Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Stand and Deliver -a photo pass or your wife

I found myself being transported back to the 80’s last week, having purchased tickets to see one Adam Ant.

Adam and I have had a somewhat chequered past, none of which I stress was his fault. The first girl I asked out (yes there was life before Mrs B) was a huge fan. While he had stunning good looks and worldwide fame in his repertoire, I brought knobbly knees and severe acne to the negotiating table.  I guess I never really stood a chance.

Being at an all boys school meant my exposure to girls was limited to my sister and her fairly snobby (in my opinion) friends. Not an ideal dating pool for a younger brother. I spent weeks (it felt like years) trying to pluck up the courage to ask out the goddess that lived at the bottom of my road – next to the pet shop where we got our cat at the time –Tabitha (this point is not important other than the cat lasted a hell of a lot longer than this relationship but in the end the cat left as well). My excruciating efforts to ask her out (no not the cat) somehow worked – analysing it years later I expect it was a pity date and the quickest way for the poor girl to get the stammering idiot out of her long flowing locks. It almost went wrong from the very start as I had to ask her her name (You have to remember this was before the days of the Internet so no opportunity to stalk people to find out even the most basic of details). ‘Marian Crump’ was her response - I can’t remember if I managed to keep a straight face*, I’m guessing I did because the date went ahead.

* Now before you tell me to stop acting like an overgrown schoolboy – give me a break, I was about 15 and totally out of my depth…..

The date
Hmm it could have gone better – my choice of film was possibly not the best – a nice romantic double header of Jaws and Jaws II (yep your eyes did not receive you – I took the object of my desire to see a romantic movie about a giant rubber fish snacking on anything that moved. My chances of ending my first date with a kiss was sealed before the shark had got through snacking on her first victim – I guess a Zombie Movie would have been equally as bad.)

The only appropriate thing about taking the young lady to a double header was the date itself also turned out to be a double header being as it was our first and last date…. Crashed and burned – Perhaps I should have taken her to see The Towering Inferno. Things that I remember from the date:
  • Her name obviously 
  • A very painful bus ride on the way to the cinema, awkward silence interrupted by moments of almost conversation.
  • Standing in the rain as we queued for the film.
  • Finding out that she was a huge Adam Ant fan – how on earth did that slip into the non-conversation.
  • An even more painful bus ride home. A more awkward silence that even a deaf person would have been uncomfortable with was finally broken when Miss Crump swore – Her older brother had just got on the bus with some of his mates.
  • Praying for the return of the awkward silence as her brother mercilessly ripped the piss out of us.
  • Realisation after we parted that I would have to walk past her house almost every day….
She went back to idolising Adam and his Formicidael family – While I moved on to ….well………. The Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Small Faces – apparently when I came out of our date from hell musically I headed off in the wrong direction…. Instead of reaching out to the contemporary groups of the day - Duran Duran, Dépêche Mode and indeed Adam and the Ants, I retreated back to the 60’s to lick my wounds. I didn’t actually get back into 80s music until well into the 90’s.

I’m not ashamed to say that Adam made it onto the iPod and gets an airing every now and again ….which turned out to be not such a good thing. One of my trusted methods of breaking the news to Mrs B that I have purchased tickets for a gig, is to start subliminally playing the music every hour of the day for a month beforehand. After a couple of days of Adam Ant music Mrs B casually looked across and said “Nope, I’m not interested in seeing him”….

I tried a few friends who looked at me aghast – I even thought about tracking down Marian Crump but figured that would have been a very painful reconciliation. I had almost resigned myself to a solo trip when I decided to give my friend Al a call. I didn’t hold out much hope as Al is immersed in Jazz and more grown up music, through her husband Richard. To my surprise Al remembered AA fondly and was delighted to join me. A couple of days later one of my previous enquiries about getting a photo pass came back – The Beast was in - In a matter of days it had gone from just me to three of us…..

