Spandau Ballet

Live Review and Interview: Spandau Ballet at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, July 30, 2015

Spandau Ballet
Photos by Sylvia Borgo

MP3: Interview – Spandau Ballet


For a solid two hours, Spandau Ballet kept Humphreys attendees on their feet.

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The 80’s mega band was in very high spirits and its members were very gracious throughout the evening. The crowd went wild when lead singer Tony Hadley mentioned that this was Spandau’s first time in San Diego. Hadley continued to rave about the warm reception saying, “You can all join the band, we love you…”

People might doubt whether this band can actually play; after all, they are probably best known for their glamorous videos and stylish outfits. However, Hadley has great singing chops: his baritone voice has not changed in 30+ years. Bassist Martin Kemp, guitarist Gary Kemp, percussionist/saxophonist Steve Norman, and drummer John Keeble also had plenty of energy onstage — especially during their solos.

The band started off the evening with a relatively new song, “Soul Boy,” followed by three classic hits, “Highly Strung,” “Only When You Leave,” and “Round and Round.” The crowd danced enthusiastically to “Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On),” and “To Cut A Long Story Short,” as band members took their respective solos.

Throughout the evening, Hadley danced all over the stage, chumming it up with his bandmates and high-fiving fans in the front who’d rushed the stage.

The band also played some of their earliest recordings, “Reformation,” “Confused,” and “The Freeze.” Introducing these songs, Gary Kemp said, “Before [1983 hit] ‘True,’ we were a different Spandau Ballet. We were more of a cult band. We’d like to play a few of these songs form ’78, ’79, ’80.”

To allow for a few wardrobe changes and to slow down the pace of the show, Tony Hadley and Gary Kemp played acoustic versions of “Glow,” and “Empty Spaces,” as well as a singalong with the audience on a short version of “Gold.” Gary Kemp alluded to the fact that the band had been through its ups and downs and introduced “Once More,” by saying “When us idiots got back together again, we did it with this song.”

Towards the end of the show, right before playing five massive hits, “I’ll Fly for You,” “Instinction,” “Communication,” “Lifeline,” and “True,” Tony Hadley walked onstage and said, “This is the point in the show that I toast you all with a beer and then with a bit of medicinal Jack.” He then took a swig of beer and a sip of whiskey.

Sylvia Borgo also sat down with the two members the band Spandau Ballet before their show. In the interview, the band discusses the reception they’ve received in the US, their documentary film Soul Boys of the Western World, and touring with the Duranies.

Photos: Spandau Ballet at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

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