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LIVE: ADAM ANT – FREMANTLE, 16 Oct, 2017

LIVE: ADAM ANT – FREMANTLE, 16 Oct, 2017
With Diana Anaid
Metropolis, Fremantle, Western Australia – Monday, 16 October, 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Unless you’re The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or U2, playing an entire album from start to finish is a dangerous exercise, with most records having a flat spot or two in them. Adam Ant’s second, career-defining album, Kings Of The Wild Frontier, however, was such a breath of fresh air on 1980’s stale scene that it still sounds great today, almost forty years later. So great, in fact, that it easily held the attention of the Metro Freo crowd through its twelve bouncy tracks.

First up, the wistful and edgy, rebellious and arty, relentlessly creative Diana Anaid delivered a set of tracks from her new album My Queen and older favourites relying solely on her acoustic guitar and amazing voice. “There’s so much to protest about these days,” she declared, and protest she does – about violence against women, marijuana laws that saw her Dad incarcerated in his youth, an obligatory shot at Trump, and more. Her angsty lyrics found resonance here, engaging a respectable portion of the crowd, and finishing with her late ‘90s hits I Go Off and Perfect Family.

With two drummers pounding out that infamous tribal Burundi beat that the album helped drag into Western pop culture, Ant launched into Dog Eat Dog and proceeded to deliver an action-packed and thoroughly enjoyable hour and a half of hits and fun.

Fit, lithe and in fine voice, Ant bounced around complete with brocaded jacket and Blueback Hussar hat, his five-piece band as tight as hell and twice as hot. With nary a word for the crowd they ran through Antmusic, Los Rancheros, Killer In The Home, Jolly Roger and the rest, deftly combining surf guitar, punk riffs, pop melodies, with elements lifted from sea shanties, mariachi sensibilities and the aforementioned African rhythms.

Sure, it’s as mad as a box of cut eels, but Kings remains pure genius in anyone’s language, and the tightly packed crowd relished singing every word.

Finally greeting the crowd and admitting, “that was a bit self-indulgent,” what followed was a spiky, glorious trawl through Adam & The Ants and solo hits and b-sides, starting with Beat My Guest, and taking in a fantastic Apollo 9, insane Prince Charming (that still serves as a masterclass in how any mad idea can become a hit single and standup still, much more than any modern pop ever will), Puss In Boots, and the timeless dandy highwayman camp of Stand & Deliver.

Bouncy pop solo hit Goody Two Shoes kicked off a punchy encore, followed by deep cuts Red Scab and (You’re So) Physical, which appeared on the U.S. version of Kings.

Ant (Stuart Goddard to his Mum) achieves something incredibly rare in his music, walking the fine line between pop and punk, and compromising for no-one along the way. Did we love Ant Invasion, with its prophetic lyric “you may not like it now but you will” and Making History back in 1980 and ’81? I can’t recall, but there is no doubt we love them now, and the fact that they sound this edgy and engaging so many decades later proves that – as he sings in Prince Charming – “ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

 

 

 

LIVE: ADAM ANT – FREMANTLE, 16 Oct, 2017

Filed Under: Live Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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  1. Free Willy says:

    Tired. Malcolm Mclaren would crack up with what his creation has become.

  2. Shane says:

    Seems a bit harsh, Willy! We enjoyed 🙂

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