Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse - Cardiff, Coal Exchange - 31st May 2011 Print E-mail
Written by Ian Bell   
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 05:00

Adam_Ant_PosterTonight is a double celebration, firstly it's my inaugural visit back to the much missed Coal Exchange since it reopened as a music venue after an expensive renovation programme, and I certainly can't fault it, as it looks exactly the same in every aspect as it did before it closed.  Then secondly, having been a fan of his since the age of ten, I am finally going to get to see the legend that is Adam Ant live. Those gathered in the near "sell out" crowd are a strange old mix, mostly around my age group granted, but ranging from old school punks, to those that would have collected all the posters going in Smash Hits back in the day, and of course let's not forget those feeling it only fitting to raid the fancy dress shop or stick a white stripe across their nose just for the event and thus providing a curious sort of school reunion vibe to proceedings.


Anyway after a never ending wait between the support bands and then the never ending intro tape, The Good, The Mad  & The Lovely Posse finally kick into what was close sounding for me to be 'Black Sabbath' by Black Sabbath, to the point where I could actually hear the immortal lyrics and Ozzy singing 'What is this that stands before me'' and then there he was, the star of the night, the dandy highwayman himself was finally back in Cardiff dressed 'Kings of the Wild Frontier' style and looking like Johnny Depp looking like Adam Ant wearing what have become Depp's now trade mark black rimmed glasses. Opening number 'Plastic Surgery' pre dates Adam & The Ants and goes back to when one Paul Goddard was no more than a player in the London punk scene and as such the track has has a real edgy sound, but then so did the Ant_1remainder of the night really given The Good, The Mad  & The Lovely Posse's penchant for keeping things more on the rocky side of Ant's career, this resulting in a slightly flat footed crowd with cameras aloft as they were throughout most of the evening, not really getting going as they were thrown a musical curveball that probably confused the life out of most of those just here for the "hits", but in fairness this could have also have been down to the sauna like conditions we were all being put through.


So tonight's set list is a surprisingly good one as it firmly avoids the cabaret style that would have been so easy to fall into by playing just the popular tunes, and we get no less than four songs from Ant's punkier debut album 'Dirk Wears White Sox' including one of my own personal faves 'Cartrouble' plus we also get some of his career's hidden gems such as 'Beat My Guest' the 'Stand And Deliver' single B side (remember them!!), plus 'A.N.T.S.' the rewrite of the Village People's 'Y.M.C.A.' given away as a flexi disc (now can you remember them!!) with flexi pop magazine. There are of course the hits from both the Ants and the solo catalogue, so we get 'Dog Eat Dog' with the two drummers bringing this song alive, 'Stand And Deliver', 'Kings of the Wild Frontier' which as Adam explains goes back to an age ''when lyrics used to mean something''. 'Antmusic', 'Prince Charming', 'Goody Two Shoes', and 'Vive le Rock' all follow, with the latter Adam proclaiming to be ''the fourth song I was supposed to play at Live Aid back in 1985, but an Irish bloke jumped into the crowd, the dirty scruffy cunt'', we even get a cover of T Rex's 'Get it On' just for good measure, which the dandy highwayman of pop delivers in a punk style and I for one love it.


Tonight proved why Adam Ant became such a star, his stage presence, even in his 57th year is simply magnetic, and he still has the moves and just looks the part. OK there's no swinging from the chandeliers or jumping out of trees tonight but the coolness and star qualities are there in abundance. I was gutted when Adam pulled out of this year's Rebellion Festival but tonight certainly went some way to remedying that disappointment.


There are rumours of the Ants rejoining their leader next year and if that is the case I will be front of the queue as tonight proved that this is no nostalgic trip and there was always a lot more to Adam Ant than Smash Hits and Top Of The Pops could figure out.


Long Live The Ant, The King Is Back!!!!!!!