February 14, 2017
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Justin Press
Photos by Justin Press
The Return Of The Dandy Highwayman
Adam Ant and his Posse Stand Up and Deliver Their Iconic Debut Album It Its Entirety 35 Years Later!
Looking nothing of the 63 years placed upon his libertine frame, Adam Ant returned with his revamped band to belt out over 20 tracks including the groundbreaking album The Kings Of The Wild Frontier in its full glory before a packed Valentine's Day audience at the fabulous Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas. Old school fans with the iconic white greasepaint facial stripe were legion as were Mohican cuts and a few fancy lads in full Prince Charming regalia.
Ant's band is a mainstay of guitar, bass and double drumming based on tribal rhythms, punk energy and English prowess and fashion. Always a mish mash of pirate, Confederate solider, buffalo soldier and Kings Row punk, Adam was in full blown attire with his Friend Or Foe jacket and Dandy captain's hat front and center and scarves flowing like a gypsy renegade. Opening with the Apache drumming of "Dog Eat Dog," Ant and his band never let up with little break between songs. "Los Rancheros" with it's 60's style Elvis swerve and surf guitars hit it big with the crowd up front as new wave dancing became the ethos of the evening, think Richard Blade dance party circa 1981. The title track "Kings of the Wild Frontier" sounded like a Panzer tank division as the massive floor tom pounding met down-strokes and twang guitar sounds melding with the bold chorus "we are the family, the new royal family!"
The track of the evening might be the deep cut "The Magnificent 5" with its shift between metallic trimmings colliding alongside Romanian campfire chants and tribal dance circle rhythms wedged up against a fiery guitar stomp. "Don't Be Square" is white boy funk by way of Chic while the camp of "Jolly Roger" was more about the interplay of the vocals than the playing. Ant played to the loyalists with a slew of B-sides including the speed punk of "Making History," but it was the crushing tour de force of "Stand And Deliver" that brought the whole cart and horse. Drummers Jola (her of the beautiful blonde beehive) and Andy Woodard were Keith Moon frantic but Neil Peart precise driving the tale of a mid-century Robin Hood to its pummeling peaks.
Beyond the album on display was a boatload of Ant solo hits and a few gems from his Adam and the Ants venture including "Prince Charming," "Desperate But Not Serious," "Car Trouble" and the Bowie-inspired "Never Trust A Man (with Egg on his Face). Ant ended the entire evening with the visceral slow grind of "Physical" (You're So), a new romantic's version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused," a mounting sexual tense manifestation of the primal mind.
After 37+ years hitting the boards and enduring the trends and waves of the music industry, Adam Ant proved that greatness does not cease because a few suits turn their attentions elsewhere, he's proved that a loyal following is all he needs to continue his Ant Music, "that music lost its taste so try another flavor" never rang truer.