Adam Stafford
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Adam Stafford


Band Folk Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Utterly mesmerising..."

"The utter highlight of the night was Adam Stafford of Y'all is Fantasy Island (4 out of 5), who remarked with amusement that his band sound nothing like Smith, before battering his guitar into submission with a bellowing round of crazed one-man swamp rock. Utterly mesmerising..." - The List Magazine

"...this night belonged to one band alone."

Resembling one of those U-shaped graphs from high school maths, tonight's showcase of new Scottish music starts on a high, sags in the middle, before climbing back up towards the end. First up to test the structural dynamics of Henry's worryingly low-slung ceiling is Y'All is Fantasy Island, whose folksy debut LP recieved unanimous local acclaim in the summer. With Fenders firmly plugged in, YIFI show off not just their versatility, but a genuine, firmly-channelled talent, especially in the dynamic interplay between rhythm and lead guitars. Their set teeters on the edge of angry abandon until last song Culdra, during which singer Adam shoves it over the precipice, tossing his guitar onto the floor and conjuring a wail of feedback that leaves onlookers awe-struck as the band walk off stage in a daze.

Next band Prose draw a sizeable (relatively speaking) crowd of friends and fans for their first gig in many a month. Despite the hiatus, they sound tight and together. Perhaps too much so, because behind the intricate, crisp guitar-play there isn't any meat on the musical bones. An erratic burst of reverb midway does little to alleviate the unremarkable same-ness of their songs. Third band Chocyamo try to raise the standard with their brand of choppy, quiet-loud post-rock. At their best, they come close to At the Drive-In, but too often they lapse into the realm of poorly-sung girl-boy vocal duos.

So it's left to V for Victory to redeem the night. Looking the most like an NME fad band in their drainpipe jeans and neckties, they certainly sound edgier than the last two. Playing straight-up indie with an organ twist, the lads lighten the mood when singer/guitarist Fraser spends five minutes trying (and failing) to detune his instrument after one song, causing much inter-band cajolery. Although the near-incessant electric piano is played well, it sounds a bit 'ham' after a while, so when it's toned down on Little Victories, they have their best song of the night. The quality meter may have curved back up then, but this night belonged to one band alone. - The Skinny Magazine

"Haunting beauty from a prodigious talent"

“In Faceless Towns Forever” is the debut album from singer-songwriter Adam Stafford, recorded in an old vacant property somewhere in his native Falkirk. The resulting lo-fi recording is one of surprising warmth and intimacy, with a blend of acoustic and electric guitar accompanying Stafford’s rich vocals. There are also hints of woodwind on songs such as the fantastically titled “God is love, but so is Arthur Lee”. The standout track for me is “I bet you’re flying inside”, which breaks my heart every time I hear it. Lyrically, there’s a refreshing streak of cynicism: “She said you can’t fuck a sunset”, again from “God is love,…” and “the country songs we once loved have turned to shit”, from the excellent “That we are all doomed”. A welcome change of pace is provided by “I’m always here by the darkness”. I’m always reluctant to comment on people’s ages, because I usually think it’s irrelevant, but in this case there’s a world-weariness distilled down into the songs which belie Stafford’s tender years.
- Gig Review Scotland

"Can blue white men sing the white blues?"

When someone confidently comes on stage with a classical guitar you usually expect to get blown away by fancy runs, fandangos, fiddly fingery things and stuff like that. But Adam Stafford looking for all the world like a resurrected Ian Curtis waiting for a bus and complaining about his non-compliant new strings was about to break that particular piece of mouldy headed thinking.

After a slow start and (audience mind-reading here) thoughts of “This guy’s been playing for about two weeks, oh dear, oh my god, etc.” Adam exploded into a furious and frantic display of bottle-neck slide guitar music delivered in a discordantly triumphant style complete with major percussion and melodic effects. It was the sonic equivalent of throwing a hand grenade into the upstairs of the Waverley Bar. Rumour has it that afterwards a number of young ladies and one or two “accomplished “ guitarists had to be treated for shock and disbelief out on the cobbles below.

It would be fair to say that Adam likes to hammer his guitar, producing steam-train like industrial sounds, drones and bomb blast riffs, the old trick of snare-drum string bending and a great deal of tension building and finally forms it all into a new musical genre: punk/sweat n’ blues/anarchy or something of that sort. Ten minutes late into the set, like a young bank clerk hung over on a Monday morning the growling, howling vocals arrive. Bloody hell, the glorious pain goes on with more counter melodies and a host of self-generating rhythm patterns. Huge applause follows this (untitled) piece.

Adam does two more songs, “End of the night” and “I loved that woman but she went away” both marvellous and by this time I’d lost the will to write in easy favour of listening to Adam at full blast. Can blue white men sing the white blues? You’d better believe it and you heard of him here first.

Take a bow Adam Stafford. - OOTB

"A howling emptiness that would make Johnny Cash scowl"

Both Adam Stafford and Lach come from a tradition of folk performers who want to play rock’n’roll. With an attention to language and a single guitar, they create a sound that is as immediate as rock and as intimate as folk. Cabaret Voltaire is the ideal space for these musicians: small enough to allow communication between artist and audience, with a good sound system and a relaxed ambience.

Y’all is Fantasy Island’s debut album, ‘In Faceless Towns Forever’ is a melancholic slice of charming folk music, but front man Adam Stafford’s solo set tonight was invigorating and direct. Leaving behind the cello and clarinet of the recorded versions, he exposed his songs of longing and quiet despair to ferocious acoustic guitar, revealing a strong poetic sensibility and a howling emptiness that would make Johnny Cash scowl. In the middle of his short set, he switched to electric guitar and explored a more subtle approach that still managed to grab the attention: his confident stage presence and earnest passion ensured that a warm response was had from the audience. - The Skinny


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Adam has been writing songs and playing guitar since the tender age of 14, but it is only in the last few years that he has matured into a powerful and emotive songwriter and performer capable of knocking audiences dead with only a battered 30 quid classical guitar and a voice too old to be coming out of his scrawny frame.

Mr Stafford is influenced by everything from raw, early bluesmen and vintage american folk music to cutting edge electronica and heavy metal. It could be said his sound is a unique distillation of all of the above and more.

Adam Stafford is also the founder and songwriter of Y'all is Fantasy Island, a band from Central Scotland who self financed and released the acclaimed debut album "In Faceless Towns Forever" last year.

In the recent months he has supported The Handsome Family, The Veils, Thomas Truax, Lach, Frightened Rabbit among others.

**** About the songs ****

His songs heard here cover a range of topics from off-kilter love songs, the hard hitting social commentary of Hooray for Everything and a tragic love story involving a dyslexic skier and a woman with a Body Integrity Identity Disorder (the sufferer feels that their limbs don't belong to them and have a strong desire to have them amputated).

It's all going to end in tears...