Adam Ant performing his Friend Or Foe Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Thursday 7th November 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

In 1982 Adam left his band, The Ants, to pursue a solo career and it was his debut album, Friend Or Foe that he was delivering in its entirety at the Royal Concert Hall last night.

Having lost none of his swagger, the dandy highway man came on stage to deliver his opener, the title track of the album before following up with Something Girls. Moving around the stage with his trademark shimmies and sways, he danced in spurts during Here Comes The Grump.

With the album being presented as per the track listing, those hardened Ant fans in the audience knew what was coming next. For Goody Two Shoes they were on their feet Ant dancing, and for Crackpot History And The Right To Lie the duelling drums set against his nearly spoken words was an early highlight.

Keeping the between song banter to an absolute minimum, he seemed happier when Try This For Sighs and Man Called Marco brought an end to the album’s section of the show. With equal contributions from the whole band and very creative musicianship, playing the album in its entirety had completely worked.

For the non-album portion of the show Ant appeared more animated, as he went through a set list that contained most of Adam And The Ants greatest hits. With Ant physically slowing down, the set list had everybody up on their feet for the likes of When Dog Eat Dog, Kick! and Vive Le Rock.

Now being engaging and actually chatty he picked up his guitar as hit followed hit. There was Prince Charming and Kings Of The Wild Frontier which had the crowd dancing and for Ant Music the synchronised guitar playing from AP Leach and Will Crewdson together with Andy Woodard’s drumming was an absolute delight as the crowd carried the backing vocal during the song.

With his vocals being strangely low all night in a mix often dominated by the backing vocalists, the audience were not particularly concerned. They had come to see Adam Ant and they had not been disappointed. And when he uttered the words “I’m the dandy highwayman” the crowd erupted with dance and song for set closer Stand And Deliver.

Back on for Red Scab and Physical (You’re So) Adam Ant finished the night with a flourish, having undoubtedly delivered a night of nostalgic music that had the crowd singing as they left to go home.