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ROCK THE WEEK: adam ant

He has been through some difficulties of late, but it's always good to see a survivor back in the limelight. When Adam and the Ants first emerged they were a run-of-the-mill punk act, standing apart from the pack only due to frontman Adam's use of bondage/S&M imagery in both his appearance and songs.

The album Dirk Wears White Sox came out of this period, before Adam began exploring African rhythms, had his band nicked by Malcolm McLaren to form Bow Wow Wow and re-emerged with a revamped Ants and his sights set on the pop charts.

With co-writer Marco Pirroni, the sound owed as much to the glam stomp of the Glitter Band as it did to the warrior drums of Burundi. By 1980 Adam was featuring in Smash Hits as much as the NME and 'Antmania' was in full flow.

Kings of the Wild Frontier, Dog Eat Dog, Ant Music, Stand and Deliver, Ant Rap and Prince Charming embraced MTV culture and he even scored a solo No1 with the irrepressible Goody Two Shoes before the wheels began to come off and the hits dried up. Perhaps the nadir came at Live Aid, when his performance of Vive le Rock saw the single actually drop in the charts the following week.

Now revitalised, reviews for the current tour have been sensational, and the prospect of pounding rhythms and post-punk pranks sounds like the perfect recipe for a Friday night to me.

>George Byrne

Adam Ant plays Vicar Street tonight