Adam and the Ants 1979 – 1985

Adam and the Ants 1979 – 1985
It was interesting to observe the transformation of Adam Ant from punk rocker to pop star as the 70s turned into the 80s. The first time Marie and I saw Adam and the Ants was at the great, sadly missed Middlesbrough Rock Garden, around 1979. This was around the time of thw Dirck Wears White Sox lp. The place was quite full, but not packed as I recall. The Ants played the Rock Garden a few times around that time, and were a favourite there.
I remember him singing “Lady” which was the B side of the Young Parisians single. I can picture him now singing: “I saw a lady and she was naked; I saw a lady she had no clothes on”. Happy memories. Have a vague memory of Jordan being in the crowd watching him that night. The next time I saw Adam and the Ants was with my mate Davey at Durham University Students Union in 1980. This was around the time of Kings of the Wild Frontier; Dog Eat Dog had just been in the charts, and Adam was leading a new version of the Ants, Marco Pirroni having joined on guitar. The place was ram packed and we all sang along to Kings, Antmusic, and others. Great Burundi beats. They were awesome that night and it was clear that we were seeing a band who had arrived and were on their way upward. The next time we saw Adam and the Ants was at the Gosforth Royalty, which has now been replaced by a supermarket. By now our daughter was heavily into the band and a few of us went along. Again it was a great night, I recall Kevin Mooney being in a strange mood, smashing his bass into the stack. He left the band shortly afterwards. From there on Adam Ant became a massive star, playing at Newcastle City Hall. We caught the next couple of tours including the Prince Charming Revue. These gigs were OK, but lacked the excitement and energy of early shows. The last time I saw Adam Ant was at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985, where he put on a pretty average show. Adam is playing again at the moment and getting rave reviews. I must take the time to see him again.

ANTS 21Update on 23 December 2021. Many thanks to Jimmy Burns (a.k.a. Punk Hoarder) for the great image of the poster for the Gosforth Royalty concert. My sister-in-law recognised it straightaway as we took her to that very concert when she was a teenager. We both have many happy memories of the old, slightly dilapidated, grandeur of that lovely venue, now long gone. I still haven’t fulfilled my promise to myself to see Adam Ant again. He is playing Newcastle City Hall next year but I can’t make it. Next time I really have to make the effort to do so. I did have tickets to see him at the Sage some years ago but I was in hospital at the time and my son and daughter went along and really enjoyed it. Those early shows, particularly in the Rock Garden, were for me when he was at his best. Happy days.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Interesting to read about that 1979 Adam And The Ants gig. I saw them a couple of times on that late 1980 tour and they were great. I also remember the support band, God’s Toys. I also saw Adam last November, on the first date of his recent tour, and he was really good actually. He played lots of old songs and his voice was excellent. There’s a review on my blog if you’re interested. Cheers.


  2. Posted by Martin D on April 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Royalty Gosforth never been replaced by a supermarket, it was the old County Rugby stadium that became a supermarket. The Royalty became a residential care home. I was also at that concert.


  3. Posted by Fergus on January 27, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    By the time of the ‘Prince Charming Revue’ tour the Ants were in turmoil. The Human League had replaced them as Britain’s biggest pop band. Adam did not like being second best ! It’s arguable that he was a spent force by the summer of 1982. They remain my favourite band, along with T.Rex. I was born in1969. I LOVE Adam and the Ants. I always play them on the jukebox ! My all-time favourite album ? “Prince Charming”… and, “The Slider”.


    • Posted by vintagerock on January 28, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      Both great bands Fergus T Rex in particular were fantastic live, as were Adam and the Ants happy days Peter


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