EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Spandau Ballet tell all ahead of Marbella gig

Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp tells Iona Napier about Andalucian holidays, being a Dad and his highbrow reading choices

LAST UPDATED: 13 Aug, 2015 @ 19:12
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Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet

THEY’RE all well past their half century in age but this much is true: Spandau Ballet are still Gold on the concert circuit and heading for Marbella.

The favourite fashionista boy band of the 1980s may have left their eccentric outfits, rockstar lipstick and guyliner back in the decade of yuppies and red braces but their sound hasn’t passed its sell-by-date.

As individuals, it’s another story, songwriter and guitarist Gary Kemp tells me. He still has fond memories of cycling through Andalucia’s pueblo blancos and partying hard in Ibiza and Mallorca, but ‘those days are behind me’, he says.

Today a visit to Spain is more about chilling out on a sunlounger with a good book – although the 55-year-old surprises me with his current beach reading – the highbrow ‘Romantic Moderns: From Virginia Woolf to John Piper’. Rock ’n’ roll it ain’t (although it does have Romantic in the title).

Spandau were one of the most successful groups of the New Romantic era with singles charting at Number 1, 2 and 3 (respectively, True, Gold and Only When You Leave), eight UK Top 10 albums and a 1984 Brit Award for technical excellence.

“We had a crazy, amazing time back then, things have changed and I’m a father-of-four now!

“But the music hasn’t changed. We love being on stage and making the music – it’s so energising.”

Now everyone in Marbella is looking forward to a night of Ballet dancing later this month.

The band, reunited in 2009 after a tempestuous 20 years apart, are set to perform at the Hotel Puente Romano Tennis Club on August 21 as part of their Soul Boys of the Western World tour.

The boys hit the concert circuit to promote their new biopic movie of the same title, luanched this spring to rave reviews.

The documentary traces the warts-and-all history of each member (lead vocalist Tony Hadley & Co, giving a brutally honest insight into the band’s back-stage bust-ups in a story of friendships won, lost and ultimately regained, and charting Kemp brothers Martin and Gary’s rise from humble beginnings in Islington to unimaginable fame.

But stardom hasn’t gone to their heads. Gary still has that boyish twinkle in his eyes as he tells me, “We are so excited about being in Spain.”  

“The audience reaction has been incredible and we are really hoping that that will be the case in Marbella too.

“We may look a little different but the atmosphere, the music and the vibe is why we’re here.

“And we can stand the heat! After a 40 degree performance in Sicily two weeks ago, we are ready for Marbella and just can’t wait.”

Gary regrets not speaking any Spanish but assures me that saxophonist Steve Norman is ‘completely fluent’ as he spent years living in Ibiza when the band split.

Kemp’s serious celebrity credentials include being Sadie Frost’s ex-husband, performed with his brother and bandmate Martin in iconic 1990 film The Krays and with Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard (1992).

For tickets call the hotline on (+34) 664 475 590 and for more information visit www.spandauballet.com



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