Archive for the ‘Adam and the Ants’ Category

Live Aid Wembley Stadium 13th July 1985

Live Aid Wembley Stadium 13th July 1985
liveaidtixI went with a couple of mates. We missed out on tickets when they went on sale and the only way we could get there was to buy tickets for a coach trip from Middlesbrough. So we were up at 4am, drove to Middlesbrough and joined a coach which left at 5am for London. We arrived well before noon, had a couple of drinks and entered the stadium, which was of course completely packed so we found a spot in the stands right at the back. A few minutes later Status Quo took to the stage with “Rockin’ All Over The World” and the day started. This was Quo reunited one year after the split, with Alan flying over from Oz to join Francis and Rick. Their short set also featured Caroline” and “Don’t Waste My Time”. A fitting start to the day. I have so many great memories of that day.
Queen’s performance is, of course, often rated as the greatest live performance by any band. Freddie certainly commanded the crowd the day and it propelled them to super stardom. Their well planned set was a medley with short sections of their anthems: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer To Fall”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”. They had apparently been rehearsing their short set for days, to ensure perfection, and it showed, and worked. U2 weren’t far behind them, though, in terms of performance, with Bono showing how great a front man he was. U2 played two songs: “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and a lengthy version of “Bad” during which Bono dragged a girl from the rush down front to dance with him on stage, and which also included snippets from Lou Reed’s “Satellite of love” and “Walk On The Wild Side”, and The Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil”. Electric.
liveadiprogFor me, however. the highlights were The Who and David Bowie, as I was, and remain, a big fan of both acts. Bowie started with “TVC15” (a strange and poor choice I felt, and remember being disappointed on the day), “Rebel Rebel” (great, good choice), “Modern Love” (well, ok) and then “Heroes” (we all sag along and it was pure magic). I still feel that with a better choice of songs Bowie could have eclipsed Queen and U2.
The Who performed “My Generation”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Love Reign O’er Me” (another strange song choice given the magnitude of the event) and a blistering “Won’t Get Fooled Again” with much mike swinging by Daltrey and lots of arm twirling by Townshend.
Other memories: Elton and Kiki sang “Don’t go Breaking my Heart” (great!). Paul McCartney suffered from sound problems and we couldn’t hear him at all for much of “Let It Be” although I gather it was fine on TV. Geldof drew massive cheers every time he set foot on stage, and he deserved every one of them. The scheduling worked amazingly, with very few hitches. Seeing the cameras pick out Charles and Diana over in their enclosure. The amazingly camp Bowie and Jagger video. The awful, sad and moving video of starving children played to the Cars’ “Drive”. Phil Collins playing Wembley and JFK courtesy of Concorde (show off).
But the truly unforgettable moment came at the end, and will stay in my mind for ever. That was the finale, with the entire stadium singing along to “Do They Know It’s Christmas ?” with Bob Geldof leading us, and everyone else on stage. I’ve never seen, felt, or heard anything like it before or since. We walked out of that stadium to the coach park, all of us still singing…..”Feed The World”…..
Then it was a long coach ride back to Middlesbrough. We arrived back around 5 or 6am, then drove home. 24 hours with hardly any sleep, just an hour or so caught on the bus, but a day I will remember forever.
Line-up: Status Quo; The Style Council; The Boomtown Rats; Adam Ant; Ultravox; Spandau Ballet; Elvis Costello; Nik Kershaw; Sade; Sting; Phil Collins; Howard Jones; Bryan Ferry (with David Gilmour on guitar); Paul Young/Alison Moyet; U2; Dire Straits/Sting; Queen; Video “Dancing in the Streets” by David Bowie/Mick Jagger; David Bowie; The Who; Elton John (Kiki Dee and George Michael join Elton); Mercury and May; Paul McCartney; Finale

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.