Adam Ant – Symphony Hall, Birmingham Saturday 13/05/2017


Damian shares his guilty pleasure 

They say life is a journey to be lived and not a problem to be solved. Well step forward Mr Stuart Leslie Goddard or as you`d probably know him Adam Ant. I have a few guilty pleasures in life and Adam Ant, I’m not ashamed to say is one of them. This fella has had well documented problems with mental health issues over the years but has overcome them and what a life he has lived. I have seen him numerous times, the last being two years ago presenting my favourite Ants album “Dirk Wears White Sox” so tonight`s show, billed as The Anthems tour, was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The lights dim and Bizet`s March of the Toreadors from the Opera Carmen is blasted through the speakers to welcome to the stage the arrival of our dandy highwayman and hero and it`s straight into the wonderful `Beat my Guest` and the place erupts. `Vive Le Rock`, ` Dog Eat Dog`, `Apollo 9` and `Friend Or Foe` are rapidly aired before we get a short break and a “Hello Birmingham”.

The place goes into meltdown when `Ant Music` is played, with the faithful up and dancing and jumping along. Pure Mayhem. The less well known `Room At The Top` and `Desperate But Not Serious` follow giving people time to catch their breath.

The 1978/79 section follows, with my favourite `Car Trouble` penned about holidays taken with Adam`s Mom and Dad in their light blue Riley car, `Zerox` and `Young Parisians`

`Prince Charming` is shared and it`s chaos again before all is restored with `Gotta Be A Sin`,`Puss`N Boots`, `Can`t set Rules About Love`, `Wonderful` and `Strip`                                                                      Adam confirms that he is trying to play all the A sides as well as B sides and we enjoy `Kings Of The Wild Frontier`, `Greta X`, `B-Side Baby` and `Rough Stuff.`

Tonight`s set is concluded with `Goody Two Shoes` and `Stand And Deliver` which ensures that those that were still seated are suddenly up and rocking away. Mr Goddard leaves the stage with little fuss, just sauntering off.

The encore is an odd mix with ` Lady`, the b side of his first single `Young Parisians` cinqued with `Fall- In`, `Red Scab` and finishing with `Physical (You`re So).` Well what can I say, you certainly don`t get short measures from this evergreen sexagenarian. A nigh on two-hour nonstop set covering all his career bases and something to please everyone. The band he has surrounded himself with are magnificent. The heartbeat being the twin drumming of Jola and Andy Woodard, bass guitarist Joe Holweger and superb guitarists Will Crewdson and relative newcomer Adam Paul Leach.

But this would all be nothing without this National treasure in the form of Adam Ant, a gig that had everything, great musicianship, great songs and great entertainment.

The tour is publicised as Adam Ant Anthems and the definition of an anthem is a piece of sacred vocal music, usually with words taken from the Scriptures. Well tonight is as near as a religious experience as we`ll get in the Symphony Hall. God Bless you Adam.

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