Barry Adamsonsl-113794 – Love Sick Dick (Central Control)
Out 14 April, 2017


Barry Adamson unleashes Love Sick Dick on the city. Mark Ray reviews for Louder Than War. 

To quote Barry Adamson of his new record: The blues is the blues and if the heart aches then that’s the sound that will come out whether you are playing guitar, a synth, a piano or playing futuristic guitar solos on your iphone.

Adamson is a man who should know, having earned his stripes playing with Magazine and The Bad Seeds, he embarked on a solo career of much artistic integrity and experimentation, taking in jazz, blues, rock and using all manner of instrumentation. It says much for his talent that he plays all instrumentation on this new EP. It’s a concept recording of sorts, following a desperate loner through a night in the city.

I Got Clothes opens proceedings with a booming drum and bass creating tension and excitement. A piano melody floats over the top and the vocals are breathy, soulful. It could be a soundtrack to a gangster flick; the sound of a guy getting ready for action. It’s heavy, pounding, driven.

Sweet Misery starts with a blues guitar, before an electro backbeat kicks in. This is modern blues, blues for a fractured world. There’s a feeling of oppression and darkness as the hero is dragged down by the city whilst vultures circle him. He prods at his demons like a tongue probing a broken tooth. The guitar solo soars through dark alleyways and claustrophobic nightclubs.

People Like Us is more upbeat, like some ’90s track. The ego is now on fire. The clubs pulsing, pounding, smashing you into oblivion, into one single organism, one single ego.

On Golden Square is ’80s pop, sultry and yearning as various forms of nightlife swirl around our hero. When things go bad he calls for his mom and his momma says it’s alright. But I’m not sure it is.

They Walk Among Us sounds like a John Carpenter score. It’s neo-goth full of  horror and tension. This is vampire blues with an unseen, silent horror stalking through the neon lit city streets. And there’s a great bass solo.


One Hot Mess brings the night to a close with dark techno rhythms. There is tension and exuberance, as disco beats swirl around our hero, enveloping him in a haze of ego and forgetfulness. He smothers a proposed conquest with his ego and bullying persistence. She’s got his number, but under duress. All that’s left is a walk home alone. In the rain.

Love Sick Dick is a lovelorn journey through the neon cities underbelly in search of desperate love and a redemption that is always out of reach. The morning will break with squalid efficiency in an embrace of smog and the detritus of the night creatures, that will be swept away with the stars, as Love Sick Dick faces another day.

A release very much recommended.


Barry Adamson is on Facebook and Twitter.

Tour Dates:

  • 19 April – FR, Paris, Boule Noire
  • 20 April – BE, Brussels, Botanique Rotonde
  • 21 April – NL, Amsterdam, Paradiso (Upstairs)
  • 22 April – UK, Manchester, Ruby Lounge
  • 24 April – UK, Glasgow, King Tuts
  • 26 April – UK, Bristol, Thekla
  • 27 April – UK, London, M.O.T.H Club
  • 30 April – DE, Berlin, Frannz Club
  • 2 May – DE, Munich, Kranhalle
  • 3 May – DE, Cologne, Blue Shell
  • 4 May – DE, Hamburg, Jazz Café

All words by Mark Ray. More writing by Mark Ray can be found at his author archive. And he can be found on Twitter.

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