My intention had been to take the photos from the balcony, where I had purchased the seats – using a walkway along the edge of the upper circle of the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Unfortunately security were having none of it – and as the photo pass covered access to the Pit for the first three songs, I decided to take my chance at the front…Gulp….. I spoke to Al about abandoning her for the start of the gig and as she was very supportive, The Beast and I made our way down stairs – through the massing throng and into the pit. It felt very strange and I was relieved that no professional photographers were in there with me – it would have felt like I had truly been transported back to the early 1980s and been thrown in with the sharks...

As I got I there a few minutes before AA was due on stage I decided that rather than stand there like a lemon, I would chat to the pushy fans who had made it to the front. Rather disappointingly no one had turned up with the AA trade mark Apache white strip across the nose** (That was Al’s one request – to capture a picture of at least one fan with the stripe.) I can report that there was real warmth and enthusiasm for Adam from the fans – not all of whom were even born when he carried all before him…Pretty soon the lights dimmed and for the next three songs The Beast and I worked our socks off trying to capture the spirit of the show….All too soon our time was up and we retreated back through the standing fans and up to the high level.

** It turned out not even Adam was sporting it – preferring to go for a Pirate look….

The show
For a 58 year old man who has had a few problems over the years (being pronounced as bi-polar is not normally a positive note for your career in the public eye) it was good. His voice was still strong although the athletic movement he was famous for in his youth were not so in evidence. If he had been on Strictly (or Dancing with the Stars to any Americans out there) I’m not sure he would have made it through more than a couple of rounds – harsh but fair). A criticism of the venue rather than AA – it was noticeable that the sound quality on the ground floor was far superior to the balcony. He played most of his hits from throughout his career, with some new songs from his new record which is not due out until next year. Strange - most artists embark on a tour after the record is released. He also played some of the early Adam and the Ant songs, which are a bit more punk in style but were very welcomed by some of the more hard core fans. Overall a good balance. While the band were not his original crew, they were all good musicians.

Record of the Week

Eeek, the music player I has been using has been suspended - so no more music for the moment....or indeed the foreseeable future .....sorry

Photo finish

The results of my Adam Ant photo pass -
Prince Charming

"Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome..."


"Knobbly knees and acne....."

The Crump quickly abandoned me
and returned to her true love....

I never really stood a chance ....

Her loss becomes Mrs B's   pain gain
I managed to talk one fan into using a bit of
gaffer tape to replicate the white stripe....

I'm not sure it quite worked but
 you  get the general idea.

Friend or Foe

"When you're a pirouetting, highkicking
Thigh slapping cruiser
When you're a hipgrinding spellbinding
Clean cut seducer

You have to be careful so people take note
I take it serious, but I still like a joke

I want those who get to know me
To become admirers or my enemies
I want those who get to know me
To become admirers...."

The good the mad and the lovely posse - Lead Guitarist

"Put some wax on the tracks and
slide on outta here!"
from Ant Rap
not to be confused with
Ant Wrap - the snack with real bite....
"So unplug the jukeboxAnd do us all a favour"

from Ant music

The good the mad and the lovely posse bass guitarist

"We're gonna move real good (yeah, right)

We're gonna dress so fine (OK)
It's dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog...."

Prince Charming......

"Ridicule is nothing to be scared of....."

Adam with another of his trade marks
 the duel drums

Georgie Girl And Her Poussez Posse.

Support act and backing singer for AA
Excellent latter needs a little work as former... 

Next week sees me get the chance to bury the ghost of my worst gig experiance ever.....


  1. I loved Adam Ant. Sigh.
    Maybe I am Marion Crump.

    1. Scarlet Crump..... has a certain ring to it – or are you one of my other failed conquests of the time Andria Papadopoulos (Or slappy sloppy bollocks – as my delightful school friends called her. I’m ashamed to say I was not as strong a character in those days and so wilted under peer pressure. Still given the current state of the Greek economy I would probably be having to bail out her entire family at the moment)

  2. The date sounded painful. Good thing it's far in the past, huh?
    I've got a couple of experiences like that in my past.
    One such involved Bohemian Rhapsody, a flat tire, and cockfighting (the chicken kind).
    Ah, youth!

    1. It certainly didn't make my top 1 million memorable moments....

      P.. I didn't realise that any sort of cockfighting involved chickens....One reason I have always kept well away from them...

  3. Merry Christmas, Mr Logs!!!


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