Adam Ant – first night of the tour review

ADAM ANT

Brighton Concorde 2

May 16th 2011
by Dom Lawson


photo by Nigey B check the rest of the set of pics form the Brighton gig here

Given recent events in the life and times of Adam Ant, it is almost impossible not to feel a slight twinge of panic as the change-over time between support act Krakatoa and the supposed arrival of our returning hero begins to drag on…and on…and on. The stage certainly looks equipped and ready for a rock ”˜n’ roll show, but nothing is ever 100 per cent certain in Antworld. Visions of the 56-year-old pop legend shuffling along the beach in nothing but his pants, brandishing a giant stick of rock and shouting expletives at seagulls may have flashed through the minds of even the most patient and optimistic fans, and yet there is a tangible atmosphere of excitement and goodwill in a packed Concorde tonight: people want this to happen and to go brilliantly, not just for themselves but for the man himself too. Adam’s fans have waited for a long time to see their idol tread the boards again and if recent media appearances have revealed him to be more than a little combative and defiant, that has only added to the sense that this time, finally, he is on course to reignite that once glittering career.

And then the interminable wait ends and there he is. Adam Ant. Large as life, eyes twinkling, a belligerent snarl making it plain from the opening seconds of a spiky and urgent ”˜Plastic Surgery’ that this is not going to be some cynical, neutered exercise in showbizzy 80s nostalgia. Adam’s new band ”“ seemingly to be known as The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse ”“ look and sound fantastic; a ragbag of insouciant, ice-cool misfits, replete with two drummers, that perfectly complement their leader’s eccentric garb and gait. But what really matters is Adam himself, and even though there are moments during the set when he seems a little antagonised and uncomfortable, there is more than enough evidence of both the magisterial pop star that towered above his peers 30 years ago and the cocksure art school punk that never tried nor cared to abide by anyone else’s rules. From ”˜Dog Eat Dog’ and ”˜Stand And Deliver’ through to ”˜Vive Le Rock’ and even a touching ”˜Wonderful’, these are great songs with renewed fire in their bellies, performed by a band that clearly believe in them and understand why this music continues to resonate with so many after all this time. In fact, despite dutifully playing the majority of his biggest hits, Adam is clearly more interested in revisiting the edgier parts of his catalogue and so tonight, much to the delight of the die-hards, we get a huge amount of material from the brilliant ”˜Dirk Wears White Sox’, including bullish, pointedly abrasive versions of ”˜Catholic Day’, ”˜Cleopatra’ and ”˜Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)’, plus fistfuls of b-sides and obscurities ranging from the crowd-pleasing likes of ”˜Beat My Guest’ and set closer ”˜Fall In’ through to a snotty ”˜Fat Fun’ and a turbo-charged ”˜Physical’. And while it is undeniable that Adam’s backing vocalists, one of whom appears to be Andrew Sachs’ tabloid-(dis)approved granddaughter Georgina Baillie, are involved more for their boss’s entertainment than for ours, their presence does add a dash of camp and kitsch to what is an otherwise fervently fiery and insubordinate affair. There is an exhilarating frisson of danger in the air tonight: a far cry from the cosiness of the Here And Now has-been circuit that Adam now seems determined to avoid. Far from being a tentative toe in touring waters, tonight is all about expectations being audaciously surpassed. It is also more than apparent that Adam is rather enjoying the opportunity to vent his spleen and settle a score or two. “Beady Eye?” he spits, unprompted, at one point. “Most appropriate name for a band I’ve ever heard. They should be called Monobrow. They’re a pub band! Shit!” He grins wickedly, wiggles his hips and takes a large glug from his beer. Adam Ant is having fun.

Meanwhile, if The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse are already this good, barely a handful of shows into their existence, then we can only imagine how monstrous they will sound at the end of this lengthy tour. Gloriously, and perhaps surprisingly, Adam Ant seems more than ready and able to take on the challenge too. He leaves the stage tonight without saying goodbye or thank you: a living, breathing, thrillingly haughty punk rock pop star to the last. How fucking splendid it is to have him back.

Dom Lawson

set list

Plastic Surgery / Dog Eat Dog / Cartrouble / Zerox / Deutscher Girls / Stand and Deliver / Catholic Day / Kings of the Wild Frontier / Beat My Guest / B-Side Baby / Wonderful / Press Darlings / Antmusic / Cleopatra / Goody Two Shoes / Never Trust A Man (With Egg on his Face) / Vive Le Rock / Christian D’or / Fall In / Prince Charming / A.N.T.S / Fat Fun / Get It On / Physical (You’re So)

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24 comments on “Adam Ant – first night of the tour review”

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  1. Thanks for the link to my photos. I totally concur with excellent review. Like Dom I was mightily relieved to witness an enjoyable and professional show from Adam that lingered long and hard on the punkier end of his back catalogue. Welcome back Adam. A great gig – my favourite so far of 2011.

