Born and raised in Manchester, England, Adamson was an eccentric child with an interest in comic books and fashion; as a child, he often strutted around his parents' house dressed as one of the Beatles. By his late teens, Adamson became infatuated with the burgeoning British punk rock scene, and, after a brief stint in graphic design, joined the celebrated Manchester punk band Buzzcocks as a temporary replacement for bassist Garth Smith. After Smith rejoined Buzzcocks, Adamson fell in with former Buzzcocks singer Howard Devoto's new band, Magazine. One of the most critically-acclaimed British bands of the post-punk era, remembered for singles including "Shot By Both Sides," "The Light Pours Out of Me" and "About The Weather," Magazine released five albums before splitting in 1981. After stints backing Buzzcocks leader Pete Shelley in his solo career and as part of the early '80s New Romantic supergroup Visage, Adamson joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 1983. Expanding his instrumental arsenal to include keyboards, guitar and drums as well as bass, Adamson played a key role in the Bad Seeds' first three albums, From Her To Eternity (1984), The Firstborn Is Dead (1985) and Kicking Against The Pricks (1986) before leaving the band in July 1986. Adamson began his solo career with Moss Side Story (1988), an evocative and semi-orchestral soundtrack for a non-existent film noir set in Adamson's native Manchester. The well-received album brought Adamson to the attention of the film world. After scoring the low-budget indie thriller "Delusion" (1991), Adamson's credits included scoring and songs for critically-acclaimed dramas including Allison Anders' "Gas Food Lodging" (1992), Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (1994), David Lynch's "Lost Highway" (1997) and Danny Boyle's "The Beach" (2000). In 2010, Adamson's novella Maida Hell won the award for Best Short Story at the 2010 Piemonte Noir Italian Festival. While maintaining his solo career and soundtrack work, Adamson returned to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 2013, playing bass on their 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away.