AFTER the bitter court battles of the 1990s, it was cheering to witness the excited camaraderie between the five members of Spandau Ballet at this heartfelt show.
Frontman Tony Hadley could barely get arrested on his most recent solo tour but together, it seems, they are beautiful – or at least a hefty nostalgia draw.
They are a remarkably well-preserved bunch, stylishly suited and booted even if their music and cringe couplets such as “she used to be a diplomat, but now she’s down the laundromat” were strictly dated to a time when shoulderpads roamed the earth.
Hadley remains in fine foghorn form (although the high notes went unscaled), Steve Norman was pretty soulful on sax, John Keeble steadfast on drums and the brothers Kemp always ready for their close-up (Martin) or some gurning guitar work (Gary).
Slickly produced pop fare such as Only When You Leave sounded more ragged live, while more was less on overcooked soul ballad How Many Lies. Who knew they had so many mediocre hits? Or that there is potentially more to dredge from last year’s “new” song This is the Love, which could easily be mid-80s album filler.
Their propensity to ham it up was best matched with a melodramatic medley of their earliest New Romantic hits, dedicated to the late Steve Strange, before they hit the yuppie yacht-rock home straight with the likes of Instinction, Communication, True, the terribly earnest Through the Barricades and the gleeful Gold.
Seen on 08.03.15