Sunday 21 August 2011

Adam Stafford, Miaoux Miaoux & Mondegreen at Stereo

Last night I headed down to Stereo for the launch of Adam Stafford's latest album; 'Build A Harbur Immediately'. I had seen Adam on two previous occassions and I had also managed a sneek preview of the album back in March whilst down in London with Miaoux Miaoux.

For those that haven't seen or heard Adam before I would strongly recommend that you check him out. Why? Well he is extremely talented, inventive and original.

The excellent Scottish bloggers Peenko and Aye Tunes were putting on the night. Lloyd and Jim are extremely passionate about independent music in Scotland and if you check Peenko's blog from last week you'll be able to read a brilliant track-by-track guide of the album by Adam himself.

On to the night itself, sadly missing the band Paws who had unfortunately received some of the saddest news you can ever receive during the week; my thoughts go out to them. Check one of my latest blogs for a review of their last single.

Mondegreen opened. A 3-piece band that seemed extremely shy and unprepared with no setlist, so shy that the singer/guitarist stood stage left behind a pillar.

That was all part of their charm though, at times they seemed quite slacker-esque like Pavement, but at their best they ripped into riffs and soaring vocals like The Bends era Radiohead. When they went for it like that they were very impressive.

I was looking forward to hearing Miaoux Miaoux through the excellent Stereo soundsystem and he didn't disappoint. 'Hey Sound' and 'Cloud Computer' were excellent, but it was new songs 'Autopilot' and 'Stop the Clocks' that really benefitted from the sound system. The squelchy bass of the former sounded beautiful, but it is 'Stop the Clocks' that really highlights how strongly Miaoux Miaoux is developing his sound and songwriting. Trust me, this is one of the songs of the year.

On to the headline act (pictured above). Stafford took to the stage looking like he was meaning business with a sharp haircut and dressed in a shirt and tie. Stafford lets his imagination run riot by using vocal loops, layer upon layer of them. At times he must have 6 or 7 different vocal sections going on at once, coming across like a one man band version of the Beach Boys.

'Shot- down you Summer Wannabies' is a song that I would recommend to anyone wishing to check Adam out for the first time. Beautifully atmospheric, passionate and just f**king brilliant. It starts off with a vocal riff like something that wouldn't be out of place in Walt Disney's The Lion King (that is honestly a compliment) before Stafford layers some simple 'CChhh cchhh's' over for a 'beat', some haunting backing vocals and then he sings from the heart.

because you came and you wanted to show the world, 
that you hadn't been swallowed up in the fluttering wind

Stafford is soon dancing around the stage, all Curtis-esque, twitching with the noises he makes, getting lost in the music. Several of the audience were doing exactly the same.

The first half of the show saw Stafford performing on his own, although if you shut your eyes you would be guessing at the number of people that were on stage creating such a wonderful sound.

The second half witnessed the introduction of some guests that had appeared on the album, two femal backing singers, lead guitar and viola. They only enhanced the sound and left me wondering just what it sounds like in Adam Stafford's head. 

The record is on as I type and like the layers that Stafford introduces to so many of the songs, it has a great deal of depth and I imagine I'll be playing it a good few times during my week off that is coming up.

'Frederick Wiseman' is another highlight; really gentle, Stafford's voice is soothing and the introduction of the different layers just leaves you wondering what is coming next. 

I'd highly recommend the album.

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