Tom Adams lounge gig
Comedian-musician Tom Adams performs live in living rooms. Time Out puts the kettle on…
Musical comic Tom Adams travels to front rooms as a comedian-for-hire. He treats Ben Williams to one of his lounge gigs. Photography David Tett.
© David Tett
Tom Adams has just finished his first song. ‘You’re probably thinking: Why have you got a microphone?’ he says, to the dozen or so audience members. ‘Well, I’ve played bigger lounges than this.’
As you may have guessed, this isn’t your standard comedy gig. Adams is performing a show in my Camberwell flat, to as many people as I can cram into my little living room. It’s brilliant fun – not only because I didn’t have to leave the comfort of my sofa to sample some live laughs, but I’m also not paying extortionate bar prices or dealing with questionable pub toilets. And it’s not exclusive to Time Out journalists; anyone can book a lounge gig from Tom Adams, for a small fee.
‘The hardest thing has been how to get people to trust you and trust that you’re good enough to perform in their lounge,’ explains Adams, as he sets up equipment before the guests arrive. ‘I want people to feel safe. I want them to feel they’ve had a different experience.’
That’s exactly what a lounge gig from Tom Adams is: a totally unique comedy experience. Gigs don’t get much more intimate than this, but rather than feeling in danger of being humiliated (as the front rows of comedy club crowds so often are), Adams creates a warm, friendly, inclusive atmosphere. We’re treated to delightfully whimsical songs about campfires, emotive seagulls and sharks in parks, plus, in one number, we all contribute a happy thought to create a personal, never-to-be-repeated soundscape.
Adams started the project last year after musician David Parkin performed in his flat. ‘It was beautiful,’ he explains, ‘because you could chat about it afterwards with everyone. My style’s intimate anyway, so I just thought it was a natural thing to do. People enjoy having friends over, and with this there’s no obligation to provide a massive meal or anything.’
He’s been booked for birthday parties and celebrations, or just by people looking to do something different for a house party. Does he ever feel like he’s a children’s entertainer, but for grown-ups? He laughs. ‘Maybe I am, yeah,’ he replies. ‘I suppose it is like children’s entertainment for adults, or “adult entertainment”… but not that sort of adult entertainment.’
For more info on Tom Adams’s Lounge Gigs visit his website. To book him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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