❚ 19,000 FANS OF POP MUSIC AND HORSERACING from across the rural region of East Anglia roared a big welcome at 9.25 last night for Spandau Ballet’s final concert before they sign off from touring. Insiders were once again wondering out loud whether the five former schoolmates who reformed last year after a separation of almost 20 years will ever play together again, so busy are their individual careers.
Balmy midsummer weather blessed the gathering, as the band followed a programme of seven races at Newmarket’s July Course with 14 hit numbers that most people in the throng spookily seemed to know by heart.
Not knowing what to expect from this curious hybrid audience, Spandau manager Steve Dagger had initially been hesitant about playing the venue. By about 6pm the car-parks were packed and the crowd had swollen, dress-coded in smart-casual summer finery. “Look at them! Those people are definitely here for the music. The fact is there isn’t another venue big enough for 19,000 people in the east of England.” There was only a brief pause before we witnessed a conversion on the Road to Damascus, against all expectations. As he surveyed the sheer numbers of revellers game for a big day out, grinning the Dagger grin, he murmured what would have been heresy during Spandau’s early anti-rock era: “Now that we’ve broken our festival duck, we might be up for doing Glastonbury next year. Who knows . . . ?” You read it here first.
Otherwise, thassit for Spandau’s touring until further notice. Tough luck, America, but the numbers simply don’t stack up. And any talk of the 2012 Olympics is pure fanclub speculation. So start campaigning now.
❏ An established event in the cultural calendar, Newmarket Nights host gigs by Simply Red and Razorlight on July 16 and 23.
➢ Nov 15, 2010 — Read “The best year of our lives” — Paul Simper’s summary of the Reformation tour published on Spandau’s official website. Take a hint from drummer John Keeble’s verdict: “You miss everything at the end of a tour. You miss the piss-taking, you even miss the getting up early. Everyone wants to be a rock star and it doesn’t get much better than a tour like that. But now people are looking to the future. Are we going to do this again? Of course we will. There’s no agenda to sort out any more. File Spandau under ‘to be continued’…”