Adam Stafford – New Portsound, Rio Centre, Newport-on-Tay – Friday 1st May 2015

Last night’s visit to the latest New Portsound show proved to be briefer than we would have liked.

Having completely missed the Sonny Carntyne set due to family (taxi) obligations, we had to make do with listening to Robbie Lesiuk’s LP on the way to the show in the almost certain knowledge that we weren’t going to catch much of his set.

However, having promised on Twitter to keep his set going until we got there, Robbie was better than his word as we actually heard not just the final chords of his penultimate tune but also a whole song, which probably constituted a result in the circumstances.

But to manage to hear just one song was still disappointing because his ‘Nobody’s Listening’ LP from 2013 is excellent. Next time.

Last time Adam Stafford played New Portsound he was on the cusp of recording his last LP. This Scottish tour is to promote the new single ‘Atheist Money’ with his second LP due for Song, By Toad slated for release later in the year.

The set mixed up new material with songs from his last couple of albums with ‘Build A Harbour, Immediately’ as well represented as it has been for a while in the shape of both ‘Shot Down, You Summer Wannabe’ and ‘Step-up, Raise Hands’.

Book ended by two new sound collages (the first of which expanded Adam’s sonic palate  whistling), the bulk of the set was effectively his greatest hits, more akin to last year’s Queen’s Hall set than say the one at the Tunnels.

Within the ‘hits’ though there’s still a quite a diversity of material and, even if he sounds nothing like Wire, he undoubtedly shares a similar spirit of adventurousness with last Sunday’s entertainment.


Robbie Lesiuk (and the Wicker Man)

It’s still quite remarkable the wall of sound Adam can build with just his voice and some loops and also just how immersed he becomes in these pieces. Last night’s performance was as intense as ever even if the vocal mic seemed to be mixed slightly lower than would have been ideal.

But it was great to be able to go and see Adam play 15 minutes from home and given that ‘Imaginary Walls Collapse’ was MPT’s favourite LP of 2013, it’s fair to say I’m looking forward to the new LP in (sob) October more than just a little.

I’m also looking forward to the next New Portsound show, whenever it might be.

You can download Adam’s new single ‘Atheist Money’ for free from Song, By Toad Records now.

Adam plays the following shows with Robbie over the next few weeks:

May 2nd – Aberdeen, Cellar 35
May 5th – Stirling, Tollbooth
May 6th – Glasgow, Glad Cafe w/The Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo
May 7th – Leeds, The Fox & Newt
May 8th – London, Disorder @ The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
May 10th – Edinburgh, Summerhall Dissection Room

Here’s the new single: