“I’m a Jew,” Adam Green announces. “I was born into the Jewish faith. And if you like that, then that’s cool. If you don’t, then... I dunno.” He has at this point exceeded the capacity of the stage, spilling over the guard rail for a spot of unsuccessful crowd-surfing; the five people that do want an opportunity to molest him seem unable to sustain his weight. All that remains visible from the back of the crowd are his feet and their oh-so-fashionable trainers. His performance is such: Green is a keen exhibitionist. As his set opens, he swaggers on stage wearing an absurdly tight leather jacket. His exposed midriff jiggles unenthusiastically as he staggers wildly around the stage, arms flailing limply; a rat-arsed Gollum with a stunted jewfro.
“I like to do drugs/ I like to have drugs,” Adam mumbles incoherently. The song is called, appropriately, ‘Drugs’. Dedicated Green enthusiasts whoop like baboons at a mating ritual as they lean over the barrier at front of stage, arms outstretched. His performance is intriguing: how do his eager fans differentiate between his universally identical songs? Or the more intriguing question: what is he on, exactly? He exhibits the energy one associates with smack, but also the apparent clamminess of heroin.
As the gig progresses, Green develops an increasingly vicious loathing of his mic stand. “I own this piece of shit,” he informs us. He beats the microphone against his head, hard. “I own that too.” With his exhibitionism (girls squeal inexplicably; his tummy’s oscillation is almost hypnotic) comes the natural corollary of self-fixation. “What’s a low IQ?” he demands of the meagre but enthusiastic crowd. “Never mind. How hot is fire? Like, 200 degrees? That’s me.” More stumbling. “That’s my IQ. What’s with this fucking microphone?”
As annoying and semi-deranged as he can be, however, Green is possessed by an undeniable energy; in happier numbers he bounces up and down, left wrist limply raised, hands clawed, like a 5-year-old with a sugar-high at a rave DJd by Pingu. He’s also naturally, casually funny, if puerile, and the crowd likes him. His voice is resonant and deep, carrying confidently over a heavily amplified kick that made my sternum shudder. Over the less distorted guitar lines, his crooning even begins to sound a little like Elvis, if Elvis spent less time eating and more time crooning about blow jobs and stomach-churning rounds of soggy biscuit (and let us remember that there’s a fine line between delicate crooning and interminable droning; Green floats over this more adeptly than he does the crowd). Mere stage presence, sadly, cannot redeem 90 minutes’ indistinguishable indie rock.