Friday, November 25, 2005


James Maw chapter 19

Before they went on tour, Adam and Marco got their dream, they recorded the Kings Of The Wild Frontier single and Press Darlings at Matrix Studios.
Kings turned out to be a ‘real bugger of a song to record’. Something was missing. Adam and Marco had gone over the lyrics again and again and knew that they were sound, but somehow it just wasn’t coming together in the studio. It was just a whole lot of drums ‘with all this shouting’ - as Marco described it.
Adam and Marco turned up with the tape at Jordan’s basement flat in Hyde Park Square and played it (Kings first version) to her and Mandy Donahoe, alias Jayne Vincent, the Ants make up artist. They both looked at each other and knew that it was nowhere near the mark.
‘I think it’s awful,’ said Jordan, bitterly disappointed. The song just didn’t gel, the voice wasn’t right, it wasn’t punchy enough.
So they went back to the studio and recorded it all over again. All in all it took seventy hours to record. The next version they played to her was ‘the one’.
They decided to do a private show at John Henry’s Studio, as an unveiling of the band for their friends. It was to be the first time the new band would be on stage together.
Jordan and Adam got a cab to John Henry’s, and on the way they got a puncture. They just looked at each other and began to sing Cartrouble. They ran through the pouring rain, that always seems to be about on these occasions, and arrived at the small studio. There were about thirty people there.
The Ants played the whole thing like a real gig. Adam was out to prove to everyone that it could be done and that their faith had been taken on good trust. Everyone was impressed and taken aback because it was a new sound being punched out. It wasn’t the old Adam anymore. It wasn’t the bloke who had always seemed introverted, he was writing stronger lyrics.
Everyone said to each other afterwards ‘He’s done it!’
The whole thing had come together quickly. He’d been over to Bernam and Nathan’s, the theatrical costumiers, and got a new jacket. From the moment he walked in he knew exactly what he wanted. He spoke to Charles David Whiteing who worked there and described the type of thing he wanted. Whiteing came up with a jacket, which had last been worn by David Hemmings in The Charge Of The Light Brigade. Adam hired it for the tour.

The band were all incredibly enthusiastic, it was their first tour together, for Kevin it was his first time on stage. He spent the preceding weeks learning to play the bass. After hours and hours of talking with friends long into the night, Adam felt sure that he had all the details of the band correct. On several occasions he had got through a whole box of tea bags in one sitting, designing the make up, and discussing the lyrics.
‘Do It single, put the band together, plan the tour, record the single, go on the road, and then hope that some record company would come and see the bloody band and want to sign!’
The tour began in London, on home ground at The Electric Ballroom. It was filled with the faithful and the curious, and those who though it would be a disaster and good for a laugh.
They looked great, Adam was the most athletic he had been for years. The new songs shined out and the ballroom began to move. Adam soon discovered exactly how powerful the songs were that night. A lot of the earlier Ants songs were a bit repetitive in mood and didn’t need so much emotion or vocal finesse as these did. The songs had become vocally a little bit more of a strain, so Adam had to discover for himself a happy medium where he could still look good and move but also sing as well. If you do too much you can get in a state vocally, so he was learning to get it all together, and conserving energy when he could. The band looked and sounded more invincible than any that had appeared in England for a long time.

Antz Invasion Tour 1980 dates:
May 18th 1980 - London (John Henry's PA Company)
May 22nd 1980 - Electric Ballroom, London
May 23rd 1980 - High Wycombe Town Hall
May 24th 1980 - Manchester Polytechnic
May 25th 1980 - Birmingham Top Rank
May 27th 1980 - Stateside, Bournemouth
May 28th 1980 - Tiffanys, Bristol
May 29th 1980 - St. Georges Hall, Bradford
Jun 1st 1980 - Valentinos, Edinburgh
Jun 2nd 1980 - Maryatt Hall, Dundee
Jun 4th 1980 - Top Rank, Sheffield (support - Martian Dance)
Jun 5th 1980 - King Georges Hall, Blackburn
Jun 6th 1980 - Cleopatras, Huddersfield (Riot in crowd)
Jun 7th 1980 - Leicester University
Jun 8th 1980 - Empire Ballroom, London (support - Dave Berry & the Cruisers) (Jap A.N.T.S. boot LP)

The pics used here can be bought (for a whacking great sum mind!) from Photorockstar

1 comment:

bine said...

Thanks for posting so much great stuff!

Take care, and keep posting Adam and the ants stuff!