Onstage last Thursday in Hamburg: Tony Hadley with guitarist Richie Barrett and drummer John Keeble. (Photo by RTN)
❚ WE HAVE HEARD ONLY HINTS SO FAR. But today singer Tony Hadley posted a link at Facebook that leaves no doubt. When you click through to photos of his performance in Hamburg last Thursday, a stark message is attached. “Spandau Ballet got together for the last time in 2009/2010 for a farewell world tour.” Nobody in the Spandau circle has yet used the words “last time” and “farewell”. Tactfully they allow us to believe that the future is a place where anything might still be possible. Hadley’s bel canto baritone voice was the most identifiable part of the supergroup’s musical signature in the 80s, and there’s nothing the band’s fans want more than to hear him singing again with his onetime schoolmates.
On Thursday and Friday, Hadley as solo performer was one of five British acts rostered for the Back to the 80s live gigs in Hamburg and Berlin. Above, we see him raising a storm onstage with Richie Barrett, the guitarist in the permanent band that has accompanied him as a singer for 13 years. Behind them on drums we see John Keeble, also a founder member of Spandau.
Heaven 1980: only Spandau's tenth live date soon after their first single had reached No 5 in the UK chart. Tony was still smoking as he sang in those days. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s
And when the Hamburg concert pictures were published on Friday by the German RTN news agency, this report accompanied them:
“ Hamburg — Konzert mit Musiklegenden der 80er Jahre war Tony Hadley am 1. Dezember 2011 in der o2 World Hamburg zu sehen. Tony Hadley sorgte mit Spandau Ballet und Songs wie True, Gold oder Only When You Leave für unverwechselbaren Sound und echte Ohrwürmer.
“ Anfang der 90er Jahre startete Tony Hadley seine Solokarriere. Spandau Ballet taten sich 2009/2010 für einen Abschieds-Welttournee letztmalig zusammen. ”
The brutal second paragraph translates into English as:
“ At the beginning of the 90s Tony Hadley began his solo career. Spandau Ballet got together for the last time in 2009/2010 for a farewell world tour. ”
The two key words in German are more explicit than anything Hadley has issued before about past and future… letztmalig means bluntly “for the last time”. And Abschied undeniably means “farewell, leave-taking, parting”, and in a military context is used to describe an officer who is being retired.
This statement from the Hadley camp removes any ambiguity that lingered in an interview he gave in August, following his first American solo tour. Remember, an argument over royalties split Spandau Ballet asunder in 1990, until they agreed to reunite and tour in 2009. In August the singer said: “It was only ever meant to be a one-off. At the moment there aren’t plans to do Spandau again. You could be waiting 20 years.” Well, now we know that means for ever.
➢ August’s bombshell as Hadley unwinds after US solo tour
➢ Spandau Ballet’s final furlong: the Reformation tour ends at Newmarket racecourse
ONCE MORE — JOHN KEEBLE’S FAMOUS
LAST WORDS AT NEWMARKET IN 2010. . .