Adam Ant performing his Kings Of The Wild Frontier album at The Symphony Hall Birmingham on Tuesday 7th June 2016
Images and Review by Kevin Cooper
In October 1980 Adam And The Ants made their Top Of The Pops debut with their swashbuckling performance of Dog Eat Dog that was the talk of every school playground in the country the next morning. Their album, Kings Of The Wild Frontier followed, and it deposed Abba’s Super Trouper from the top of the charts. At the time Adam And The Ants were unequivocally the biggest pop band in the UK, a position they would occupy for the following eighteen months.
Now some thirty five years on, the album has received the deluxe box treatment, and Adam was at The Symphony Hall last night to play it live in its entirety. The packed Hall were on their feet as the main man and his five piece band, including two drummers, naturally made their dramatic entrance and tore into the album’s opening track, Dog Eat Dog.
Following on with Antmusic, the crowd were on their feet, and they didn’t sit down for the rest of the night. Adam looked in great shape; his hair a little longer and dressed in his classic braid jacket with his now customary tricorn pirate hat, he also looked as though he was pleased to be there.
Continuing through the first side of the album, the momentum kept going. There was Feed Me To The Lions which was good enough to have been a single, whilst Ants Invasion and the brilliant Killer In The Home brought back the memories. The last song on the album was Human Beings; a powerful rumbling song which had a bigger sound than on the album, and was a great way to finish off the Kings set.
It was only after the album tracks had finished, around 45 minutes in, that Adam spoke for the first time, wishing Birmingham a good evening, and introducing another hour of music which included B sides, Beat My Guest, Christian D’or and Press Darlings. There were early singles Cartrouble and Zerox before the massive hits, Stand And Deliver and an emotional Prince Charming.
For the encore there was a sterling cover of T Rex’s Get It On, before the evening was brought to a close with Physical (You’re So). It’s fair to say that Adam hasn’t really learnt any new moves over the last thirty five years, but who cares when the few moves you have got are as cools as Adam’s. Now over 60, he was in fine form, both vocally and physically, as he pouted and twisted for this appreciative audience. The white face stripe has long gone, but with a young backing band that were impeccable and vigorous, he clearly does not need it.
This audience absolutely loved it, and it wasn’t surprising that many of them knew all the moves for Prince Charming. Leaving the Hall singing ‘Don’t you ever, don’t you ever, stop being dandy showing me you’re handsome’, it was a fine tribute. Step aside Johnny Depp; last night the original Captain Jack Sparrow was at The Symphony Hall and he can sing as well.