Farrell Adams: Making Me Famous Since 1991

2009-10-19 12:22
Farrell Adams
Needless to say, in eighteen years my musical direction and my friends' diversified somewhat. For example, while I’ve headed towards country and popular rock, keyboardist Lindsay now fronts hardcore metal band Moment of Clarity.

Anyway, back in 1991 another musical career was getting started – one that would have a far more immediate, if not more meaningful impact on the rock scene. So much so that I’ve on occasion received heaps of praise for Farrell Adams' work. It seems that drunk Festinos can’t tell us apart – or maybe that’s just Observatory. I just smile and nod. It saves everyone loads of embarrassment.

I can say with due respect that Farrell Adams is a survivor. Few others from his generation of Cape Town musicians can claim to still be active in so many aspects of the business. He continues to perform as a musician and vocalist, but also displays an ardent passion for the work done by his alterego Boogeyman. See, Boogeyman the DJ plays funk and roots, hip-hop, breaks, and whatever in between. In fact, Adams says on his Myspace page: “As long as it funks, I’ll play it." And he does.

But Farrell Adams the musician seems to do all that and more as a musician. Whether you've seen Nine, Firing Squad, Golliwog or even the Little Sinners, there’s no denying the performance value of Adams in full cry.

I remember attending several Ruby in the Dust performances and even the 1996 Band Slam Tour with great reverence. And in later years, when I was privileged to jam with Nine’s members including Adams on various impromptu stages, there was always a challenge to keep up – to make whatever was happening more than it was. That's the great thing about playing with great musicians.

So what I'm saying is this: If you’ve never seen any of Farrell Adams' projects, you’ve deprived yourself of one of Cape Town’s finest, funkiest and all-round most entertaining musical experiences.

There are four such performances happening in November, all taking place on Wednesdays at Mercury Lounge. I'm ever the nosy journo, and I am insanely curious about what these nights may produce… specifically whether we’ll see some of his innumerable ex-collaborators step in.

What are the chances of James and Jerome Reynard and Grenville Williams and Dubmaster China just happening to be in the house on the same night? Or perhaps we’ll see Gorm Helfjord or Lee Thompson materialise on stage for a jam. Hey, anything can happen. That’s the benefit of having a rich, quality history to call on when you need it.

And hey, I may even get some more fans out of this.

Farrell Adams hosts a month of Wednesdays at Mercury Lounge in Zonnebloem, Cape Town: 4, 11, 18 and 25 November 2009.

Anton Marshall is a musician and music writer. It's a love-hate thing.

Back in 1991, some friends and I were trying to start an all-electronic band in homage to our favourite Depeche Mode albums. We even named the band Bong 13 - there’s one for the trainspotters!

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