Monday, 13 May 2013

Adam Ant and the Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse - Roundhouse - 11 May 2013

Adam Ant

Twenty four hours after We Are the In Crowd have left this stage, I'm back at the Roundhouse again. The kids had their fun last night. Now it's time for mum and dad to kick loose.

The dress standard is high. There are feathers, ruffles, white face stripes and at one point a fully dressed Regency dandy swaggering about the venue.

Adam Ant has had his ups and downs since he first blazed his unique trail across the pop charts. I've always found him fascinating - his blend of rock, tribal drumming, fashion and self mythology was unlike anything else at the time and has remained so.  He'd have been extraordinary and original if he'd only been a cult concern. To become as wildly popular as he was without compromising his act at all remains an incredible feat.

Adam Ant has created a succession of flamboyant stage personae. Currently he inhabits the role of the Blueblack Hussar, a rakishly dishevelled officer from the Crimean wars. Now bespectacled, Ant beams out from beneath a battered Napoleon-style hat. He's raring to go.

The backing band are The Good The Mad and the Lovely Posse and have been chosen as much for appearance as for musical ability. Ant has always created a 'gang' to play with and his current entourage are certainly idiosyncratic.

There are two drummers providing that trademark Burundi beat. One of them is the spectacular Jola Rodowicz, modelling a gigantic Sixties inspired tower of hair that makes her look like something sexy off the Flintstones. Really! Andy Woodward on the other set of skins barely draws an eye.

The set is impeccably balanced between material from the latest album (catchily titled 'Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter') and oldies from throughout his career.

It has to be said that the sound in the venue is very indistinct and this causes quite a lot of discontent in some sections of the auditorium. Things improve before the end, but there are walkouts.

Ant can't quite hit the high notes as easily as he could in the past and has drafted in the frankly astonishing Georgina Baillie to augment his performance. She does a fair job of even upstaging the man himself, dressed in a skin tight shiny black dress and vamping it up to levels that are beyond parody. She's like Jessica Rabbit, but made flesh.

All the hits are played - we do the 'Prince Charming' dance, we thump along to 'Dog Eat Dog', we 'Stand and Deliver'. Forgotten gems like 'Press Darlings' and 'Whip in My Valise' are unearthed.

The only blot on what I find an exhilarating evening is some cunt throwing their beer all over me, destroying the mobile phone in my pocket in the process. It seems to have been some altercation going on some way away, but that’s no consolation.  'Hard Men, Tough Blokes' indeed. Twats more like.

I'm delighted with the show and delighted that Stuart Godard, aka Adam Ant aka The Blueblack Hussar is back on his game and performing to crowds who love him.

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