Words by Olivia Wedderburn
Adam Green is an interesting fellow. He’s prolific – with 7 solo albums in 8 years under his belt and being one half of The Moldy Peaches. He’s a filmmaker (The Wrong Ferrari/Aladdin), and an artist with several shows under his belt, and has married twice, all of this at the age of 32. These nuances to his multifaceted personality manifest themselves into a charming bearded man whose stage presence is light, funny and decidedly interactive. When he entered the stage dressed in naval attire, like a 21st century libertine, the intimate setting that The Deaf Institute provides was transformed into raucous cheers from a very busy room filled with fans, as chants of “Adam Green Sex Machine” rolled through the crowd.
His opening song ‘Bluebirds‘ off his 2003 album “Friends of Mine” was a perfect choice as the song epitomises all the things Adam Green gained his cult following for, catchy anti-folk with lyrics dashed with profanities and suicide. The repertoire Green has with his crowd is candid, as he welcomes us all by telling us he had sexual dreams last night (cue more Adam Green Sex Machine chants), and exposing his chest hair as play on Man-Chest-Hair, before playing across a few crowd pleasers such as ‘Tropical Island‘ (Sixes & Sevens, 2008), and entering into interpretive dance, a commonplace segment at an Adam Green show, complete with kung-fu kicks and chops and rhythmic clapping.
In between songs, Green chats with the crowd like he’s visiting friends, commending them on the Francis Bacon at Manchester Art Gallery, but this attempt at culture conversation quickly descends into the topic of sipping on dicks, another commonplace segment of an Adam Green gigs, normally a favour from a fan who prefers his more controversial material such as ‘No Legs‘. In fact Green really made the whole thing as intimate an affair as possible, by requesting the red light showering him to be dimmed before commending Modern Blonde, the Manchester based support act, picked by Green himself, and offering us all an anecdote of his recent trip to Amsterdam prior to playing personal favourite, Party Line.
Adam even lets us into the current development of his new film, Aladdin, you guessed it, a modern version of Aladdin, set in average America, featuring friend Macauly Culkin among others. The film is accompanied by a whole new album that Green is currently recording and has just been placed on kickstarter in order to help generate funding, and you can support the project HERE.
We were offered a very special performance from Toby Goodshank of the Moldy Peaches before Green did a solo version of ‘Here I Am‘ from his 2013 album with the radiant Binki Shapiro, who we last saw in Manchester at The Ruby Lounge. The gig took a slightly more melancholic turn as Green played ‘Boss Inside‘, and you couldn’t hear a needle drop in the venue. There is something about the spirit of Adam Green that is so charismatic and capturing, that he manages to control his crowd with the tone of his voice, as minutes later we were asked to open up the floor to requests.
This led to a slightly unconventional Q&A session met by boos of the crowd, before we were treated with ‘Bungee‘, which sounded almost out of place without its violin accompaniment but was resurrected by Goodshanks acoustic prowess. Green casually opened a beer with his teeth, spit the cap at the crowd, and entered into everyones favourite, Friends of Mine.
It wouldn’t be an Adam Green show if he didn’t take this opportunity to launch into the crowd, much to the joy of his fans, as his body writhed back and forth so that everyone could have a touch. Green even ended up picking up a punter as he came on stage to sing the rest of the song with him in a passionate embrace.
Now Wave promised a special acoustic set, and that it was, with Greens welcome return to Manchester met by an overwhelming response and cheers for more and more scattered throughout, enough to make the iconic giant disco ball of The Deaf Institute shake. Adam Green is a weird and wonderful man who did not disappoint, and I hope we can welcome him back to our grey city soon.