Popping into the indie music space in 2014, following earlier stints as Singing Adams and a few years in the Broken Family Band, Steven James Adams took over the top floor of coffin-shaped Gateshead staple the Central Bar for a seriously intimate gig to promote his new album, Old Magik.
With an overzealous microphone in front, thundering train tracks behind, Jim’s leaving do overhead, rugby cheers beyond a constantly-flapping door and a hilariously unaware and overly-tinkling glass collector to contend with, Adams threw himself headlong into a hilarious, touching show.
Throwing the tech aside early on and rendering himself resolutely unplugged for the rest of the night, Adams went on to charm the pants off the crowd with a brilliant – and brilliantly unexpected – mix of self-effacing comedy alongside songs old and new.
Invoking sing-alongs, standing in solidarity amongst the crowd playing to an empty stage, serenading couples, instigating a potential gatecrash of the do upstairs while running laps from one end of the room to the other, the Cambridge-born singer songwriter nailed the night with beautiful songs by turns melancholy and ridiculous, an eye for showmanship, and surprisingly impeccable comic timing.
Steven James Adams was an unexpected delight, weaving every challenge chucked at him into an unforgettable night, and leaving town with more than a few brand new fans.
Leigh Venus at The Central, 19 March 2016
Originally published in Narc Magazine
Photos: Michael Wood