The unstoppable Ficek interviewed by James Burton:
DRUG abuse, tabloid scandals and stormy relationships with supermodels might be part of bandmate Pete Doherty’s life, but Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek is far more interested in making music than treading the well-worn path to stardom. The 32-year-old Londoner, who is making a solo appearance at Bishop’s Stortford’s Half Moon pub on April 16, told the Observer he is quite content to stay out of the media limelight and focus instead on honing his craft.
Although indie-rock act Babyshambles is his most high-profile commitment, he has also been quietly working on side project Roses Kings Castles since 2007 and – though it may have slipped under the mainstream radar – released his self-titled debut under that moniker last September. Surprisingly, given his band’s brash, rough and ready vibe, Adam’s compositions are pretty laid-back. Jaunty, cheerful and charmingly simple, they’ve got the kind of melody you can see yourself whistling as you stroll down the street on a summer’s afternoon.
Unlike the output of stereotypically dark, intense singer-songwriters, who he dismisses as “taking themselves way too seriously”, it’s music to be enjoyed -- not listened to alone while staring broodingly into the distance.
Influenced by quirky tunesmiths like ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and late Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett, the talented performer records more or less everything on the finished tracks, from guitar and vocals to more esoteric instruments like vibraphone and accordion.
Adam, who is appearing as part of the North Street venue’s weekly Acoustic Club nights, said: “I studied music at Harlow College a while ago so I’ve seen plenty of gigs at the Half Moon, but this'll be the first time I've played there.“Some of my material gets used by Babyshambles, but some of it doesn’t and I wanted to have another creative outlet for that. I’d actually much rather play out-of-the-way places like this – I think people here are more hungry for good music and don’t see it as ‘just another gig’.
“There’s been a lot of fuss around Pete, but that isn’t hard to stay out of and I’ve certainly stayed out of it. I could easily go down a similar route and it would get me a lot more publicity and exposure, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with it. I’m a musician, not a celebrity.”
The show, featuring Adam as headliner, starts at 8.45pm and tickets are £5 on the door. For more information, visit http://www.acousticclub.co.uk/.