Adam Ant – Live in Clacton – review

Adam Ant
Saturday 8th October 2011
Seawick Park
Live Review

if you like this read this review of Adam Ant live in Manchester 2011

Adam Ant”¦ in a caravan park?

There have been a lot of comebacks recently, some great, some not so. They’ve ranged from the ‘oh not them again’ to the more exciting and following on from a series of smaller gigs from Adam I have to admit that it was with a certain amount or trepidation that I approached this show. When the tour was announced and I found that the nearest show was only a few miles away from where I live in North Essex, and in a caravan park entertainment complex of all things, it seemed that he had gone down the ‘eighties legend’ route and I very nearly passed by on the chance to see him. It was the review from a friend that had seen him play a show earlier in the year that convinced me, his enthusiasm rubbing off I guess.

The one and only time I’ve ever seen him live was supporting Buzzcocks in late ”Ëœ77 at the Marquee in London, and heading to this one, 34 years later, my only hope was that he wasn’t dreadful.

The venue itself was exactly what you’d expect; a large hall, bar at one end stage at the other; only the first 25 feet or so was taken up by tables”¦ yes, tables, cordoned off by barriers so the rest of us couldn’t get near, and the hall filled with rows of seats behind this. Did they know what to expect, or did they think the small army of balding men and middle aged women, some with stripes painted across their faces and in their Top Shop finest were just going to sit and applaud politely? We stood at the barrier.

Two support acts came and went, both signed to Adam’s label and each fronted by his backing singers, which explains their inclusion in the line up and eventually the moment came when the lights dimmed and the people on the tables in front moved to the front, leaving a 20 foot gap filed with empty tables in front of us. The band walked on, the two drummers taking their place at the back and then, out of nowhere, Adam Ant walks on and they launch into ‘Plastic Surgery’.

From that moment on, the 34 year gap slowly vanishes, it doesn’t matter that the venue set up is more suited to cabaret, he’s still got it, the showman is still there, and he’s lost none of the humour that I remember. From ‘Plastic Surgery’ straight into ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and the frilly shirted housewives behind me enter screech mode, I’d wondered how they’d take the pre-Kings material, but when this is followed by ‘Beat My Guest’ and ‘Kick’ they’re just as happy although slightly quieter. A set covering his entire career follows, and Adam is loving it, with a massive grin on his face and chatting between songs, from ‘Another number one? oh go on then’ as they launch into ‘Goody Two Shoes’ to wistfully explaining that he’s been away for 16 years, and that the last thing he did was ‘Wonderful’, “A love song, only reached number 28, so I won’t be doing that again”. Little stories about why the US version of ‘Dirk Wears White Socks’ didn’t have ‘Catholic Day’ on it before playing it, and how he was only allowed to play Live Aid because his manager threatened to pull Sting follow, and he’s having a great time.

For me the highlights were the earlier material, but no matter what period you prefer, if you’ve not seen him recently then get a ticket for one of the upcoming shows now, you won’t regret it. He has a new album due in January and despite the fact that we heard nothing from it, I have a feeling it’s going to be worth the wait.

For the record, here’s the full playlist:

Plastic Surgery
Dog Eat Dog
Beat My Guest
Deutscher Girls
Stand and Deliver
Room at the Top
Catholic Day
Kings of the Wild Frontier
Never Trust A Man With Egg On His Face
Goody Two Shoes
Viva le Rock
Christian Dior

Fat Fun
Prince Charming
Get It On/20th Century Boy

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  1. Very fair write-up. I loved the Dirk Wears White Sox material and thought “Adam”‘s voice was at it’s best with his earlier hits. I’d bought last minute tickets off someone at work and ended up on a table at the front – the layout was very odd and annoyingly un-punk. I ended up at the front dancing whilst the mum’s took photos.

    p.s. Neither myself nor my partner are bald (and I hope not middle aged either) :-) x

  2. Great review except for the assumption that the “frilly shirted housewives” might not know the pre-Kings stuff – a bit of a lazy pigeonholing. The reason I’m saying this is because exactly the same thought passed through my head when I saw him this year, then imagined how I might be perceived…as a 40 something mum and sad old punk/goth?

  3. Great review. I hope Adam makes it to the US/Canada. I am happy to see he is getting a well deserved great response. Hey America is calling you x

  4. 4th time this year for me. glad to get a show right on my doorstep. well worth a look. Off to Cambridge next. they are addictive and I cant wait for the album. Its a shame he never plays anything of his new stuff but I guess he’ll tour next year playing them.

  5. Spot on review, it was fantastic!! Looking forward to seeing him again on the 20th Nov at The Troxy. Reckon he’s not playing any of his new material as he knows we’ll all buy it anyway! He’s still got it!

  6. Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”

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