Spandau Ballet in happier days, their 2014 reunion: John Keeble, Steve Norman, Tony Hadley, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp. (Photography Scarlet Page)
◼ BREAKING NEWS TODAY IN TWO WAVES: At midday 57-year-old singer Tony Hadley suddenly tweeted that he was “no longer a member of Spandau Ballet”, the London band who pioneered the New Romantic movement in the 1980s. Two hours after the star quit the band, its official website announced a Lazarus-style miracle: that the remaining four musicians “have now made the decision to move on as a band” without Big Tone. If they can indeed rise from the dead, who can possibly replace his signature bel canto baritone which has been central to the supergroup’s musical signature for almost 40 years?
When Spandau’s Soul Boys Atonement Tour ended in 2015, Hadley immediately returned to touring his solo act, is currently playing summer festivals as a solo artist with his own supporting band and touring the USA during August. Each member of the band has also looked to his own projects. Then in August 2016 Martin Kemp told ITV in a very relaxed way that another Spandau get-together was unlikely. When asked: “You’ve not fallen out again, have you?” Martin said: “We fall out when you come back off the tour and you pick up your case at Heathrow Airport and then we walk away, say ‘See you a bit later then’. We fall out, that’s how it works.”
Speculation about a successor is rife. Watch this space for further news.
➢ Vote here at Shapersofthe80s
for Tony’s successor
THE MIRROR HAS THE BEST INSIDE STORY:
WAS HE PUSHED OR DID HE FALL?
➢ Tony Hadley quit Spandau Ballet ‘amid bitter spat with band’ and they only found out on Twitter – Ashleigh Rainbird reports a source claiming:
“ The band were offered a string of lucrative opportunities that Tony didn’t want to be involved with. There was talk of a new album and tours including a huge US headline tour – the UK’s biggest festivals had offers on the table, too. But Tony opted to focus on his solo career, meaning everyone missed out.
Tony has been billed as being ‘formerly of’ Spandau Ballet on several tour posters. There had been tensions brewing between Tony and the rest of the group for almost two years, since he decided he did not want to perform with them. This was the final straw, and Tony had an ultimatum – take part in Spandau or quit entirely.
Things have festered over the past year or so and relations have been at an all-time low. By declining Spandau’s opportunities, Tony was pulling the strings for the entire group. But now he is no longer a member they can continue without him. ”
WE ALL SAW THIS COMING: REMEMBER
THOSE EARLIER HADLEY BOMBSHELLS
➢ May 2017, “We got back together, of course, but we’ve done that now and are getting on with our own solo careers. Great band, great legacy.”
➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: 2015, bombshell from Hadley
➢ 2012, future of Spandau doubtful
➢ 2011, Another bombshell for Spandau
➢ 2011, Bombshell for fans as Hadley unwinds
➢ 2011, Hadley tosses out interview squibs
THOSE SPANDAU BOYS:
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Hadley: serenading newly weds Paul Brough and Sonya Keating in a live TV broadcast from the Shard for This Morning viewers last week. (Photo: Rex)
Gary Kemp: culture vulture and broadcaster fronting his April TV documentary for Sky Arts titled Passions: Mick Ronson, directed by Paul Bernays
Martin Kemp: is touring the UK all year with his Q&A event, An Audience with himself
John Keeble: here bidding farewell to Perth in May 2015 as the last Spandau tour ended. He had missed a handful of dates because of fatigue. (Photo: Matt Glover)
Steve Norman: has curated the odd summer festival and pursues a vigorous programme of live appearances, here billed for Milan this week