Adam Ant + New Killer Shoes @ O2 Academy 2, Leicester – Wednesday 24th April 2013


Review and Photos by Paul Broome


I don’t think it would be overegging the pudding if I said that Adam Ant was my Elvis. His was the first music I obsessed over, the first album I bought, he was the first person I impersonated in front of the mirror. To see him not only back but cut free from the pop industry machine that trapped and ultimately supressed him is a wonderful thing. The recent brand new double album (Adam Ant Is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter) was like a breath of fresh air – raw, pure and unfettered by expectation – it was 100% Adam Ant. So when I noticed that the current leg of his tour was coming through the Midlands I jumped at the chance to head along.

Knowing that one of my favourite young bands would be supporting him only cemented my desire to get to Leicester. New Killer Shoes are accompanying Adam on the whole of this April UK tour, after being personally chosen from around 500 bands who submitted recordings to him in order to win the support slot, and by all accounts they’ve been doing a sterling job of winning new fans amongst the Ant People. Tonight’s performance was everything we’ve come to expect from the lads, no energy spared they clattered through a tight 30 minute set drawn from the debut album I Ain’t Even Lyin’ – down to Earth but out of this world. Regular set closer ‘Love Rocket’ shook the Academy to its core, and saw them leave the stage to tumultuous applause. If they keep winning over other people’s audiences at this rate, it will only be a short amount of time before they’re the ones choosing support acts.

After a lengthy and smoked-filled intro Adam Ant takes the stage to a crescendo of crowd noise and kicks straight into the title track of the recent album ‘Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter’, and so begins a hundred and ten minutes of incessant enthusiasm, personality and wall-to-wall entertainment. The new tracks already sound like classics, with songs such as ‘Stay In The Game’, ‘Vince Taylor’, ‘Cool Zombie’ and the storming ‘Shrink’ pulling as much of a sing and stomp-a-long from the crowd as the bona fide ‘hits’ of old. The choice of material is absolutely spot on, as well as the great selection from the new album there are plenty of songs from fan-favourite Dirk Wears White Sox (that first album of mine that I mentioned earlier!) with ‘Cartrouble’, ‘Zerox’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘Whip In My Valise’ and even ‘Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)’ getting a deserved airing.

And we haven’t even touched those ‘hits’ yet – all of which are present and correct – ‘Antmusic’, ‘Goody Two Shoes’, ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’, ‘Ant Invasion’, ‘Vive Le Rock’ and a brilliant ‘Prince Charming’ kicked off by Adam on his Les Paul with those unmistakable chords.

A special mention has to be made to the current incarnation of his band, which sound perfectly tight, rock hard and allow Adam the freedom and confidence to do his thing. I would urge anyone who has the chance to get along and see Adam live, especially if you haven’t seen him in the flesh before – it’s one hell of a show, and you are guaranteed to enjoy every second of it. This not just someone living on past glories (unlike many of his contemporaries) – this is an artist as vital today as he was thirty years ago. Still creating; still vital; still filled to the brim of his Hussar’s hat with energy and that essence of mystery that makes him so captivating – buoyed by his new found liberty and a sea of appreciative fans.

My favourite gig of the year so far. Hell, quite possibly my favourite gig of the last five years… An electric atmosphere, a storming support act,  and a crowd full of smiles, singing and satisfaction. What a night.


  1. My 8th time to see my idol of 30+ years, and I have to admit that a Wednesday night after a full day at work felt like a strain…But the Percy Gee Building (O2) was my happy hunting ground from BC (before children)at the old Uni venue, so what could I do?
    WOW! The support band (New killer shoes) were electric! Lively, energetic and very talented, those boys should go far!
    Then… that moment… the anticipation is worth every second… as Adam walks on stage and you just know it’s gonna be a GOOD night!
    The play list was fantastic, a superb mix of old and new that worked together seamlessly! My lethargy evaporated instantly as song after song invoked elation! Standing in the third row (just off left to Diane) dance had to commence, especially to the old favourites, Antmusic, Prince charming, and of course my namesake ‘Physical’.
    A fabulous night, so glad I made the effort, Thanks Mr A! x

  2. This was my 3rd time in two years…adam and the band are fantastic as you say tight and absolute energy experience to watch. Sound was excellent stage presence excellent as always… my very first experience was at bham when I was 15 im 46 now and can honestly say I prefere the smaller gigs that hes doing now. Will definately attend more.the killer shoes who supported were brilliant….different full of energy…..and definately worth buying thier release….all in all a cracking gig wish I could afford to follow round the country. Unfortunately money and work will not allow.

  3. New Killer Shoes put in a energized performance. After hearing they were supporting Adam I took the opportunity to check out youtube to see who they were. The videos don’t do these boys justice. They are extremely good live and would be surprised if they don’t have a successful career. Their 30 min slot was full of noise, jumps, kicks and good music. I will go see them live again taking my newly converted daughter with me!!

  4. This is my 8th time I have seen this band live, they are just incredible led by the ever ‘charismatic’ Adam Ant. Anybody who loves live music would enjoy the whole experience. I may be biased because I love the man and his music but if I am so be it.

    This concert was so hot and moving to the smaller venue made it even more enjoyable. Adam just captivates the audience and takes you on a ride of good music, hypnotic movement and energy a man of his age just shouldn’t have!

    When the audience consists of all ages and people, who have traveled from the USA and others who have seen every gig in the tour, it tells you something of the attraction of Mr Ant. The show, I think, is the best ‘Rock & Roll’ show around.

    Oh yeah, thats me in the audience pic, blonde hair black glasses captivated by Adam!!

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