diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

KEITH JOHN ADAMS – Pip (Happy Happy Birthday To Me, HHBTM070)

Posted: November 12th, 2005, by Crayola

One day people will look back and say, “I saw KJA play at a bistro in Dulwich”.
Which is a shame because he deserves so much more.

For those of you not acquainted with the joys of how KJA writes songs, and because I’m lazy, imagine a soup blended with all the best cuts of Robyn Hitchcock, The Kinks, Presley, Barrett, Jonathan Richman and Lonnie Donegan.
Yes. He’s that good.

“Pip” is a beautifully warm record. Even moreso than his previous “Sunshine Loft”, the songs here sound as though Keith is sitting next to you telling stories.
The album is all acoustic guitar and fuzz bass, clattering drums and KJA’s delightful asides.
Occassionally KJA has been bemoaned for using humour. I disagree. He doesn’t use humour in a Half Man Half Biscuit this’ll-be-funny-for-a-couple-of-listens kind of way.
The humour on “Pip” is a vehicle for honest emotion.
Take “Dad”, a song about KJA’s father and about the death of his mother. The opening verse made me laugh out loud,

“Comfortable as a pair of old shoes,
rational views on the national news,
drinking our tea in the glistening dew,
that’s me and my dad.”

but it’s tempered by a chorus of,

“when you share a life then you’re really living,
can you really live until you’re really giving,
when you lost a wife and i lost a mother,
but she’s kind of there when we’re with each other.”

which made me cry.
And that doesn’t happen very often.

Further into the album there are moments of touching beauty, like “In Love” with it’s gentle melody and whistled asides (the ghost of Donegan rears it’s head).
“Keep an Eye” is typical KJA tomfoolery. A skewed tune rattles around while Keith asks us to keep an eye on him as he doesn’t want to be “just a little speck floating out to sea”.

So, what else can I say?
A few people will remember him with huge fondness.
Why don’t you become one of them?


Crayola's musical heritage stretches way back to having one of the most impressive record collections in Telford. Always on the outer limits of the most independent of independent music, he now co-runs Kabukikore Records and releases more records and CDRs than you can shake an obscure stick a t. And they have some nice packaging, too.

Comments are closed.