Adam Ant and The Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse; Jesse Rae & Dressing For Pleasure – The Ironworks, Inverness – 22/05/11
Initially I was bit disappointed that there was no Aberdeen date on this tour but on the other hand its fine to get away to a different venue out of the Granite City for a change. So, a date in Dundee on the Saturday night with the slight distraction that the Angelic Upstarts are playing in the city that very same night or a Sunday night gig in Inverness with a leisurely drive up on the afternoon? Yeah, the chilled option it was.
First up were the very promising looking and sounding Dressing For Pleasure. Two young ladies and a male drummer (with a very small drumkit) playing something like their fourth gig I think they said. Their eighties influences were there to be heard but it was a good start to the evening with a cover of Should I Say or Should I Go? a pleasant surprise. Full credit to whoever had the balls to offer DFP this touring slot, making yer initial appearances to pretty full crowds every night must be a dream come true. On the night I think I’d have liked singer (and bassist) Naomi Hewston’s vocals turned up a notch in the mix on the night but hey, thats just me. Good start to the evening and they certainly got the majority of the rapidly expanding audiences attention with deserved applause when they finished.
Next up was Highlander Jesse Rae along with two young female singers/dancers. Our introduction to Jesse was one of his many videos which were to go on playing in the background throughout his set that seemed to last forever. Maybe it was after being impressed with Dressing For Pleasure I just couldn’t get into his dance-y tracks with Scottish vocals at all. One of these acts where you either like a lot or not at all I guess. No guessing which camp I put my tent up in, although I must admit I did enjoy watching a couple of the videos.
A minor grumble before Mr Ant & Co took to the stage over an hour later was the playing of what sounded like a cheezy hits of the eighties cd, featuring mainly female singers and on so long that Karma fucking Kameleon came on twice!
And then it was time for Adam Ant & the Good the Mad & the Lovely Posse who got a great reception when they finally came onstage. I’d heard about the kilt issue at Dundee the night before so I hoped that wouldn’t dampen the performance or enthusiasm of Adam at all. I need not have worried as they tore into Plastic Surgery then Dog Eat Dog as if they’d been playing it for years, not just a few short months. Be My Guest, Kick, Car Trouble and Zerox were to follow.
Then two girls take to the stage just as we get Deutcher Girls and then the (money-making Adam tells us) and crowd pleasing Stand and Deliver. If the crowd was perhaps a little unsure of how the gig was going to be this was the pair of songs that won them over in my opinion. The thought-provoking Catholic Day (a favourite of mine on the night) preceded the stunning Kings of the Wild Frontier and then B-Side Baby. Adam seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself with plenty to say between songs but not too much, just right ya know? Wonderful was next, and then the crowd pleasing Ant Music.
Never Trust a Man, Cleopatra and Lou take us up to another pair of stunners in Goody Two Shoes and Viva Le Rock. Then Christian D’or, Lady and Fall In take us to the first (very) short break. It’s so far been a great performance from Adam and his band, much better than I expected anyway. He’s happy, smiling, and clearly enjoying it all. On a personal not I’m pleased he’s revisited much of his early work, it’s those songs that make the evening for me I think. He’ll never be a punk rocker that spits out the words, but, to me at least, he still wants his message out there. His heart is still where it was, so many years ago.
The first of two encores on the night and its kicked off with A.N.T.S. clearly a piss-take of the YMCA parody, you can make your own mind up quite what he was trying to achieve but there you go! For the people in the crowd who wanted to hear the hits then it was the turn of Prince Charming, quite appropriate I thought. Fat Fun and Press Darlings were to finish the mini-set.
A mammoth twenty-four songs with three to go, the second encore began with the Pistols No Fun, then T-Rex’s Get It On and then the final song in (You’re So) Physical. And that, as they say, was it. No big finale, no (deserved) applause, just end of song and boosh its game over.
Words and pics by Still Burning.
Adam Ant Website
Jesse Rae Website
Dressing For Pleasure Facebook