The return of Bow Wow Wow
The return of Bow Wow Wow

The return of Bow Wow Wow
The return of Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow the much loved tribal punk pop explosion formed from the ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’ Adam & The Ants line up and joined by charismatic young singer Annabella Lwin have returned.

We already knew about their headline slot at this year’s Rebellion punk Festival but there is now also a tour.

Featuring original members two vocalist ANNABELLA LWIN and bassist LEE GORMAN who nowadays both live in LA, these will be the first proper Bow Wow Wow gigs since the early 80s. Bow Wow Wow are best known for their hits “Go Wild In The Country” and “I Want Candy” and famously managed by the late Malcolm McLaren. McLaren persuaded guitarist Matthew Ashman (who sadly died in 1995), Lee Gorman and drummer Dave Barbe, of the then line-up of Adam & The Ants to leave Adam Ant form a new group later ”˜discovering’ the 14 year old Annabella singing in a dry cleaners.

Controversy followed Bow Wow Wow, due to McLaren’s canny exploitation of the band ”“ most famously the recreation of the Manet painting “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” featuring a nude Annabella.

The band have not toured in the UK since the early 80s. However, they did make an appearance performing a short set to a rapturous reception at a tribute concert for Ashman in November 2010 at the Scala with original drummer Dave Barbe. Adam Ant topped the bill.

APRIL
19 ”“ Southampton The Brook
20 ”“ Oxford Academy
21 ”“ Birmingham Academy
23 ”“ Wolverhampton Robin 2
24 ”“ Leeds Brudnell Social Club
25 ”“ York Fibbers
26 ”“ Glasgow ABC2
28 ”“ Newcastle Academy
29 ”“ Sheffield Academy
30 ”“ London Islington Academy
MAY
01 ”“ Leamington Spa Hall
02 ”“ Bristol Fleece

In the meantime check out Horse Brothers the brilliant duo formed by ex Bow Wow Wow drummer Dave Barbe

Bow Wow Wow- an appreciation

Bow Wow Wow were the amazing creation of a reeling post Pistols Malcolm Maclaren at his most machiavellian and manipulative. But if it took these kind of shenanigans to create pop music this good then maybe it was worth the effort. the band’s meltdown of tribal drums, twanging guitars, yelping vocals and amazing bass playing was full of joy de vivre and colour that makes them timeless

Asked in by Adam Ant to try and take the Ants from cult level to the mainstream Maclaren stole Adam’s band and recruited Annabella Lwin- a 14 year old girl from a laundrette to be the singer. The bruised Adam got his revenge, though, by phoning up the brilliant Marco and making his own version of the tribal pop that Maclaren had already gifted him in a listening list that he gave the charismatic frontman- the Ants went on to record ”˜Kings Of the Wild Frontier’ one of THE great pop records and cavorted their way to superstardom.

Meanwhile Maclaren moulded Bow Wow Wow from Adam’s old band. Utilising the stunning drumming skills of Dave Barbarossa he created the Burundi backbeat by speeding up the Burundi drumming that they were nicking of Malcolm’s dusty old vinyl collection. Add to this Mathew Ashman’s stunning guitar playing and you have a pop music that is adrenalised, thrilling and sexy, and the sex angle was one that Maclaren was working to the hilt- riding roughshod over public morality he got his young singer to yelp and coo the sexbeat lyrics in a way that would cause major problems today.

The band’s first single, ”˜C30 C60 C90 Go!’ celebrated the rise of home taping and was aimed at pissing off the music industry- if only they had understood this then they could have understood the MP3 revolution couple of decades later.

Maclaren was always looking for trouble and sometimes the trouble clouded the issue and muddied the waters. Swerving conventional morality Bow Wow Wow were an amazing band, their colourful adrenalised pop bursts were stunningly origonal. Dressed in Vivienne Westwood’s brilliant first post punk collection of glam pirate threads they had the look, complete with the Mohawks that look great decades later. Ashman had the swagger and rock star arrogance and that beautiful white Gretsch Falcon guitar which I once played on when it was somehow hanging up on the wall of Southern Recording Studios. The guitar was a little bruised and battered but looking all the better for it and is the reason that John Frusciante once of the Chili Peppers uses one, being a major fan of Ashman.

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