The Engine Rooms, Southampton

Adam Ant

After being priveleged to witness the long overdue return of Adam Ant a couple of years ago, this reviewer was pinching himself at the thought of a “Dirk Wears White Sox” tour. Despite his more successful years coming after this LP, for those of us of a certain age (in my case 48); this was to be a night of nostalgia and hearing the songs from this seminal LP.

Despite this LP being recorded as a classic 4 piece band, tonight’s show sees the band fleshed out to a 6 piece. And what a fleshed out sound they create. Fantastically attired as they are in their matching leather jackets and “Dirk tour T’s”, Adam has I imagine meticulously created this stage look. But tonight’s performance is more than just a fashion show.

Opening with “Cartrouble Parts 1 and 2” they quickly get us onside. Hearing these songs for the first time in a while is a sheer joy and this capacity Engine Rooms’ crowd rapturously show their appreciation. For a man in his 60th year Adam still has all the moves. While running around stages up and down the country might be a little behind him now he still preens, cavorts and paces the space afforded him. He clearly doesn’t lack confidence either. “Digital Tenderness” soon follows before the first big singalong on “9 Plan Failed”. “Day I Met God” is energetic and explosive and we begin to see Adam in full flow. We catch our respective breaths on “Tabletalk” and “Cleopatra” before we join in once more on “Catholic Day’. Cries of “Kennedy…” fill the room and this is an early highlight.

Adam Ant

For the truly excellent “Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)” Adam dons his guitar for an altogether fuller sound. I swear the whole room is singing along now! “Animals and Men” takes things up a notch with Adam clearly enjoying his vocal parts on this song. “Family of Noise” and a clangy guitar-led “The Idea” close the initial part of the show before Adam and band continue with more classics from this era of his career.

A haunting’ intro to “Plastic Surgery” is complimented by it’s shimmering guitars; bettered only by a deafening “Beat My Guest”, which sees one or two in this crowd exuberantly leap around. “Christain Dior” is as popular as ever and sees Adam really enjoying himself now. “Bathroom Function” we are told was written in Adam’s managers bathroom no less! It’s a humourous offering and new to this reviewer. Which sets us up nicely for another set highlight, the ever popular “Deutscher Girls”. The guitars steal the show here, and not for the first time. “Lady/Fall In” are well received and up the ante while “Xerox” sees the band end their initial set on a high.

Adam Ant

Long, loud calls mean a welcome encore whereupon Adam reveals there will be a “Kings…” tour in the near future. Why? Because he loves to do it! And so an exuberant “Kings of the Wild Frontier” gets an airing, but that’s where it ends from that era. “Whip In My Valise” follows before they bow out on “Physical, (You’re So)”. Adam decides to rip his shirt off and despatch it into this crowd to loud shrieks from the ladies (and men)!

For a man in his 60th year he shows no sign of slowing down-and why should he? With a great band behind him and a stellar back catalogue Adam Ant is still a musical force to be reckoned with. Tonight’s show lasted an impressive 105 minutes so it doesn’t look like Adam will be throwing in the towel just yet. Ageless, and some!

Set List
Cartrouble (Part 2)
Digital Tenderness
Nine Plan Failed
Day I Met God
Catholic Day
Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)
Animals and Men
Family of Noise
The Idea
Plastic Surgery
Beat My Guest
Christian Dior
Greta X
Bathroom Function
Deutscher Girls
Fat Fun
It Doesn’t Matter
Lady/Fall In

Kings of the Wild Frontier
Whip in My Valise
Physical (You’re So)



Words and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone
Videos By Andrew Chippendale + Digital Colin

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