Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Pick One- I can't!!

Pick one song/album, book, or movie that you think defines the overall work of a particular artist. More than just “What’s their best song/movie/book?”, this feature asks writers to take a stand and argue for a defining moment that speaks to entire career, potential controversy and all.

This is the task set on, but applying it to Adam Ant, either with the Ants or solo, I can't do it. Each album is distinctive in it's own way, and for an Ant fan is equally as important and the others. Not one in my opinion defines the Ants sound or overall work.
Some might argue that Kings of the Wild Frontier is the one, but that is only part of the story and misses the darkness of Dirk Wears White Socks, the pop glamour of Prince Charming, the rockabilly/rock n roll/ of Friend or Foe, the pop sheen of Strip, the rock n roll/ TRextasy of Vive le Rock, even the dance moves of Manners and Physique and the AOR of Wonderful deserve a look in. And for me the B Sides on the B sides compilation B Side Babies are as essential as any album, and it's criminal they were left off of AntBox, which should have been a more encompassing Boc Set, not a best of with a few goodies added. But that's for another post!

The point is this: Not one of Adam's albums defines his overall work. Nor does one song. One song defines a particular era- Dog Eat Dog perhaps defines the Kings era, Prince Charming the next, etc etc....

I find that I want to get this Ant stuff out of my system, but I have a feeling it won't ever go away, even if I write the damn book I have inside me!

Bow Wow Wow Matthew Ashman Celebration 21st November 2010

On a night that had been organised by Billy Idol’s guitarist Billy Morrison to celebrate Matthew Ashman, who died in 1995 from diabetes complications aged 35, Bow Wow Wow made their first London appearance in more than Twenty years. I have been a fan of all things Ant related since I was ten- Bow Wow Wow were of course Adam’s Ants before Malcolm Mcclaren instigated a mutiny. Fourteen year old Annabella Lwin was added on vocals and in 1980 they attempted to subvert the music industry by releasing a cassette only album and C30 C60 C90 Go!, a single that encouraged home taping off of the radio.

I wasn’t ever really aware that taping stuff off of the radio was wrong- I did it every Sunday, taping my favourites from the charts to listen to on what must have been one of the earliest Walkmans (It was HUGE I remember that much!). But back in 1980 the music industry was busy printing HOME TAPING KILLS onto album inner sleeves and worrying that consumers would stop buying records. Thirty years later they’re still worrying though this time it’s mp3s that worries them, cassettes having been long dumped in favour of CDs and MP3s. Whatever Home Taping was supposed to have killed, it’s still there.

I remember Bow Wow Wow’s chart hits Go Wild In The Country and I Want Candy, and later on after discovering the link to Adam and the Ants, bought up their 3 albums and various singles. So it was with quite a bit of excitement that I went along to the Scala in London to see them live, with original drummer Dave Barbe on drums no less. Bow Wow Wow have of course toured around America before this but with a different drummer, and this was a perfect opportunity for the three surviving members to play, with Billy Morrison and Will Crewsden on guitar.

I have to tell you, in these days of  X Factor karaoke, it is such a breath of fresh air to not only know that there are still great bands out there, but that even ones from 30 years ago can kick up such a storm live! The band came on and played a short set, starting with the instrumental Orang Outang. Standing not too far from the stage, the power of the drums and bass playing that Burundi beat that was made into great pop songs by them and of couse Adam and the Ants, was astounding. Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow to a lesser degree are what made me as a drummer pick up sticks as a fourteen year old and learn to drum. I knew that Bow Wow Wow would be special on this night if no one else would (also on the bill were a one song Agent Provocateur, Chiefs of Relief led by Billy Morrison, and later Adam himself).

Leigh introduced the band and the 2 guitarists standing in for the departed Matthew, and then Annabella bounced on, looking and sounding fantastic! A storming Louis Quartoze followed, then Aphrodisiac, Go Wild In The Country, I Want Candy and the one that sounds like an Ants song speeded up, C30 C60 C90 Go! You wouldn’t know that these songs were written 30 years ago or that they were for the most part ignored at the time. Bow Wow Wow fizzled apart in 1983, and just like the young need to know what and why Punk happened, they need to hear the early 80s stuff like Bow Wow Wow. Post Punk made some of the most interesting and enduring music, pop or otherwise, and Bow Wow Wow showed 30 years later that it still sounds fresh and astounding now.

Friday, November 19, 2010

14th May 1978 Roundhouse London

Here is Johnny Bivouac and Jordan's last gig with the Ants, a stormer from 1978.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birmingham 25th May 1980

By request.
This is from the Ants Invasion Tour, their best tour I think, they had no record contract yet and had the new sound, 2 brutal drummers, old punks in the audience, fights breaking out, ace!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swansea Zerox Tour July 30th 1979

By request!

More to follow, and the others will get rapidshare links too, megaupload isn't working out for some folks.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Oh dear.

I really did mean to do more with this blogsite but I got lost.
I shall remedy this situation.
I'll upload some gigs, 1977 onwards for anyone who wants them.

11th JULY 1977
(supporting Siouxsie and the Banshees) 
Puerto Rican
B-side Baby
Deutscher Girls
Dirk Wears White Socks
Fat Fun
Fall In

Very bad quality, but if you're curious enough, you can make out the songs!