2012 ➤ Adam Ant: sex, subversion, style, humour but don’t nobble me as a New Romantic

Adam Ant, interview, New Romantics,Proud Camden, photography, live concert

Adam Ant: intensely serious. (Photograph newly posted at Facebook)

➢ Adam Ant, Dandy in the Underworld is a retrospective photographic exhibition at Proud Galleries in London, being launched with a charity performance by Adam and band on March 6, 2012. Hence a superbly considered interview with Decca Aitkenhead in today’s Guardian about surviving stardom, dealing with bipolar disorder and stuff…

Ant still gets annoyed when anyone muddles him up with the early 80s New Romantic scene: “Cos New Romantic was nothing to do with Adam and the Ants. The Ants was a punk band, or a post-punk band if anything, and so historically it’s inaccurate. New Romantic was basically, in my mind, clubbers with too much makeup on with stupid clothes. I never set foot in any of their clubs, so I find it quite distressing to be nobbled into New Romantic, cos it was just a load of guys who looked like they’d had a row with their girlfriends’ makeup. There was nothing tough about it, nothing dangerous about it, it was soft electro stuff and it just looked a bit wet. And I didn’t like being associated with it.”

A man of 58 who still cares this much should probably come across as faintly ridiculous, but the intense seriousness with which Ant deconstructs these arcane distinctions conveys an impression of almost heartbreaking vulnerability… / continued online

MORE ON ADAM AT SHAPERSOFTHE80S

➢ 1981, How Adam stomped his way across the charts with six records in the same month to thwart the nascent New Romantics:

Adam Ant, Jordan, Jubilee, 1977

Instinctive punks, 1977: Adam and Jordan at the premiere for Jubilee

Shapersofthe80s has always drawn a clear distinction between Adam Ant and the New Romantics. As does Marco Pirroni, the Ants guitarist and co-writer of many of their hits. “Adam is glam-punk,” he told me emphatically at the bar of the Wag when Ant’s first solo single Puss ’n Boots was storming the chart in Oct 1983. “Americans don’t understand he was never a New Romantic.”

As if proof were needed, just gawp at the way Adam goes hoppity-skippiting through the video to Antmusic. The rent-a-crowd extras must have been the least stylish Londoners within earshot of the Blitz club. Gawp again at how these kids can’t dance either!

Yes of course Kings of the Wild Frontier went on to become one of the great slapstick albums of its time. No dispute. And with characters like Prince Charming and Puss ’n Boots, Adam treated us to year-round pantomime.

➢ Adam and Marco in battle of the bands — How I wrote Stand and Deliver, plus the early days of Ant music, plus all about Marco

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