Review: Adam Ant, Rock City
IN 1981, when I was eight years old, Father Christmas proved to me beyond doubt that he existed by providing, in my Christmas stocking, a pair of tickets to see Adam And The Ants.
About three months later, I went to see The Prince Charming Review 1982, which was in itself an experience more unreal than bumping into Santa himself on the stairs wearing a white stripe painted across his nose.
In those days – and at the age I was at – pop stars were as alien as ET, as magical as Mr Merlin and as cool as, well, Adam Ant.
Thirty years and 50 shades of jaded later, I am pleasantly surprised to say that Adam still has the power to make me want to join the Ant people – despite the fact that, with his moustache and thick-rimmed glasses, he now looks uncannily like my dad did back in '82 when I sat on his shoulders for an hour-and-a-half on a Wednesday night in a North Wales ice rink.
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The rousing sound of his American Indian-style wail echoed out early, sending shivers down my musical memory; the piercing intro to Ants Invasion (the first riff I ever wanted to learn on the electric guitar that Santa brought me the following year) still made the hairs stand up on my neck; and Kings Of The Wild Frontier's refrain of "we are the family" made me remember the very earliest call to arms I ever responded to in pop music.
However, despite a good dash of the hits that elevated him to the status Live Aid performer, Adam himself clearly revelled most in his new material and older hits, particularly sexual anthems like Whip In My Valise, which I had no idea about back in '82 and still don't now. Ahem.