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Adam Ant, Concorde Club, Eastleigh
This was one of the most eagerly awaited concerts of my life.
Adam Ant, who 30 years ago was one of the biggest names in British music, at the Concorde Club in Eastleigh!
It seemed simply surreal.
For those of us of a certain age, Adam and his Ants were the musicians who kick-started a life-long love affair with music.
In 1981 he dominated the charts, two singles – Stand and Deliver and Prince Charming – zooming straight into No 1 in the charts at a time when that achievement really meant something.
For what now seems an all too brief snapshot of time, he was our Dandy Highwayman, urging us all to ‘throw our safety overboard and join the insect nation’.
After going solo in 1982, Adam later took a long time out of the music industry, and his mental health problems have been well chronicled.
It was only a few years ago that he returned to the live stage, and only this year that he undertook a national tour.
Of course we turned up to see how three decades have affected Adam, whether the voice and the magic is still there.
Thankfully, it is.
Emerging on the back of the punk explosion in the late 70s, Adam Ant, along with his backing band of The Good, the Mad and the Lovely possee, showed he can still rock, even in his mid-50s now.
Back in the early 80s, the appeal of Antmusic was partly the image – who can forget the iconic white stripe across the nose? – partly some great videos (Prince Charming’) but, for me, it was the songs. Always the songs.
We wanted to hear the greatest hits, and Adam duly delivered – King’s of the Wild Frontier always my favourite, while Dog Eat Dog’s ‘you make me proud, so proud of you, to see innocence shining through’ remains one the greatest lyrics of the 80s.
The crowd lapped it all up.
For some, it was a chance to turn the clock back 30 years and revisit our childhood.
You might mock, but ridicule is nothing to be scared of.
Antmusic will never scale the heights of popularity it once did – it will be interesting to see how a new album out in January will fare – but Adam Ant’s comeback is not wrapped up in bubblegum nostalgia. His classics have a 21st century sound to them, and his post-punk roots still shine through.
It was a brilliant evening.
Once an Antwarrior, always an Antwarrior.