Sunday, 9 June, 2024 in Live Reviews, Music

Into Live Music: Barry Adamson

Concert: Barry Adamson
Venue: Glasgow King Tuts
Date: 31 May 2024
Barry Adamson is the Jazz Devil and as he sang the song of the same name, he reached into my heart, ripped it out, devoured my soul and left me spent. Done in and as they say in Scotland, utterly gubbed. Of course, I loved it. The closing track of the night was devilish. Spectacular and unrelenting, it was a compelling slab of the dark arts. Performance art? Not quite. No amateur dramatics here but it was a performance, and a joy to see a master in complete control of his art. The track seemed to go on for ages, the lyrics set to the music of Iggy’s Nightclubbing, the bass reverb and heavy synth intensity burned deep, Adamson skipping easily between a nightclub singer vibe to deploying noir, attitude and occasional mystery.
As a friend commented after the gig, Barry Adamson was ineffably cool and his show overflowed with style and wit. That much is true, the singer-songwriter took to the stage, suave in a velvet jacket and stylish hat and with little fanfare before the band launched into These Would Be Blues. The vocal was immediate, rich, dense and commanding.
Images: Trevor Pake
Manhattan Satin was a funked up belter that got the crowd moving, the kind of track Alabama 3 do so well and it saw the band take on Talking Heads Psycho Killer before coming back to the main song.
The tour is in support of the new album Cut To Black and that record was well represented here. And pleasing it was to see many of those tracks are already familiar with those in attendance. With eleven albums worth of material, the set also included older tracks such as 2008’s The Beaten Side Of Town, its jazzy bar room blues utterly sleazy and sexy.  
The band, which included the accomplished Ian Ross on bass player and Kaja Magsam on drums, left the stage as Adamson took to a bar stool to sing Sundown County, a songwhich morphed into T.Rex’s Hot Love and perhaps the biggest and best mass singalong King Tuts has witnessed in many a year. The crowd kept it going and going. Cue a wry smile from the enigmatic front man. It’s Glasgow, big man, and it’s Friday night. We’ll sing when we want!
The wit was evident throughout but there’s more than that. The Climber was dedicated to another Adamson, Skids/Big Country’s Stuart which was a real nice touch. One Last Midnight followed, a song Adamson introduced as their festival song with King Tut’s now a mini Glastonbury for the night.  The soul heavy The Last Words Of Sam Cooke brought the set to a satisfying climax.
The revolution will be televised and when it is, the Jazz Devil that is Barry Adamson will be front and centre.
For more on Barry Adamson, head to the website here.

John Welsh


Images ©Trevor Pake @trevorpake





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