  2. First time I saw Adam and the Ants was in Brighton. I’ve been to many gigs over the years but these two will be amongst my most memorable. Plastic Surgery has always been a top ten desert island disc for me so what a great way to start the evening. So glad I made it on crutches and with my leg in a brace, welcome back Adam.

    • Ruth Bannister

      omg i saw you there hopping along, you did well. hardcore fan ,well done, i went on my own to the Indigo last night to see him too, and he was alot more talkative. A great set ,i love him x

  3. Agree with everything written here. 30 years between shows and Adam fulfilled every expectation and more. The man knows how to keep his fans happy!

  4. Totally agree, great show. Adam still showed a lot of character without the outbursts, the spitting , the swearing of the previous gigs at the 100 club and Electric ballroom, Also it was good to see all his songs apart from 1 cover… T Rexs classic get it on, were previous shows have been about 50/50 covers. Shame we didnt get any new material though.. especially as the album is already recorded apparently… but all in all,an awesome Rockin show by a true Pop Punk Rock n roll star !!

  5. Been following Adam closely since last Spring and his new beginning. He is getting better and better. Am dashed at not being able to see him right now. Next year perhaps in the UK and sooner if he manages to make it to the Stales before then.
    Very good article.

  6. First time I’ve seen him, despite being a fan back in the day and have to say the gig was fantastic, if not better. Playing so m uch old stuff really made it for me. He looked good too.

    Hope he can pull it off at Guilfest in front of several thousand, if he does then the Skys the limit!!!!

  7. Oh, I tried to get tickets for this gig but they were like golddust, unless you wanted to pay 3x the ticket price on Ebay. I have got a ticket for June and from reading these reviews I cannot wait! I am beyond excited :)

  8. David J Harris

    This is a great review, it now seems like the real Adam Ant is back in the room fighting fit and performing to the high quality standard that I myself and many others associate with the man. For once there’s a couple of fantastic clips on YouTube that provide a great advertisement whilst regenerating excitement for the rest of the tour. Hopefully it casts aside and lays to rest any doubts that have stock piled over the past year with every bizarre interview, his overpriced gigs and more. It’s all in the past right? Lets bloody hope so! Fans know that when Adam delivers he delivers with true finesse, Adam Ant the showman is back! Good luck with tour

  9. savoy truffle

    great review and great that louder Than War were the first to realise just how good Adam was when there were loads of doubters last year. Some of whom were whining on the comments section of this site.

  10. Great article. Even though I was not able to be there I see that Adam is in great form and I can tell he is enjoying being onstage. All the best with this tour and American/Canada is waiting.

  11. Adam was excellent at Dundee on 21/05/2011.
    After all the tweeting etc he will be unfortunately remembered for the good natured booing about his St Georges Kilt during the encores – and taking it badly, he eventually stormed off stage.

    But the gig should really be remembered for the storming set instead and enthusiasm of the crowd who couldn’t believe their luck. And for Adam’s very entertaining and just like 30 years ago show – better even with it’s post punk edge. Even Goody Two Shoes changed vibe into a much edgier number!

    I’m sure most people wondered what they were in for. And everyone had one heck of a night. I’d like some of his energy please.

    Nice one Adam.

    Gareth

    • I agree with Gareth. The show in Dundee was fab. Adam Ant still has it. Shame about the end, i was waiting for him to sing “Prince charming”. A fab night though

  12. Just back from the gig at O2 in Glasgow – and still bouncing! Vibrant, edgy, punky, cheeky it was a belter of a show laced with a touch of bitterness and vulnerability from the man himself. He really engaged with the crowd and we engaged right back! A great night’s entertainment – loved, loved, loved it!

    • Was at o2 last night – Adam was fantastic – as if he hadnt been away !!!! Wife drove as I was the fan and she hasnt stopped enthusing about the show since !!

  13. very excited little ant

    im going to see him ion cardiff on the 31st… im wetting myself thinking about it!

  14. saw adam on saturday at the pyramids,must be honest was not sure what to expect as the wife was the one who wanted to go,FANTASTIC,GENUINE SHOWMAN ARTIST WHAT EVER YOU WANT TO CALL ADAM,a full 2 hour set,i think you would be a fool to miss……i think this is the mature adam at his peak and it seems he is where he wants to be judging by how totally relaxed he was on stage,good on you adam,fantastic evening

  15. Awesome gig! not a big fan of his own tunes but any tunes that i did know was superb kings of the wild fronter oh yes!!!! fandabulosis in other words fantastic

  16. just saw adam in brisbane, oz. i think he is better now than he was in the 80’s, and that is saying something. the intensity of the show, the tightness of the band, the live recreation of some of the production on the records, and even how well he is singing compared to many ‘comeback’ tour singers i have seen over the last few years just blew me away. i think i cried during ‘kings of the wild frontier’ – it was that good. i haven’t had goosebumps during a gig since i was a teenager, and i’ve seen hundreds of bands since then now i’m 44. do yourself a favour, that music’s kept it’s taste!

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