Adam Ant: Dandy in the Underworld Private View & Live Performance

So I may not have been technically born when Adam Ant first arrived on the British music scene defining a generation between punk and glam rock, but I grew up listening to his music thanks to my then teenage sisters thus developing a huge childhood crush on this makeup wearing, tight trouser fitting new romantic man. He inspired much of my fashion choices and remember creating a project back in 2008 based on New Romanticism coupled with Baroque styling:

So, when I heard of his new photographic retrospective exhibition at Proud Gallery in Camden with all ticket proceeds going to Adam’s chosen charity DEBRA of course I was going to go! It wasn’t til I got the press pass I realised I would be seeing him live as well. I practically imploded with delight!

Proud featured an array of photographic works featuring Adam Ant in his heyday performing live and the more intimate shots backstage through to his comeback tour from 2011. They also sold catalogues of the work signed by the Dandy himself as well as other merch. So in order of the earliest to the most recent:

Adam Ant, London, 1978 © Chris Duffy

Adam and the Ants, Soho, 1979 © Janette Beckman

Adam Ant, Drury Lane Theatre, 1980 © Denis O’Regan

Adam Ant, The Venue, 1981 © David Corio

Adam Ant, Set of ‘Solid Gold’, 1982 © Robert Matheu

Adam Ant, South Kensington, 2011 © Hannah Domagala

Absolutely loving his sense of style through the years from young and excited adolescent  in the late 1970’s to the new romantic look which featured Vivienne Westwood’s ‘Pirate Collection’ – Her husband Malcolm McClaren was manager of Adam and the Ants at the time.

The last image, from his comeback last year following a long decade of silence, showing Adam back on top form with a new smokey eyed pirate tattooed look. He has definitely aged well!

The venue was packed out by the time Adam Ant came on stage to perform at half 9pm, from all sorts of age ranges and styles – metal heads as well as punks and a few teenage girls came to watch him, and he didn’t dissapoint. Singing all the big hits including ‘Prince Charming‘, ‘Goody Two Shoes‘ and ‘Physical (You’re So)‘ plus more with just a drummer and guitarist behind him. I could tell he really loved being back on the stage exuding confidence and doing that immortalized sexual sneer through lyrics. He still has that amazing stage presence even at 57!

Chrissie Hynde on the wine. (bad choice)

guests at the Private View

Images courtesy of Proud Galleries

Overall a near perfect evening, if it wasn’t for Chrissie Hynde (of the Pretenders) getting totally pissed and climbing on stage after Adam Ant’s set begging him to come back and ‘do her’ until someone had to grab the microphone out of her clawing hands. All before 11pm. But what’s a post punk set without a few drunken incidents?

Proud Galleries, Camden was the perfect venue for the new exhibition – go see it now!

Adam Ant: Dandy in the Underworld, Proud Camden, 7th March – 29th April 2012, www.proud.co.uk

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