Still making Ant music

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Adam Ant is adamant that he will do his best to keep the crowds entertained on his new tour. Katy Wheeler caught up with the comeback kid.

ADAM Ant is standing strong with a comeback to the music scene, but can he deliver?

He certainly hopes so, and says he is “like a kid in a candy store” at being back touring the UK, which will include a gig at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on December 13.

His life has not been without its well-documented tribulations, but it’s also seen great success with a swashbuckling run of hits in the 80s such as Stand & Deliver, Prince Charming and Ant Music.

He took a break from music in the mid-nineties when subsequent acting stints were peppered with headlines about arrests and the revelation that he has bi-polar disorder.

But now the man with the most famous white-striped cheeks in history is back and doing, what he says, he loves best.

Adam (real name Stuart Goddard) says: “Music: it’s what I do. From 1977 to 1995, I did nothing but music.

“It was a long time, so I decided to take time out. I had a daughter and I didn’t want to be on the road all the time while she was growing up.

“I also did some acting, wrote a book and a lot of other activities. I got those things out of the way because I didn’t want to look back and regret not having done them.

“It was a risk coming back to music, but there you go.”

At the peak of his career, Adam had 10 top 10 singles with Adam and the Ants and also as a solo artist while touring extensively across the globe.

He said: “I have no idea why Adam and the Ants became so popular. It came out of the punk rock scene, so it was a surprise that something successful came out of something that is anti-success.

“At the time, the punk rock scene had become dark and negative, but we provided something more heroic and dynamic.

“It was a bonus that we came about at the time of the video revolution. I’d studied at art college and I was able to use that to control the look of the videos. Sometimes it’s just serendipity, things just come together.”

The touch of magic which helped to spark Antmania still features in his live shows today.

“People can expect all the hits, all the catalogues, back to 1977 with two or three songs from my new album out in January,” he explained.

“I’ve been going to the North East for many years. I just love playing rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t mind where it is.”

But it wasn’t just Adam’s music which saw him become a cult hero: his glam military garb was the look which launched a million imitations.

He said: “I think that’s been confined to the realms of fancy dress. I’m very flattered by that (if people come to the shows dressed as him), but many of the audience now are young kids who weren’t around the first time.

“As long as they’ve got ears to enjoy the music, I’m happy with that.”

After his music success, Adam drifted into acting on stage (Entertaining Mr Sloane & Greek), TV (The Equalizer, Tales from the Crypt and Northern Exposure) and also film (Love Bites, Slam Dance and Nomads).

Then, in 2002, he was arrested when he launched a car alternator through the window of a Camden pub and threatened the people inside with a replica pistol. He was subsequently sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

However, he uses his experiences in the past to help and guide others today.

He explains: “I’ve got my own label now and as part of that I have a mentor role to other acts. I give them the benefit of my mistakes and I’m enjoying it enormously.

“When I was touring in the 80s I didn’t get to see any of the places I went, that’s just the way it works with a major record label. I don’t want any of my acts to succumb to that.

“At the time I thought I was calling the shots, but I wasn’t really. Being given fame and glory is difficult for any young person to resist or appreciate what it is.

“I came out the other side, but I’m positive about it, that’s the main thing.”

He added: “I’m like a kid in a candy store being back on stage. I don’t take anything for granted and I’m so surprised by the positive reaction.

“I want the album to be judged on something new, rather than past merits.”

l Tickets for Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse, at O2 Academy Newcastle on December 13, are £22.50. For details visit www.adam-ant.net.

His new album, Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, is due for release in January.