Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
June 16 2016
Live review

It’s not the first venue that would spring into my mind for an Adam Ant gig. Pirate hats and jackets, face paint, classic punk t-shirts….and seats. Lots of seats. All seats, in fact.

Once I’d got used to that fact, we got off to a great start as the lights went down and on came the theme tune to 633 Squadron. It brought back memories of New Model Army gigs in the late 80’s, when they’d come on stage to the same intro before storming into My Country.

Tonight, as it was the complete Kings of the Wild Frontier album, in full and in sequence, we naturally kicked off with Dog Eat Dog. It became immediately obvious that actually, the seats were just a minor irritation and would not stop anyone enjoying themselves. Adam Ant is the ultimate performer and show man, lapping up the rapturous cheers and applause – he could surely not have wished for a warmer Manchester welcome!

So on we went, through that whole classic album which provided Adam and the Ants with such a massive breakthrough back in 1980. Once described as “one of the great defining albums of its time” there’s a pride and a swagger to Kings of the Wild Frontier that comes to life on that Manchester stage.

As you’d expect, Antmusic upped the “anty” (see what I did there) with virtually the whole audience joining in with those timeless lyrics of “Unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour…”.

As we journeyed through the Wild Frontier though, it was that title track that stood out the most for me. It was a stunning, electric delivery, earning well deserved massive applause and cheers.

I must confess that I’d “forgotten” what great tracks there were on this album, reminded obviously by those classic hit singles but also by tracks like Killer in the Home and particularly Jolly Roger – “Its your money that we want and your money we shall have”. Classic!

Once the album was complete, we then moved on to other Ant music from around that period. Vive Le Rock, Car Trouble, Desperate But Not Serious, Apollo 9, Goody Two Shoes, Beat Me, Press Darlings and Physical were all in there, as well as the T Rex classic Get it On and that “marmite” Ant track Prince Charming. The big one though was Stand and Deliver – naturally, perhaps. It’s another one of those massive sing along tracks that seem to fit in perfectly to both a night of punk pop nostalgia and an office party.

Adam Ant has a remaining broad appeal and popularity that is to be admired. Everyone I told that I was going to this gig reacted with delight and excitement, as if they were going themselves! Catch him if you can.

Lawrence Chapple-Gill

Facebook – LCG’s Punk and Indie Collective

Lawrence Chapple-Gill
(Sent from my iPad)

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