August 17, 2008
Music Review: Adam Page Solo
By Lee Randall
ADAM PAGE SOLO ***
UNDERBELLY (VENUE 61)
IF YOU'VE never seen a man wearing an inflatable Sumo wrestler suit reaching down to lift his pint off the floor, you haven't lived. Why the costume, you ask, since this is a musical act? Maybe that's how they do it in Adelaide, or maybe it's because Page considers himself musical first, idiot second, and sometimes the two overlap.
Essentially a 21st-century spin on a one-man band, the show consists of Page on a wide variety of instruments - including a balloon, a carrot, a drill, and the percussive and harmonic effects achievable by the human voice - creating improvised soundscapes via finessed overdubbing. In other words, the man plays with himself. Or, to borrow his more poetic phrasing, makes "beautiful buildings of music".
I found his sax and clarinet playing on the squawky side, without a mellow balance, but there's no denying he's a master of many genres, from Latin jazz to death metal. He's also a genial host with a good line in between-song patter. My great fear was the repetition - one lick playing over and again on the tape - but he kept the riffs moving and evolving.
Still, I was expecting more vegetables. And I think the premise, while interesting, wears thin after a while. But that's me. The capacity crowd was delighted.
Until 24 August. Today 5:20pm
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