyrical panache of Lou Reed if he were a bit more clown than curmudgeon.
Green’s career trajectory has taken him from kerbside anti-folk through cartoonish crooner to new territory as freewheeling indie film star/director. The end of his set sees an amalgamation of the three periods with the Moldy Peaches favourite Who’s Got The Crack getting a run out alongside a track from Aladdin, and perhaps still his highest point, Dance With Me – this last track from his debut album which was, amazingly, released some 14 years ago. Doing what he likes and staying true to his artistic vision is obviously keeping Adam Green young and he’s got the jokes, and the moves, to prove it.