It’s nearly 5.00pm and the crowd is getting thicker in the former bath house water tank turned gallery space. There’s a pale yellow light coming through the clerestory window which brightens up the dark cast iron interior. We are over the capacity limit, it’s becoming hard to move and I’m getting concerned about the artworks – thin metal structures draped in appliqued translucent fabrics – precisely placed around the space. Too late to worry about it, let’s hope for the best. Suddenly, it feels like someone has turned the volume down. I struggle to make my way to the back of the room, this is where it’s happening, the performance is about to begin.
Adam Christensen hides in a hut-like structure also covered in precious fabrics, behind a beaded curtain but we can all hear him. He reads a text about lost love, gay sex and an extended trip to LA. He doesn’t need a microphone. Once the reading is over, Adam comes out of the hut and climbs on a set of steps. Now we can all see him. He’s wearing a fitted yellow dress with puff sleeves, thick heeled yellow stilettos and a dark brown shoulder length wig. His lips are MAC Ruby Woo red and match the two dots painted on the inner edge of his eyebrows. He carries a piano accordion.
Adam takes a sip of white wine and starts playing the accordion, just a few notes, the crowd is silent. And then, out of nowhere, coming from deep inside, a long loud raspy howl…THAT voice. It’s bluesy, raw and powerful. It takes you by surprise, it grabs you by the balls, it gives you goosebumps. It sounds like a modern Fado with a campy twist. I don’t understand the lyrics but I can feel the pain and the emotion. I don’t understand the lyrics but it sounds weirdly familiar. Adam told me later that it was a cover of the Cranberries’ No Need to Argue.