Review: Adam Ant – Antics The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham

It was third time lucky for Adam Ant at the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on 12th July.

Exhaustion and Covid respectively had delayed our dandy highwayman twice, but this was to be a night definitely worth waiting for.

I’d loved the music of Adam Ant for years, but never saw him perform live.  It wasn’t until the day of the concert that I actually gave a thought how old he must be now. As a kid I remember a poster of Adam on the bedroom wall of my best friend’s older sister. Fly undone on his leather trousers, we tried our best to see if from a certain angle you could see anymore. Obviously you couldn’t, but with that memory comes the realisation that he is now in his 60’s!

What? How? He doesn’t look like it in the promo pictures.  In fact little appeared to have changed. Same flamboyant dress sense, same trademark dark eye liner, same piercing blue eyes that looked down at us from THAT poster.

Anyway, his age is somewhat irrelevant.  When it comes to music – good music is good music.  It’s timeless.   Live performing though, how would the songs and their performance stand the test of time?

Effortlessly it seems.  From the unmistakable opening drumming of ‘Antmusic’, the audience are on their feet for the duration of the night.

“I’m standing here looking at you,” sings Adam as he dances and skips across the stage, and yes those eyes really do still feel like they’re piercing into you.

“He was Jack Sparrow, before Jack Sparrow” my friend had said to me earlier.  I see it now, oh so clearly.  The animated expression and movement. Justice for Adam Ant I say – Where’s his recognition?

A quick “Good Evening Nottingham” and we’re straight on into “Vive Le Rock”.  The set list is a mix of Adams solo work, along with his hits with The Ants.  Many instantly recognisable numbers, some lesser known fan favourites, such as the third number, ‘Miss Thing’.  

One plus to Punk Rock  – which it is in the very literal sense –  Punk and Rock, is that the tracks are short and sharp, so if anyone has just come along for the well known chart toppers, they haven’t got long to wait until the next one. As hit follows hit. 

Something that hasn’t been short of course is Adam Ants’ career, which includes both music and acting.  Seemingly bursting onto the scene (no I’m not back on to those trousers…although….) back in 1980, his fans have remained loyal.   Adam (real name Stuart Goddard) has spoken publicly about his mental health (Which is healthy in itself) Physically, I’m happy to say that he looked fighting fit on stage, and hardly different from the heydays of the 80s. Even more impressive given the previous cancellations. By heyday, we should remember that Adam scored 10 UK top ten hits from 1980 to 1983, including three UK No. 1 singles, and is the winner of both a Brit and Ivor Novello award.

He doesn’t chat much with the audience, other than to say thank you after each song and to get us singing along to the likes of Prince Charming, but when he does you can hear that unmistakable London accent.  Vocally Adam is on top form and sounding as strong as ever as we wizz through the hits. 

Supported by a fantastic band of musicians (including two drummers) we are treated to a truly epic night of music. 

The weather might have been hot, but damn, that stage was on fire.

 An outstanding performance.  Long may our Prince Charming reign.

(Wish I’d kept that poster)

Set List

  1. Antmusic
  2. Vive Le Rock
  3. Miss Thing
  4. Cleopatra
  5. Ants Invasion
  6. Prince Charming
    Kings Of The Wild Frontier
  7. Room At The Top
  8. Zerox Machine
  9. Car Trouble
  10. Beat Me
  11. Something Girls
  12. Dog Eat Dog
  13. Puss ‘n Boots
  14. Digital Tenderness
    It Doesn’t Matter
    Fat Fun
    B-Side Baby
    Los Rancheros
    Friend Or Foe
  15. Stand And Deliver
  17. Encore:
  18. Goody Two Shoes
  19. Physical (You’re So)
  20. Review by Tanya Louise
  21. Editor
  22. Photo – Michael Mills for NottinghamLIVE

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