When the Thursday at Canalside 2013 roster was first revealed, the gig that jumped off the page and commanded my attention first was tonight’s Adam Ant booking. This one was unexpected. The one-time leader of Adam & the Ants, poster boy for ’80s New Romanticism, and later, seemingly tragic footnote in the story of Generation MTV, was said to be more engaged in battling bipolar disorder than in creating new music, and had drifted off the radar for most of us.
However, earlier this year, Ant released his first new album in 18 years, the tongue-twisting “Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter,” a (perhaps surprisingly) strong collection of irreverently and gloriously esoteric art-rock. ”Blueblack Hussar” is a mess, but a compelling one.
Fans hoping to relive the glory days of “Ant Music” or “Desperate But Not Serious” are not likely to be disappointed in tonight’s Canalside show, for Ant has been performing the majority of his classics, alongside a healthy dose of the new album.
Adam Ant & the Good, the Mad & the Lovely Posse, with guests Prima Donna and Johnny Nobody, will take over the Canalside stage beginning at 5 p.m. today. Admission is free.
– Jeff Miers