Articles / Reviews

Adrian Borland & The Citizens - Live at Patronaat/Holland (Keith Cameron)

date: Jan 6, 1990


 

ADRIAN BORLAND AND THE CITIZENS 
Haarlem Patronaat 

Senior Citizens
 

If you're Adrian Borland, beginning a live comeback in Holland makes perfect sense, since towards the end of The Sound's dogged career virtually the only people prepared to listen were of Low Country origin. It's our loss, for Borland remains a most compulsive spectacle. He has perhaps mellowed sufficiently to laugh and joke between songs - "This one's about drugs and girls" goes the introduction to 'She's My Heroine', "er, complete crap, actually!" - but when in the midst of his work, Borland is utterly for real. The criminal self-deprecation vanishes and the sweaty-countenanced rock anti-hero of old takes over, as ever outside the fickle constraints of fashion.

The competent band of Dutch hired hands at times blunts the delicate pull of such songs as "Beneath The Big Wheel' and 'Deep Deep Blue' but this is the first night of a lengthy tour and besides, when Adrian decides to let his modesty drop and hog the front lights any suggestion of blandness is consigned to oblivion. 'Cave Man' is brand new and an only semi-comic Velvets pastiche; he slips into 'I Can't Stand It' just to make sure we're sure, the chance for more unapologetic guitar bitchin" earning grins all round. The inclusion of three Sound numbers - 'lron Years', 'Heartland' and a staggering solo "Silent Air' - was hardly necessary other than to make up the set numbers, for "Rogue Beauty' is as good a song as anyone could hope to write: universal emotions, uniquely expressed. Adrian Borland hits British stages in February; you ought to be there. 

KEITH CAMERON 



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