Review: Adam Ant at Sheffield City Hall is 100 minutes of 'infectious joy'

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Over four decades have passed since Adam Ant first swashbuckled his way to Top Of The Pops, prompting teen hysteria and a flurry of tippex-on-flesh classroom experiments.

That’s a mighty long time in any realm, never mind the caustic pop firmament.

Adam is 67 now, but his jubilant 24-song set confirmed that he emphatically still possesses the irresistible allure of an icon. As well as a BMI that has barely changed since his navel-flaunting centre spread pomp.

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Sheffield City Hall ranks in the top 10 per cent of attractions worldwide, based...
Adam Ant at Sheffield City HallAdam Ant at Sheffield City Hall
Adam Ant at Sheffield City Hall

Opening the show with Ant Music, one of the most trailblazing songs of the eighties, is quite the statement of intent. Even the cryogenically frozen couldn’t have resisted a toe tap and shoulder shuffle. And sure enough, the entire crowd were off their seats before the first verse was over.

Clad in a military jacket, pirate-belted pleather trousers, knee boots and cowboy hat, Adam still looks the real deal, the master of his own authenticity.

Backed by a dynamic five piece band, including the pulsating interplay of two drummers, his back catalogue was delivered with a potent, clear-eyed conviction.

Inevitably it's the gold disc-garnering tunes that elicit the most vociferous responses. Prince Charming, Stand And Deliver, Goody Two Shoes and the like keep the punters on their feet, chanting every anthemic lyric, many seemingly lost in a reverie of 'first love’ reminiscence.

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But pre-fame numbers such as Cleopatra and Digital Tenderness also captivate, fizzing with flourishes of angular guitar and angsty invective. If they were the work of some new skinny-jeaned combo it would have the hippest blog writers salivating over their superlatives.

For a man who has had his well documented trials and tribulations it is genuinely uplifting to witness the infectious joy his 100 minute set generates, both in himself and the audience.

They really don’t make pop stars like Adam Ant anymore. They very rarely did even back then.

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