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POP MUSIC REVIEW

Homesick blues add color to Gough gig

The final stop on his U.S. tour is another stream-of-consciousness showcase for the British enigma also known as Badly Drawn Boy.

November 11, 2002|Steve Hochman | Special to The Times

"This well may be a song -- who knows?" said Damon Gough, a.k.a. Badly Drawn Boy, at the start of his concert at the Wiltern on Friday. For anyone who had seen the scruffy troubadour in concert before, that likely brought one of two reactions: "Oh boy!" or "Oh no!"

On stage, BDB is nothing if not erratic, taking a rambling, stream-of-consciousness approach. It's maddening to some, but to others it's a ride to emotional and musical peaks of glorious, life-embracing transcendence and in-the-moment honesty.

Home is where his neo-hippie heart was Friday. He repeatedly noted that this was the last stop on his U.S. tour and he was eager to get back to his fiancee and their two children. That mood illuminated songs from his new album, "Have You Fed the Fish?" It also brought new dimension to highlights from his shabby 2000 masterpiece "Hour of Bewilderbeast" and his charm-filled songs and score from the movie "About a Boy."

Mid-show, he opened a travel bag and produced two photos of his family, gazed moist-eyed at them and then majestically sang of his yearning to deserve that kind of love. When fans grumbled later after he stopped a song due to problems with his monitors, he chided, "It's only a gig." The beauty is that his gigs, and his music, so well resemble life.

Resembling a different life, Adam Green opened with his own take on shabby stream-of-consciousness chic. Sitting on a stool with his acoustic guitar, the former member of the willfully twisted duo Moldy Peaches deadpanned cute little ditties that invariably veered into perversion. They're kiddie songs you'd never want your kids to hear, but even at their sickest, there was something endearing about this puckish deviant.

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