Saturday, 30 June 2012

Graham Norton - Never Close Our Eyes

It was always one of my wishes to have Adam slay the UK with his charmicide on Graham Norton so I was very happy when this was announced. I did try to get tickets but failed so just had to watch on TV like everyone else. But my, it was great to see him on TV rather than a substandard stream for once.

Adam's hair is high and fabulous, and his face is a bit of a curious hue under those lights but look at what he's wearing! It's like a sprayed patchwork white and grey suit that someone has taken a bite out of. It's also like one of those games where you have to slide everything into position to give you the correct sequence but there's just that final Tetris block out of place that I want to slide over. It's not as flattering as his usual tailoring with quite a long modest cut so there's no satisfaction for the crotch-gazers, and those trousers are way too loose for that anyway! I don't like the clunkiness of those shoes but I prefer them to his blue ones.

I think Adam starts off a bit nervously by the way he flicks his head. His tone isn't very rich but it is steady with lots of lovely rasp to follow. The editor decided to letterbox the performance giving it a cinematic feel, homing in on Adam's expressions and twinkly eyes. It's disappointing for me that this is a shortened version that leaves out all the "Oooh, yeah..." bits and when he lets rip with those vocal acrobatics. I assume it was edited out rather than a version with a different song structure. As far as his performance goes though, it's a strong one where he doesn't put a foot wrong and the band sounds tight. I'm left wanting more though as Adam doesn't get any banter time or manage to fit a word in edgeways on that couch afterwards. I get the feeling he's a bit cautious and eager to please but I'd really like him to relax, let his cheeky side out to play and be bold.

G-A-Y London

Apologies for the long delay, I've been suffering from massive computer fail as well as various other failures!

Adam's first gig in the UK was at G-A-Y so it's only apt that he would kick off his Trespassing era with a return. Plus I'm sure this is probably one of his favourite venues for obvious reasons. He must love performing for this audience. Here's my playlist:

Adam's in his trusty starred leopardskin T-shirt with suit jacket and tight bikery leather trousers. Trespassing opens the set where he's brilliant in voice, followed by a stompy, booty-shaking Kickin' In that has less of a rock vibe with the electronic elements coming through, which I think works better. Shady is damn fierce and it's quite interesting to hear a different shade of his voice for the bridge part that's sung by Sam on the album.

Adam does his utmost to get the audience to strip for Naked Love, removing a layer himself. This is where he really works the crowd, getting his potty mouth in on the act. He gets his banter on before Cuckoo and I just have to laugh at him pulling his trousers up as his arse is moving for the crowd. He gets the echo effects that he asks for and more. Never Close Our Eyes concludes the set and it's a joy to see him so relaxed with his swearing while plugging his album.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Rays of Sunshine London

This is Adam's first UK Trespassing-era gig open to all and is part of a charity extravaganza for Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity. The line-up has lots of big name pop acts with a large proportion originating from TV talent shows.

The venue is the iconic Royal Albert Hall, home to many a famous concert. It's been a long-standing wish of mine to see Adam perform an acoustic concert there so I guess this comes close. He's back to looking dapper in an electric blue suit and tie with lots of sheen. I'm rather partial to that colour on him and he completes the look with some outrageous leopardskin boots. I think he has a bit of a Teddy Boy look about him.

Adam uses session musicians instead of his usual band and though they don't have the same on-stage rapport and energy, I think they do a great job. They even have all the clapping nailed for Trespassing. I can't really hear the backing singers but they alternate between high and low claps. Needless to say, his voice is on top form and he works the stage.

On saying this is his second UK concert, Adam seems to have forgotten about all the FYE era concerts. Oh Adam, how could you forget us! The set is only three songs long so he goes on to do a fine job on Cuckoo and NCOE. He never seems completely happy about the sound though. I would've loved for Shady to have been part of the mix. The next gig is at G-A-Y which I expect to be a completely different affair.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Bertwear T-Shirts and Accessories

UPDATE 02/06/12 - "Werk" T-shirt designs added.

Here are a couple more designs for you on the theme of "Werk", a word found in the lyrics and a word to describe the response to the album's funk side:

The first one here is "Werk Bitch!". I thought about using the Trespassing stripes but decided against it because I have feeling we're going to be sick of it before long. To keep with the Trespassing visual theme, I used a danger sign as a base with a "High Voltage" warning symbol because I relate it to Adam's electrifying performances, plus I like the way it looks. It also points downwards, like it's an order for you to get down and shake your booty. Those with dirty minds can find another meaning as it points crotchwards. I modified a loose heavy typeface to give it an informal look that has movement and attitude, and you have the option to choose neon colours as well as the standard yellow.

There's another "Werk" design for those who aren't comfortable with wearing the word "bitch". It's just "Werk" against a "High Voltage" symbol background. I decided to dispense with the exclamation mark here because I think the full stop gives lends a cool, laid back angle as a definitive statement. The print is available in neon colours as well as the standard yellow and shiny metallic gold.

