Review by Linda M Patterson and Photos by Laura Patterson
Eighties icon and the original dandy highwayman, Adam Ant, made a welcome return to Rock City to promote his first new studio album in many years. The early start of 7pm seemed to catch out much of the Nottingham audience with only a handful of people seeing his regular support act, Georgie Girl and her Poussez Posse, take to the stage to perform a short set. The room was still still half empty when she announced her last song getting the biggest cheer from saying, “You will get to see Adam in a minute.”
After a career spanning 35 years, with some well-documented ups and downs, Adam might look a little older but he has lost none of the stage presence and unique charisma that took him to worldwide superstardom. Striding onto the stage, part dandy highwayman, part Jack Sparrow, with his military jacket a seeming nod to that famous Kings of the Wild Frontier album cover, all that was missing was the white stripe.
He showcased his creative and songwriting talents with excellent new material from his new album due for release in January, Adam Ant is the Black Hussar in Marrying the Gunners Daughter. ‘Cool Zombie’, his latest single with its catchy melody was a standout moment and showed that the Ant Music is alive and well and ready for its second time around.
Most of the audience were of an age that they probably experienced the first wave of his fame with him but Adam’s music is clearly, and quite rightly, being discovered by a new much younger audience – many of whom had come in full Adam Ant garb.
Inevitably people were waiting for the classic hits and Adam didn’t disappoint them. After 30 minutes, with the crowd still flowing in, he broke into one of his three number ones, Stand and Deliver sending the audience wild. A breath-taking performance of ‘Wonderful’, the only love song he ever wrote was painful, heart-rending and beautiful. The evening was scattered with an array of his hits from his punk roots with ‘Dog Eat Dog’, through to the crowd-pleasing ‘Goody Two Shoes’, by way of the classic anthem ‘Ant Music’, which even after thirty years the crowd had word perfect.
The ever-present two drummers provided a solid base to the tribal beats of Adam’s early work and the much rockier sound was probably a surprise to those who came along because they knew him from the classic hits.
After a short encore, including a show-stopping performance of possibly his most famous hit, ‘Prince Charming’, he slipped away quietly and modestly. While Nottingham, early on a Friday evening, may have been a world away from his days as the dandy highwayman, the love in the room for Adam was as strong as ever. After years of not being able to make music this comeback promises much for the future.
And you can see more shots from the show here: