Ryan Adams plays magical in-store gig at Rough Trade London

Last night Ryan Adams played us his new record Prisoner in full at Rough Trade East’s in-store gig – and it was everything we hoped for. 

In-store shows are always a treat no matter the artist, but it turns into a magical night when it’s a singer-songwriter as talented as Ryan Adams. With now 15 albums under his belt ind just 17 years, the next one is set for release on 17 February and from what we’ve heard so far it’s going to be an amazing record.

Last night, we got to hear just a little bit more of what’s to come, well, a LOT more of what’s to come. Ryan played almost every track off the new album to an audience that was hanging at his every word. Usually, even if the entire room is in awe of the performer, getting radio silence is almost unachievable. But leave it to Ryan Adams to accomplish just that – a room so quiet with excitement you could hear every breath from the mic. The Canadian took the stage and hailed the evening as him singing us “a few songs about his feelings”. And we sure as hell were up for that.

After last year’s divorce from Hollywood actress and singer Mandy Moore, the album could easily be marked as a simple break up album. But it’s so much more than that, and has so much more depth than that. Ryan Adams is a musician who bleeds his feeling onto the strings of his guitar and that’s where the magic happens.

The evening feels much more intimate than it already is anyway. There’s only 100 people in the room, and yet it seems so much smaller. A friendly gathering of sorts. It’s my kind of gig: talented musician, impressive lyrics, banter with the crowd and genuine good time.

We didn’t just get to listen to Ryan’s new songs tonight, there were songs made up on the go like the Dunebuggy Song, and its metal version (not sure they’ll ever make it onto an album though), there was chatting with the girl in the front row who helped Ryan with his pedal tuner, there was an impromptu acapella saxophone, and there were “one more song” which turned into two, three, four more songs.

It all seemed like a perfect intimate in-store gig and got its seal of perfection with the very last song of the evening – a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Streets Of Philadelphia. One of Ryan Adams’ biggest influences and one of my personal heroes.

Thank you, Ryan, for a magical evening and I can’t wait for the new album, and maybe a UK tour?

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