Since we're into a new era, I've been playing around with some T-shirt designs that I think will be appropriate. Again, I'm not a fan of the official merchandise so here are some designs for you to wear to subtly reveal your support for Adam:

First up is Trespassing Beat. It uses the Trespassing tape that's become synonymous with this era as a base. I've included silhouettes of Adam clapping, so along with the time axis (t for Trespassing as well) at the bottom, it's like a diagram to show the clapping rhythm of Trespassing. The size of the spaces between the claps is directly proportional to the amount of time between them. The pedants amongst you may point out that the first clap isn't actually a clap but more of a stamp. I decided to include it not just for aesthetic purposes but I think I'd personally want to clap on the big beat at the start of the bar. I hope you find it to be a fun, wearable and possibly geeky design for this era.

The second design Queenbert 2012 is a commemorative one for the special concerts Adam has lined up with Queen. I went for a classic design using a modified typeface similar to that of their logo. I designed the crown to incorporate elements linked with both Adam and Queen, wanting to keep it elegant and queen-like. When you look at it I hope it just says Queenbert to you. I included two infinity signs from Adam's tattoo to symbolise not only the energy exchange between performer and audience that Adam has talked about, but the beauty of the full-circle moments that made these events come together. Adam's first song with which he got introduced to the world on AI was a Bohemian Rhapsody. His final performance on AI was with Queen. The first full circle. Then we had the EMAs and now this with the full circles going round again. I included diamond shapes as a reference to Freddie Mercury's infamous harlequin outfit, five points in the crown to represent the members of Queen and Adam, and the letters A and Q. Finally, I thought I should include the year, seeing as these are special concerts that may become the stuff of legend in years to come. The designs come in either silver or gold glitter, or silver and gold metallic print. Hope you find it a classy one you'd be happy to wear.

If you like what you see, click to visit the designs in the re-vamped shop, or browse the other designs below. I decided to give the shop an overhaul and a new name to for the new era.

94.7 Fresh FM Freshtival

Those studded shorts! And those boots! With that weird hoody thing! Don't you just love that Adam is a never-ending source of amusement? I can't help but admire his attitude and sense of fun when it comes to his presentation. Here's my playlist:

The set starts off as usual with Trespassing and Kickin' In, which has impressive vocals. I've started to find Brian's banter slightly irritating as he sounds like Adam's echo but maybe the purpose is for sound adjustments. I like his dancing and the energy he brings though. Adam does a bit of melodramatic moaning about the heat at the start of Shady, and it looks like he has a specific dance for those shorts. The humming at the start of WWFM is divine, turning out to be another spellbinding performance.

Adam reluctantly removes his hoody, spoiling his look for Chokehold. It's not the most accurate near the start but those vocals are nothing short of spectacular. There's a bit of a Naked Love synths tease at the start of Broken English, again with a nice guitar solo with staggering wails and runs. Naked Love is next for real and it's funny how Adam tries to be all conservative when it comes to nudity but won't think twice about being sex-grabby and thrusty. IIHY is next and unfortunately Adam sounds lost and off-key flat throughout due to various sound issues. He later apologises and takes the piss out of himself over it. NCOE is followed by Cuckoo where his voice is at its bright and gritty best, sprinkled with wonderful runs.

Friday, 1 June 2012

96.5 TIC Spring Fling

SHORTS!!! Below-the-knee rocker length, but that still comes as quite the shock. There's still daylight and the weather's hot so it's a logical choice. The trashy loud vest with dollar signs however, isn't. Still you have to love that Adam doesn't take himself too seriously, and this is one of those hilarious WTF? outfits that works in setting a fun mood.

The set starts with a funky-as-hell Trespassing, leading into a camp theatrical Kickin' In. Shady is still my favourite for getting down to and Adam performs it cheekily. WWFM is the big dramatic version and has a lovely ending where his voice is a sweet flutter. Chokehold has sublime vocals sung with his stank face for much of the time, with a light ending floating over the instruments.

Adam tries to get crowd singing his riffs, but ends up taking the piss. As if a normal person could hit those notes. I assume this is to get the sound and echo right for Broken English. I've run out of ways to describe Adam's voice but here it's bluesy and just phenomenal. Tommy does a good job with the guitar solo. Next up is Naked Love which has an uplifting energy with Adam's giggle and encouragement of audience participation. I think I'm getting used to the ending now as I'm getting less fussy about the absence of a big finish. The surprise song is IIHY, which hasn't been done for a while. It sounds a bit different during the chorus with the bass less electronic and more funky. There are some nice vocal variations. I'm really getting to enjoy the excitement of NCOE live. It looks like Adam was never quite happy with the sound and the final run of notes is very flat. The set ends with Cuckoo and the band intros, with creative riffs over bridge.