Spandau Ballet have recently announced that they are reforming to tour the UK in October this year, so let’s take a quick look at the band as they were back in the 1980’s.
The bands origins begin in 1976 when Gary Kemp and Steve Norman formed a band called The Cut whilst still at school. Â John Keeble, Tony Hadley and Gary’s brother Martin joined over the following months, and the band started playing a few gigs and were moderately successful. Â The band changed name to The Makers for a time, before finally settling on the name Spandau Ballet, which they did in fact pinch from another earlier band.
The band generated quite a following and were soon signed up by Chrysalis Records, and their first song, To Cut A Long Story Short, was rushed to market in 1980 and soon reached number 5 in the UK charts. Â Their first album Journeys To Glory, was released the following year and also managed to reach position 5 in the UK album chart.
Spandau Ballet were classified as part of the New Romantics wave, although they were generally a little more conservatively dressed than the likes of Duran Duran or Adam and the Ants. Â They favoured shorter haircuts (although still long by todays standards) and smart fashionable suits over the more flamboyant style of these other bands. Â Really though, their music was a more adult combination of soul, jazz and pop.
The band really hit it big with the release of their 1983 album True, which featured both the title track which reached the top slot of the charts and their other major hit Gold. Â It is these two tracks that I personally most associate with Spandau Ballet. Â Gold was accompanied by a rather classy looking video, which you can see at the end of this post.
Unfortunately for Spandau True was the bands high point, and whilst they continued to play throughout the 1980’s they eventually split at the end of the decade. Â Gary and Martin Kemp went on to become actors, initially starring together in the film The Krays about the infamous London gangsters. Â Martin Kemp was also part of the cast of BBC soap EastEnders for some time. Â Tony Hadley went on to have a solo career, and played the lead role in the musical Chicago in London’s West End.