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Barry Adamson

Musician — Manchester

Photo by Lee Jeffries

Name, where are you from?
Barry Adamson, Manchester.

Describe your style in three words?
Sleek
Freak
Unique

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust tour. The last time he performed as Ziggy and The Spiders from Mars.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Alice Cooper - Childhood hero! The early line up was amazing.
Led Zeppelin - Again amazing rock band, amazing players.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Punk - huge influence that got me to pick up an instrument and play it!
Hip Hop - added to the punk element a few years later helped me to understand where I was coming from.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Martin Luther King - just to get his take on America here and now.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Danceteria in New York (early eighties). We played the first gig in the USA with Magazine there. I remember looking out from the stage and seeing Andy Warhol, the great artist, looking on with complete disinterest.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Todd Rundgren remains a genius of influence to me. His solo recordings where he plays almost everything have been a bit of a bible to me over the years.


Barry Adamson is a musician, writer, photographer and filmmaker. He came to prominence as the bassist for influential Manchester post-punk band Magazine and then later as a founding member of The Bad Seeds with Nick Cave. Barry has also had a successful solo career with his 1992 album 'Soul Murder' being nominated for The Mercury Prize. He is also a successful composer and has worked with filmmakers such as David Lynch and Danny Boyle.

26th October 2018 will see the release of 'Memento Mori (Anthology 1978-2018)' celebrating the 40th anniversary of his career. Find out more and pre-order the album here

The first track you played on repeat?
'Good Vibrations' by The Beach Boys. The first record I bought as a seven inch and wore completely out.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Silver Machine' by Hawkwind. Teen years spent roaming around holiday towns with this song always on a jukebox somewhere.

One record you would keep forever?
'Riders On The Storm' by The Doors. Like an old friend. Calms and upholds a kind of faith in great music.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"You go back, jack, do it again.
Wheels turning round and round."

Many meanings in one simple phrase. 'Do It Again' by Steely Dan.

A song you wished you had written?
'Without You' by Harry Nilsson. Ultimate heartbreak '70s pop and an immaculate construction.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Window Licker' by Aphex Twin. For the sheer mental-ness and incredible artistry of it all. Sounds unbelievable at a loud volume.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Mask Off' by Future. Dark and depressing and brilliant.

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'Flashlight' by Parliament.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'Slave To The Rhythm' by Grace Jones. And that'll be me calling for a cab. 

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
'Can't Take It' by Sextile.
'I'm Not Ready To Relax' by The Cactus Channel.
'Crash Boom Bang' by Unloved.
Three bands that just blow me away every time I listen to them, which at the moment is most days.

Photo by Lee Jeffries

Name, where are you from?
Barry Adamson, Manchester.

Describe your style in three words?
Sleek
Freak
Unique

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust tour. The last time he performed as Ziggy and The Spiders from Mars.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Alice Cooper - Childhood hero! The early line up was amazing.
Led Zeppelin - Again amazing rock band, amazing players.

Which Subcultures have influenced you?
Punk - huge influence that got me to pick up an instrument and play it!
Hip Hop - added to the punk element a few years later helped me to understand where I was coming from.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Martin Luther King - just to get his take on America here and now.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Danceteria in New York (early eighties). We played the first gig in the USA with Magazine there. I remember looking out from the stage and seeing Andy Warhol, the great artist, looking on with complete disinterest.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Todd Rundgren remains a genius of influence to me. His solo recordings where he plays almost everything have been a bit of a bible to me over the years.


Barry Adamson is a musician, writer, photographer and filmmaker. He came to prominence as the bassist for influential Manchester post-punk band Magazine and then later as a founding member of The Bad Seeds with Nick Cave. Barry has also had a successful solo career with his 1992 album 'Soul Murder' being nominated for The Mercury Prize. He is also a successful composer and has worked with filmmakers such as David Lynch and Danny Boyle.

26th October 2018 will see the release of 'Memento Mori (Anthology 1978-2018)' celebrating the 40th anniversary of his career. Find out more and pre-order the album here

The first track you played on repeat?
'Good Vibrations' by The Beach Boys. The first record I bought as a seven inch and wore completely out.

A song that defines the teenage you?
'Silver Machine' by Hawkwind. Teen years spent roaming around holiday towns with this song always on a jukebox somewhere.

One record you would keep forever?
'Riders On The Storm' by The Doors. Like an old friend. Calms and upholds a kind of faith in great music.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"You go back, jack, do it again.
Wheels turning round and round."

Many meanings in one simple phrase. 'Do It Again' by Steely Dan.

A song you wished you had written?
'Without You' by Harry Nilsson. Ultimate heartbreak '70s pop and an immaculate construction.

Best song to turn up loud?
'Window Licker' by Aphex Twin. For the sheer mental-ness and incredible artistry of it all. Sounds unbelievable at a loud volume.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Mask Off' by Future. Dark and depressing and brilliant.

The song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'Flashlight' by Parliament.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
'Slave To The Rhythm' by Grace Jones. And that'll be me calling for a cab. 

Any new bands you are into at the moment?
'Can't Take It' by Sextile.
'I'm Not Ready To Relax' by The Cactus Channel.
'Crash Boom Bang' by Unloved.
Three bands that just blow me away every time I listen to them, which at the moment is most days.

Barry Adamson | Hummingbird (2018)

Barry Adamson | The Man With The Golden Arm (1988)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | From Her To Eternity (1984)

Magazine | Parade (1978)