Like a perfect storm: Adam Thompson from Chocolate Starfish

Force of nature, Adam Thompson, with Chocolate Starfish at the Big Red Bash in 2021.PICTURE: MATT WILLIAMS

The Enigmatic force of nature, Adam Thompson, will flash across the outdoor stage of the Mundi Mundi Bash in April with Chocolate Starfish.

The band released a new album, called Beautiful Addiction, last year and the title track is all about finding the true self.

For Adam, this shows itself when pushing boundaries and showing vulnerability.

“Chocolate Starfish got back together with a freshness,” said Adam.

“I wanted to still keep creating but also, as a performer, I still wanted to keep pushing boundaries.

Since the 1990s, Adam’s costumes have included skirts and big boots in his unleashed performances.

“Back in the day, it was never safe,” he said.

“I feel comfortable with that.”

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Adam does a lot of work with rock band, the Angels, and band members would shake their heads at Adam’s outlandish getups.

“Five years later they shook their heads,” said Adam.

“This time it meant ‘Don’t you ever change. We love you like that.’

“It’s like an affirmation that you’re carving your own path but you’re doing it in a way that might be a little slower than the conservative looks and delivery but eventually you carve that niche that is you.”

Vulnerability has shaped Adam, especially the work of social researcher, Brené Brown, who linked vulnerability with connection.

“I love being as vulnerable as I can when I get out on stage,” said Adam.

“I actually love feeling not safe.”

This combination of risk and vulnerability makes Adam’s stage presence explosive.

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“There’s that physical energy or presence that’s enough to captivate that moment,” he said.

The next moment could be something completely different and the next moment could be a facial expression.

“And it’s all those things combined that make a performance,” said Adam.

Onstage, there’s an energy that Adam is putting out with the band and between band members.

“The average audience member looks for ways to articulate what they’ve just experienced,” he said.

“They just know they love the show but they often can’t tell you why they loved it.”

“You’ve elevated their senses to a new level.”

Adam will be doing just that under the wide Broken Hill sky in April.

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“I’m really looking forward to being part of the Mundi Mundi Bash and so many people I love dearly around this area being part of the experience,” he said.

Adam knew that the 1994 song, Mountain, from the band’s self-titled, first album, was going to connect and be a hit as he was writing it.

“You find those moments – that tune, that lyric,” he said.

“It just makes sense and it gives a feeling to me it’s going to be able to be communicated to a lot of people.”

The chorus lyrics rise hauntingly.

You want me to be a mountain

I’d rather be a river

The song gained even more poignancy when it was covered by a Croatian band called Prljavo Kazalište (Dirty Theatre) in the late 1990s against the backdrop of the Balkans War. The song was called Brane srušit ću sve (I’ll Blast All Dams) and was also a hit.

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“And then, 24 years ago, an indigenous pop duo in Alice Springs did it because they said ‘Oh, that song means a lot to us as the mob,’” said Adam.

“It’s about finding your direction like a river, rather than standing still.”

Mountain is also a metaphor for relationships in general, including partners and kids.

“If you love your partner, don’t try and change them,” said Adam.

“Don’t try and constrain them.

“You let them be that river.

“Let them follow that passion, follow that goal, that direction.”

The river meanders and changes.

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“You’ll hit dead ends where you dry up and you’ll need to go back up the river again and find that next tributary but… eventually you’ll find your way to your ocean,” said Adam.

“I just knew when that melody and those lyrics came together, it was almost like a perfect storm,” said Adam.

Like the man.

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