Interview: Barry Adamson – 'show me a stage where this bull can rage!'

Interview: Barry Adamson – 'show me a stage where this bull can rage!'

Bass legend returns to solo work with new six track EP Love Sick Dick

Barry Adamson began his illustrious yet cultish career in music as the self-taught teenage bassist of post-punk titans Magazine. He only knew a couple of chords (in fact, his first bass only had two strings) but he finessed those primitive skills to compose the deathless bassline on 'The Light Pours Out of Me'. He has also served his time as a dude among dudes in the Bad Seeds, returning to both bands for a time over the past decade.

'It really was like doing the time warp again!' he says. 'These things often are. They become part of your identity and you never quite leave. Though the horse's head in my bed this morning gave me a few clues as to my current status … ' Thankfully, Adamson works most happily as a lone ranger, releasing his first solo album, Moss Side Story, in the late 1980s, forging his signature cinematic film noir-influenced sound with a succession of soundtracks to imaginary films, before graduating to the real thing, scoring for fellow badass auteurs Derek Jarman, David Lynch and Oliver Stone.

He returns to solo action with his new Love Sick Dick EP on which he inhabits the purring panther-like persona of the virile yet pathetic protagonist over a funky, filmic backdrop, and follows its release with a solo tour billed as 'the full Barry Adamson experience'. Which sounds like quite an ask, given that he's added the roles of writer, photographer and filmmaker to his artistic portfolio over the years.

'I'm emptying the contents of my entire life into the audience,' he says of his current show. 'Ed Sheeran reckons it's a doddle, which is good, as I was still a little trepidatious about it. Now I'm all like, "show me a stage where this bull can rage!"'

King Tut's, Glasgow, Mon 24 Apr.

Barry Adamson

Pop and rock musician and composer from Manchester who has worked with Magazine and Nick Cave.

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