Ahh…. Mr Ant, we meet again. It’s true that this year myself and Adam have not been strangers. Having been so utterly bowled over this time last year when I first saw Adam at this very venue, I was hoping that tonight would recreate the magic of the first time.
An eight o clock start at Rock City is virtually unheard of and on the odd occasion this has happened the bands have found themselves playing to an half empty venue as Nottingham folk are creatures of routine, but not tonight – the hall is packed to capacity as word must have spread of the early start and no one wants to miss a note.
Blasting straight in with ‘Press Darlings‘ a thrusting Adam has the crowd eating out of his hands immediately – the screams on his entrance to the stage were nothing short of deafening.
The screams get worse as the tribal beat to ‘Dog Eat Dog‘ starts and the thrusting and posturing goes into overdrive. not that I’m complaining – this is all very much part of the Adam experience. He cuts a magnificent figure, striking in his brocade waistcoat and black shirt his wonderfully piratesque hat and there’s plenty of people in the crowd that think so too as the screams and squeals of delight continue with fervour.
As the classic tracks from the early Ant years are covered with tracks like ‘Car Trouble’ and ‘Deutscher Girls’ having still retained their raw, punky sound it’s therefore no surprise to see a few Mohicans nodding away in the crowd. Adam means many things to many people and for every song thats played tonight there’s someone in the crowd who holds that song dear to their hearts. Tonight’s selection of songs means that every single Adam period is covered and every type of Adam fan is catered for.
By the time the Ant journey has reached ‘Stand and Deliver’ the screams are once again ear-splitting, the sound virtually lifting the roof off before he once again whips the crowd into a frenzy with one of my personal favourite but lesser known Ant tracks ‘Room at the Top’. The sleazy guitar romp driving the crowd further into hysteria as they screech themselves hoarse along to ‘Kings of The Wild Frontier’ the primal screams and beats of the song pulsating through rock city like a heartbeat.
Adam clutches his brocade top, the girl behind me pleads “Take it off!” with a tone hovering somewhere between desperation and anguish that her wish will not be fulfilled. Adam, ever the tease, and possibly knowing that its always wise to leave more to reveal, rips just enough to show his chest and the roof lifts once more as the crowd swoons and cheers simultaneously.
Tempo is then slowed ( probably just as well after the scorching performance preceding it) with what Adam calls his “Only attempt to write a love song” and as he introduces ‘Wonderful’, (which could just as easily be a description of the song) he adds with a titter, “I won’t be doing that again”. I wish he would its a beautiful heartfelt song and the lyrics make you melt.
“This is a different type of Love song” he exclaims and although I can’t see a raised eyebrow or a wink from where I’m stood I wouldn’t be surprised if one had accompanied the comment as he introduces the saucy “Whip in my Valise” joking that he’s not really into ’50 shades of grey’ because he’s put off by the colour.
Anyone thinking that Adam is all about the nostalgia ride is missing the point somewhat. Of course that’s part of the joy, but preview track ‘Vince Taylor’ from Adams forthcoming album ‘Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter’ which is released in January shows that the future for Adam is just as enticing and exciting as his past and new single ‘Cool Zombie‘ only concretes this further.
No sooner has the new stuff been aired than we are dipping right back into the past again with ‘Never Trust a Man’ and the edgy ‘Zerox’ and then it’s one last blast from Pop Adam with the three pronged attack of ‘Vive Le Rock’, ‘Antmusic’ and ‘Goody two Shoes’ meaning that we are left both exhausted from the dancing and void of voice from the singing along – although I use that term loosely with my vocal talent.
The encore too mirrors the diversity of the setlist, with early track ‘Lou’ preceding new track ‘Rubber People‘ and then the biggest cheer of the night reserved for ‘Prince Charming’ with the ever glamorous Georgie Girl showing us the moves and the urge is far too much to resist and I’m channeling my inner Diana Dors for all I’m worth.
Tonight has been outstanding – not many singers can keep a crowd entertained for a full 2 hours without a dip in performance. This epic 29 track long set has had something for everyone and the time has gone in a flash. Every time I see Adam he ups his game and just gets better and better and as we walk out many people are uttering “best gig ever” and they don’t do this lightly.
There’s still a few dates to be caught on this tour, if you miss him you’ll definitely live to regret it. If you caught him, feel smug…you made the right decision, but then, you already know that.