herald

Thursday 18 September 2014

80s pop legend Still stands and delivers

The taxi driver couldn't believe what he had heard. "The real Adam Ant?" he questioned. "Is there a fake one?" I replied. The driver shrugged: "It must be years since the last time he was here."

"About 15, maybe 16," I told him, but he just shook his head. Clearly, not all followers of the Dandy Highwayman are familiar with Adam's triumphant return from the brink. "And tell me, has he still got it?" he asked.

It was a question that couldn't be answered with just a simple yes or no. So I decided to fill in the blanks. To explain -- in full detail -- the thrills of watching a 57-year-old rocker revisit his glory days with such passion, such energy, such wonderfully infectious joy.

He ain't like other performers, this guy. One drum kit could never be good enough for the likes of Stuart Leslie Goddard.

"Hold on a second, I thought you were at Adam Ant," said the driver. "I was ... that's not his real name, ya know." The driver shrugged again. Where was I? Ah yes -- two drum kits. Because one is never enough. Plastic Surgery? A terrific opener. Stand and Deliver? Even better now than it was then. Prince Charming? Terrific, as always. And hey, that Marc Bolan tribute at the end more than sealed the deal.



turbulent

"Ah, Marc Bolan," said the driver. "That takes me back ... " I couldn't help but interrupt. There was no time for reminiscing. Besides, I hadn't even gotten around to the band yet. Or the scantily clad backing singers. Or the outfit. Indeed, Adam is looking remarkably well given his turbulent past. And his age.

"Close to 30 songs, man," I told the driver. "A match for Springsteen, so," he replied. "Have you ever seen him?" Again, there was no time for chit chat.

Which, incidentally, pretty much sums up Adam's live performance these days: no chit chat and no messing about. A straight-up display of raw, often deafening post-punk, Adam's way of keeping the crowd happy is to play as many tunes as possible.

He's well aware of what the people came to hear, so he gives it to them. Better still, his voice remains in fine shape. Oh, and as for the 'Posse'? Let's just say that 'The Good, The Mad and The Lovely' is a more than suitable moniker.

"Right," said the driver, as we pulled up outside my door. "So he still has it then?" I handed him the cash and smiled. "You had better believe it. Keep the change ... " HHHHI

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