Adam Ant – Watford, Colosseum - 24 May 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 04:30

Let’s get one thing straight. Adam Ant is the real deal. He’s not some washed up ‘80s pop star about to go out on a nostalgic package tour with Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. This is a man that was there at the start of punk, and paid his dues in the pubs and clubs of that era before becoming the household name he did in the early/mid ‘80s. The two previous tours, both of which I’ve seen, were glorious – the whole of the debut Ants album ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’, and then the whole of the huge ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ album.




With those tours, you knew where you stood, if you liked those albums, you’d be guaranteed to like the shows. Perhaps this tour is a bit more tricky for Mr. Ant, as he brings together fans of each mini-Ant era, from the angular post-punk ‘Dirk’ style, through the monumental ‘Kings’ crossover, and the more pop direction of ‘Prince Charming’ and the solo years, playing a set of many of his singles with selected favourite b-sides. Consequently, what you would enjoy most in this set depends on which part of Adam Ant’s career you enjoyed the most, and it’s a set that manages to cater for all, from the old punks, to the old rockers to the old pop fans.


‘Dirk’ and ‘Kings’, and their associated singles, were my bag and I was certainly not disappointed with what we got tonight. At one point during the set, the band (stand and) deliver ‘Cartrouble’, ‘Zerox’ (still my personal favourite), ‘Young Parisians’ (never seen him do that one before), and ‘Prince Charming’, complete with huge crowd sing along, all in a row. Sheer Ant gold. On top of that, b-side ‘Beat My Guest’ kicks things off in fine style, and all the ‘Kings’ singles get the biggest response of the evening – with ‘Dog Eat Dog’ being the fastest version I’ve ever heard of the track, ‘Antmusic’ getting another huge sing along, and ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ itself being so stunningly good that it seems to get a rousing standing ovation that lasts for minutes.


Fans of Adam’s solo years are well catered for too, with the likes of ‘Goody Two Shoes’, ‘Wonderful’, ‘Strip’, ‘Apollo 9’, ‘Vive Le Rock’ and ‘Puss ‘n Boots’ all delivered impeccably. Really I was more of a fan of the Ants, as were many here tonight, so the solo stuff is less appealing for me, but equally there’s plenty of punters here that were more keen on the solo years, and fair play, we all get what we want.


Talking of fans of the earlier stuff, the encore is a treat with an awesome b-side bonanza of ‘Lady’ and ‘Fall In’ mixing it up with ‘Red Scab’ and a sublime ‘(You’re So) Physical’. Perhaps only ‘Whip In My Valise’ would have made this an even better b-side bonanza, but you can’t have everything. As for missing singles, ‘Deutscher Girls’ or ‘Plastic Surgery’ would have been welcome, but obscure early nugget ‘B-Side Baby’ did feature, and I don’t think anyone missed ‘Ant Rap’ too much!


Adam Ant himself, as has been clearly evident on the previous tours, is in fine shape. The voice is immaculate, and every bit as strong as it ever was, and the performance and charisma also remains intact. As has also been evident on the previous tours, he has a shit hot band behind him too. The Ant marches on.


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