LIVE: Adam Ant @ IndigO2 26/05/2011
2010 marked Adam Ant’s real return to live performances with a number of club shows around London. In autumn 2010, the recording of a new album ‘Adam Ant is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter’ (co-written by Boz Boorer and Chris McCormack) was revealed in an interview; subsequently the “The Good, The Mad & The Lovely World Tour Of London 2010/11” performed a number of dates around the capital, including a very positively received headline show at the Scala.
At the end of March a headlining UK tour of 11 dates (later expanded to 15) was announced, and it was on May 26th that “The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse” tour as it was now called, rolled in to Greenwich.
At opening time the queue of eager punters at the IndigO2 had doubled back on itself almost to the doors of the O2 complex. For this crowd the anticipation was tangible, and I must admit I started to get nervous – AntMusic came into my life at the age of 9 , but back in the day I never saw Adam and the Ants live, and I was desperately hoping to not be disappointed by the live show that my younger self never got to see.
The gig got off to a cracking start with the striking, charismatic frontman appearing to screams of delight from the crowd. Openers Plastic Surgery, Dog Eat Dog and Car Trouble immediately dispelled the fears of anyone who may have worried that this would be a half-hearted nostalgia trip – this was nothing of the sort.
For one moment though, it all looked like it might go horribly wrong, with the singer taking a tumble offstage during the third song right into the photographers’ pit. Looking winded he was helped back onstage by security and crew, but as they were helping him across the stage he broke free and to the delight of the crowd leaped back to the mic like nothing had happened.
From that moment the show forged forward through Adam’s extensive back catalogue, with his punchy, punky delivery proving that he has not lost any of his energy, showmanship, or attitude. The journey was also fuelled with good humour and banter (albeit with a number of digs at the workings of the music industry), with extra onstage entertainment provided by the addition of two glamorous backing singers, introduced as the ‘lovely’ element of the Posse.
Ant was also joined on stage after ‘Cleopatra’ by long-time co-writer and producer of the new album, Boz Boorer for a number of songs including a lovely version of the single ‘Wonderful’, and a romping ‘Goody Two Shoes’.
One of the marks of a really great, enjoyable gig for me is that they always seem to finish too quickly, and although this was NOT a short set, I was still taken aback to hear the words ‘I’d like to finish with a song that was given away on a flexidisk by Smash Hits’ introducing set-closer ‘Prince Charming’. Arms were unselfconsciously raised across the venue, and Prince Charming himself held the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Adam returned for three more songs before the IndigO2 crowd was left to disperse into the night. I took a moment to ponder (not for the first time that night) how surreal the evening had been – my 30 year wait was over, and it had been every bit as good as I’d hoped for.