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Adam Ant at the IndigO2 26th May 2011
Prince Charming Stands and Delivers one more Tour
Saturday morning TV in the early 80s was a very interesting place. Kids saw it as their chance to hog the box for a few hours because there was literally nothing on the three channels which would interest an adult. Unless you counted The Open University. Between the calamity of Tiswas and adverts for Buckaroo, TV (or telly as we used to call it) would reveal glimpses of a world of music from bands we never knew existed geeing us up to rush down to Woolies to buy the single or at least a blank tape to record it onto.
Thus began my love affair with this thing called music and Adam Ant was a bit player in that saga.
One December morning a new face appeared on our screens, white paint smeared across his face, his hair in dandy curls yowling at us to “Unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour.” We did. And the rest is history. No, perhaps my memory does the man more justice than he’s due but think of those halcyon years and all its cartoon pop characters and Adam Ant will be there somewhere, musket waving at the camera.
Back to 2011: the IndigO2 in Greenwich, London. Mr Ant takes the stage to the opening strains of Plastic Surgery, revealing a modified outfit which, to be fair, to have been paraded tonight in its original form would have bordered on self-parody. 30 years ago it was part pirate, part highwayman. Now sporting an Admiral Nelson hat and large glasses, he looks more like a cross between Captain Jack Sparrow and Tucker from Citizen Smith (Google it kids, you WILL laugh, I guarantee it.)
‘Dog Eat Dog’ goes down well and then during ‘Beat My Guest’ Adam suffered glasses failure on an epic scale as he tripped over his mic stand and tumbled head first into the press pit. Fortunately it was packed so tight he bounced back onto the stage with minimal assistance. All credit to the man for that and for a 2 hour set which included most of the hits we all know and less of the cover versions he played at the end of 2010.
His first full tour for 11 years saw a packed house here at the IndigO2. Those who paid to be here surely wanted to witness the legend as much as listen to the hits. A lot has been made of Adam’s turbulent past but to be honest the man has done less headline-grabbing in 30 years than Pete Doherty manages in an average night while inducing fewer cringes and actually having some talent.
The backing singers included Georgina Baillie of Satanic Sluts and Sachsgate fame (yes, Andrew Sachs of Fawlty Towers or the naughty BBC DJs episode, depending on your age.) The girls added a splash of glamour to an otherwise monotone stage set and were, according to someone anonymous in the Ant camp “Two fingers up to the PC brigade.”
Score: 4/5. He may have lost an octave off that shrill warble but his stage presence and character are still as loud as ever. At 56. Adam may not be the king of teh charts but tonight he proved that he is still Prince Charming for many.