As I write this, a face-painted Adam Ant shouts at me from the cover of my wife’s original 1980 Kings of the Wild Frontier vinyl and I am reminded how little I cared about his clackety-clack pop-post-punk Antmusic when it first crawled across the airwaves.
But, damn, I admire his fortitude. At 58, this self-styled Hussar and dissolute dandy, festooned in brocaded jacket and bicorn, is carrying the pennant on a tour for Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, his first album since 1995.
Ant and his ensemble fired volley after volley into the thick crowd for two hours, blasting us with the rollicking “Goody Two Shoes” and ordering us about as a dilettante highwayman in “Stand and Deliver.” He still has a pirate’s charisma, but the long campaign has roughed up his voice and left him fatigued. While “Ants Invasion” was delightfully ponderous, many others, like 1981 hit “Prince Charming” were just slow and off the mark as they plodded along toward the finish line. ★★☆☆☆