Adam Page Solo
10:00pm, Thu 13 Mar 2008
An old friend raved to me about Adam Page a couple of years ago, but left no impression of what to expect on this balmy evening. I didn’t even know what to expect from the venue – it’s been ages since I was last at The Prom, and I knew that it had shut down, changed hands, and re-opened as a more clubby venue. Arriving well early, I wound up chatting with one of The Prom’s rejuvenators, Richard, about his ace venue.
It’s lush, it really is. Sure, the nifty little VIP-balcony-area was suffering from Adelaide’s persistent sweltering weather, but The Prom has turned into a great little venue: decent stage, comfy seating, intimate feel, great bar… and a decent crowd for this, Page’s first show of the Fringe.
As mentioned above, I had no idea what to expect from this performance (other than the requisite Adam Page performing, presumably, by himself). But within seconds of the utterly charming Page taking the stage, it was clear I was in for an evening of quirky multi-instrumental experiments.
And it was great.
Using a simple looping sampler, Page conjured catchy tracks using conventional instruments – saxophone, clarinet, occasional vox, and a plethora of percussion – as well as not-so-conventional… the wah-wah-carrot being a prime example. He builds up tracks slowly, adding layer upon layer of substance to the tune, breaking to tweak tracks in and out before dissolving the constituents to a satisfying conclusion. He elicits (keen and willing!) audience help for a monstrously complex multitrack, and caps the gig off with a Latin-influenced closer that was simply heavenly.
But the highlight was undoubtedly the “audience request” bit of the show. Asking for a random variety of styles, Page managed to create a tune which was both enjoyable and able to highlight the suggested influences of Gospel, Reggae and Metal. The guttural vocals, alone, were priceless.
I grinned like a loon for the bulk of this performance; it was simply enjoyable tunes created by a likable larrikin in a wonderful venue with what felt like a bunch of friends, not punters. It really felt like Page was creating on stage out of love and respect for the assembled throng, bereft of ulterior motives. And all that added up to a very happy blogger :)