There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing a man personify the word cool. Steve McQueen had it, James Dean knew he radiated it, Johnny Depp oozes it and the man behind the persona of Adam Ant, Stuart Goddard, has it, lives it and breathes it. As Adam Ant stood listening to the crowd singing the words to his huge hit, Stand and Deliver, back to him at the Warrington Parr Hall, it was as if he had never been away. The king of pop punk was back in splendour.
It’s a long way from the 80’s heyday of popular music icon to the man the crowd were greeting with much enthusiasm as he appeared from behind the curtain and took his bow in front of an ecstatic audience who to be honest had obviously missed this dedicated showman.
Time may have moved on, the fans older and wiser as well, however in amongst the crowd it was easy to see the new generation of devotes eagerly lapping up song after song. Whether they had borrowed the music off their mum and dad over the years or instead come across it as they searched for something that might speak to their inner flamboyant is up for debate. In whichever way they came across the music, the result was the same as two generations of music lovers joined forces to give Adam Ant and his band the kind of evening that performer’s and audiences dream of.
A two hour set that included virtually everything Adam Ant had ever put out for human consumption was kicked off in fine style by songs such as Dog Eat Dog, Car Trouble and Deutscher Girls. Puss ‘n’ Boots rose the temperature even higher and Desperate but Not Serious had fans salivating at the sight of their hero, not just back to thrill but giving the kind of show he was famed for. It was just pure and honest rock from start to finish and there surely wouldn’t have been a single dissenting voice in the crowd as Adam just ploughed with some elegant style through his back catalogue.
Adam Ant has a new album out next year and gave the joyful audience a brief glimpse of it with the rather snappy song of Vince Taylor. Ant Music came and went, Goody Two Shoes had the crowd going wild and Cleopatra was simply stunning.
All things must end, thankfully not always careers. Sometimes these fleeting glimpses into the lives of some of the more interesting people in music end too quickly, not with Adam Ant. His gig at the Warrington Parr Hall is one for the scrapbook, a pleasure to witness the rebirth of an iconic 80’s songwriter and a genuine must see for old and new fans as he tours the country.
Adam and the band finished on a high note with the encores which included Red Scab, The T.Rex classic of Get It On, the firm fan favourite of Prince Charming and You’re So Physical.
This was beyond a gig, this was a seminal moment, the king of stylish pop was back and wasn’t it about time?
Ian D. Hall