Following the success of the ‘Dirk Wears White Sox’ tour last Spring, Adam Ant was at Leicester’s De Montfont Hall on Tuesday 24th May, for the second of his 14 date ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ tour.
The newly remastered ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’ album first released in 1980 was Adam and the Ants second album which turned Adam Ant from gothic punk to mega pop star. It was a hugely influential, bold and visionary album featuring Burundi drums and the themes of the American Old West and pirates! 35 years on it remains as relevant as ever.
The 2000 capacity auditorium De Montford Hall (part standing and seated) was sold out to a mostly mature crowd. The support act, Birmingham 4 piece ska-punk UK Feds, got the crowd warmed up with a 30 minute set. When the curtain dropped for the main act, Adam Ant came on dressed to impress in his iconic military braid jacket, pirate hat and leather trousers and at 61 he looked much leaner than on the previous ‘Dirk’ tour.
Adam and his band opened with the hits, ‘Dog Eat Dog’, and ‘Ant Music’ which immediately had the crowd pumped up and singing loudly – proclaiming Ant music to be the alternative to the sounds coming from the juke box, “unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour – That music’s lost its taste, so try another flavour: Antmusic”. The band then played whole of the Kings album in sequence straight through with no talking between the songs – it is the first time some of these songs have been played live.
It was only after the Kings tracks had finished that Adam spoke, wishing Leicester a good evening and introducing another hour of music. There were songs from the other Ants and solo albums including the massive hits, ‘Stand and Deliver’, ‘Prince Charming’, and ‘Goody Two Shoes’ as well as lesser known B-sides and the early song ‘Xerox’. Before performing ‘Lady’, Adam explained the song was written while he was living with a bunch of bohemians and was about a 6’4” woman he met on the stairs! The 3 song encore included Marc Bolan’s ‘Get it On’ and a brilliant live version of ‘Physical, You’re So’.
It might not be his heyday, but Adam Ant still has a great voice and that swashbuckling swagger. The accompanying band of two drummers and 3 guitarists, although not original Ants, were impeccable and Adam also played the guitar at times. Not all the seated crowd were on their feet throughout but each song was met with rapturous applause and whistles.
So were we all wallowing in nostalgia? Yes but so what? This was a colourful and electric performance by Adam Ant and his band and proved that even in 2016 “….Ant people are the warriors, ant music is the banner….” Long may it continue!