Friday, 3 June 2011

Adam (r)Ant

Adam Ant gig at O2 Academy, Birmingham.

Well this was certainly one artist and idol I never thought I'd have the good fortune to see live! I've been aiming to see more of the bands and artists that inspire me, which includes a lot from many era ago, so you can understand my surprise and delight when I found out Adam Ant was doing a tour of gigs around the UK.

I'm not sure when or how I first started listening to Adam and the Ants, but I think it was around when I was forteen or so, back when I just used to watch music video after music video. I certainly remember the impact that 'Stand and Deliver' had on me, and buying the 'Ant Box' (three CDs, a book and a video) with my birthday money. Oh how I wished to have grown up in the 80s! I think what really drew me in was the methods of escapism that the Ants imposed on their audience, songs with narrative, music videos that mirrored a lot of literature and feature films that I had enjoyed, and most importantly the swashbuckling sense of fashion!

I went to the gig with my mom, who had seen the Ants back in their earlier, punk days, and my friend Scott, who like me was also a young yet avid fan. The support bands were pretty good, each unique in their own way, and the three seemed worlds apart yet all had similarities to Adam Ant in someway or another. We arrived while Johnny Normal played a few dance covers of some well known songs by Adam and the Ants. I like the style of their music, a little bit different but the sort of thing I find quite easy to listen to. Dressing For Pleasure were probably the most individual of the support acts, the front woman was a little feisty, but I think that sort of attitude is sometimes required when starting out as a band- you don't want to seem like a bunch of pushovers so someones got to lash out some confidence. I think it was the strength of the drum and the bass working together in this band that I admired most. The last support band to play were Krakatoa; the lead singer had a very 'Arctic Monkeys'-esque hairstyle, but I think they may have a little more to them than just being another 'indie' band. They seemed more versatile, uniting brit-pop, ska and something a little grungey and eerie into the mix to tie it off.

The tension built steadily as we anticipated Adam's appearance, wasn't quite as spine-tingingly climatic as I'd thought it would be. I think Adam must have momentarily lost his military hat or something because it took him a good while to follow the rest of the band onto the stage.

This was probably one of the most anticipated and thoroughly engaging gigs that I've been to so far, there was so much to it which I think all came from Adam. He is deffinately one charismatic individual, and almost seems to have literally leapt out of a book or movie; there must be other worlds more fit for him.

They played songs from the 70s to the 90s, and most of my favourites. I particularly enjoyed Stand and Deliver, Ant Music and Wonderful, (which currently is a song playing through my head most days as its themes and lyrics couldn't be more fitting to how I feel right now).

There is something very bitter and blackened inside Adam, and he doesn't feel the need to stop himself from having an Adam rant on stage. I think it's partly those personal issues of his struggles with depression and the concequences it can bring in ones life that truely strikes a chord with me. 'ANTI DEPRESSANTS ARE SHIT.' Well said Mr Ant, well said.


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