60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #55


Imaginary Walls Collapse – Adam Stafford (2013)

I’ll never tire of shouting out very loudly that Adam Stafford is a musical genius.  It’s his misfortune (as such) to have been born in Sunderland and to spend most of his life in Falkirk, instead of one of the great and innovative cities of the world where his talents would have been more readily acknowledged.

I first came across him as the frontman of indie band Y’All Is Fantasy Island.  I later read that the band had broken up and Adam had decided to pursue a solo career. It was around the same time as I was making my first foray into gig promotion in 2011 by putting on a home town show by Butcher Boy, partly to mark the 5th anniversary of the old blog and to showcase the band’s new album, Helping Hands.

I made contact with Adam, and he agreed to come along as the support act.  He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I thought he was magical.  I started going to as many of his live performances as I could and mentioned his name to a few folk, including Matthew Young, the entrepreneur behind Edinburgh-based Song, By Toad Records.  The next thing I knew, Adam had a deal to release his music on the label.

It was the start of a partnership that saw five albums between 2013 and 2021.  The first of these was Imaginary Walls Collapse, an astonishing LP that was longlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year, which was quite some feat for a label that was not much more than a cottage industry.

I previously described it as being something that defied conventional description, with a thin white duke playing his guitar, beat-boxing, crooning and using effect pedals to make sounds unlike any other of my records.  I’ll stand by that description, but quickly add that the live experience always outshines what comes across on vinyl:-

mp3: Adam Stafford – Cold Seas

I know that Adam’s currently working on new material, and fingers crossed it will see the light of day over the next year or so.

Feel free to come back later on for a bonus post ICA……


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