Adam Ant - Melbourne - 15 October 17 - NEW LIVE PHOTOS!

  Photo by Stephen BoxShall

Photo by Stephen BoxShall

By Eve Fraser

Artist: Adam Ant

Date / Venue: Sunday October 15th, 2017 - Palais Theatre, Melbourne

Alt-rock solo singer, Diana Anaid, kicked off the revelry last night at the Palais for the third date of Adam Ant’s Aussie tour. Although Anaid had tonsillitis she played a light-hearted gig as the audience filed in, singing a few of her mid-90s hits like I Go Off. Things really kicked off when she mentioned Adam Ant, naming him the best front man ever, to more than a few howls of approval.

Forty minutes later, glam, post-punk pirate Adam Ant emerged on to the dark stage to the opening chords of Dog Eat Dog, the first song and first hit from his 1980 album, Kings of the Wild Frontier. Immediately the crowd stood to cheer and sing along, flaunting the Palais’ ‘no dancing in the aisles’ policy. Barely anyone sat down for the next two hours as the band played through the entire Kings album in its original order, followed by a boisterous expedition through all the hits and some hidden wonders of the Ants back catalogue. Despite playing so many major hits from Kings in the first half hour, there were still plenty of hits to cover, saving Prince Charming until last, and Goody Two Shoes for the encore.

This set of Aussie shows is part of a belated tour in honour of the Kings of the Wild Frontier 35th anniversary, and it sure took a lot of people back. The occasional peaked pirate hat on a crowd member’s head was silhouetted against the backdrop of flashing lights and smoke, while the obligatory white striped noses, shiny jackets and leather pants danced about. The true glam tradition that Adam always brings has never failed to make an appearance and so, like the crowd, he donned his pirate hat, leather pants, jolly roger belt and long boots, completing the look with his iconic Hussars jacket. The gold and extravagance of his highway robber outfit worked perfectly with the shining gold columns and high, ornate ceilings of the Palais.

Adam Ant’s stage presence seems to have always been this hypnotic, and some would think perhaps too absurd and flamboyant for someone of 62. But Adam seems timeless, futuristic and caught in the 80s all at once. He dances about on stage, somehow channelling both Mick Jagger and a military march at the same time, while precariously using amps as an extension of the stage.

For a man who has encountered many challenges in his mental and physical health (depression and anorexia) he is confident, but without the arrogance that so often comes with celebrity. He doesn’t speak much on stage, restricting himself to thankyous and an introduction of his fabulous band. Nevertheless, he interacts with his audience, facilitating a few singalongs and often staring into the eyes of the front row of the crowd to get them cheering.

Apart from the spectacle that was the costume, and the personality of Adam himself, what got the crowd going was the power of two full drum kits. Adam’s music is beat heavy and the two kits really set the tone for songs like Ants Invasion which became a lot heavier and more gothic sounding than in the original. Jola, one of the drummers, almost outdid Adam with her outfit of a white leather jumpsuit with feather trim, and a peroxide blonde hairdo a mile high.

The crowd was a mixed bunch, made up of those who no doubt saw Adam Ant in his heyday of the early 80s, when Kings of the Wild Frontier first made its way onto the international stage, and those who were not born until nearly two decades later, but this didn’t prevent the sense of camaraderie that always comes from a shared love of music and a good singalong. This has proved that Adam Ant is still the showman he ever was and that, musically, he’s still got a lot more in him. The Australian tour ends tonight in Fremantle at the Metropolis and, if last night was anything to go by, it should be a sell-out!

First Published 16th October 2017