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Independence allows Adam Ant to stand and deliver once more

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013

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Adam Ant hopes his first new album in 18 years, "Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner's Daughter," alters the enduring image of the British singer as a glammed-up icon of the late 70s/early 80s punk and new wave scene.

The album will surprise many of Ant's old fans with its forays into rootsy Americana styles. Some of that was influenced by time spent living in Tennessee during the mid-90s, but Ant says it's also the product of recording without worrying about expectations or what kind of music he'd made previously.

"This one was done very much carte blanche," says Ant, 58, who was born Stuart Goddard and made his name as part of the post-punk New Romantic scene, with help from the late Sex Pistols manager Malcom McLaren. "You reach a point where you suddenly have total freedom and license to make any kind of record you want, without any restrictions." That includes record companies, adds Ant, who now records independently.

"During my time with major labels I was always fighting them," he recalls. "They were always trying to have some kind of subtle interference with the music. I remember in (the mid-80s) they'd tell me I should be using synthesizers because all the groups enjoying commercial success at the time were using synthesizers.

"This time there were no restrictions on the album whatsoever. And it surprised me that you get a lot more done in a certain period of time that way."

Another new direction in Ant's world these days; a focus on performing live rather than recording. He spent more than a year on the road prior to releasing "Blueback Hussar," and he now wants the shows to drive fans to the album rather than vice versa.

"That's really my emphasis now, playing live," Ant explains. "I want to try to sell (the album) to every person we play to. And it's working; people are hearing the songs (live) and going and getting the album and listening to it and it grow son them a bit. That seems to be the general reaction."

Adam Ant & the Good, the Mad & the Lovely Posse and Prima Donna perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the Cathedral Theatre at Masonic Temple, 500 Temple Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25-$30. Call 313-882-7100 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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