Adam Ant – Camden, Roundhouse - 21 December 2017 Print
Written by Martin Haslam   
Thursday, 28 December 2017 04:00

After last year’s final performance of ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ at the Roundhouse, being here for the last night of the ‘Anthems’ tour was a no brainer. ‘A’ sides, ‘B’ sides, with a gig-honed band, could this be ‘Gig Of The Year’?


Adam Ant Roundhouse header

The only down side for me was arriving too late to see support band The Glam Skanks. I really enjoyed their album, and they seemed a fitting warm up for the man himself.


Once again, it is rammed in the Roundhouse, and rightly so. ‘Beat My Guest’ shows his intent from the off. Reviews of the tour have been universally positive, and it would be easy to assume that this was part of a nostalgia trip or a rose-tinted view of the old guard. But, seeing Adam own the stage with style, flair and energy puts paid to such ideas. ‘Vive Le Rock’ sounds as it always should have, punchy and unapologetic, and ‘Apollo 9’, not exactly an easy singalong, gives our tonsils a workout.


With 25 songs in two hours, it is hard to pick highlights, but, for me, ‘Dog Eat Dog’ and ‘Kings….’ sound huge. It remains one of my favourite albums, with good reason, and still sounds fresh, brash and exciting. I know it’s a ‘singles’ tour, so I accept the presence of ‘Puss In Boots’ and ‘Strip’, but I’d like to have heard ‘Wonderful’, his best love song. ‘Can’t Set Rules About Love’ was a reasonable alternative, while ‘Desperate But Not Serious’, with a dramatic pause mid-song, reminds us of the scope of his career.


The casual admirers get to bop to ‘Goody Two Shoes’, then are somewhat perplexed by ‘Lady’ and a seething ‘Red Scab’. But, it seems most here tonight know the words to every song. And for an extended ‘Prince Charming’, this is a glorious chant. Straight in at no.1, but, image aside, anything but conventional pop; the odd chord sequence; the screamed intro. It still sounds like nothing else.


Two hours later, a beefed up ‘Physical’ ends the night and the tour. The band, again, are amazing. A mention must go to Tom Edwards, Adam’s musical director, guitarist and friend, who died this year. He played a massive part in Adam’s resurgence, and the band, including newest guitarist A. P Leach, know this. Tonight remains a celebration of everything that Adam and the band have achieved in the last few years. I just hope the delayed ‘new’ album sees the light of day soon, ideally recorded by this line up. I imagine it would be something special.


Gig Of The Year? Unquestionably.


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