◼ AFTER 30 YEARS OF MARRIAGE Martin and Shirlie Kemp have joined forces to create a double act with an album, In The Swing Of It, set for release on 22nd November on Sony Music. For those who need reminding, both Mr & Mrs Kemp enjoyed chart success in the iconic 80s acts Spandau Ballet and Pepsi and Shirlie, not to mention Shirlie’s stint with Wham!.
The album majors on covering such Fifties classics as Fly Me To The Moon, The Way You Look Tonight, Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Tender Trap. Describing their musical choices, Martin told Lorraine Kelly in a TV interview last month: “It’s like an open love-letter where everybody can look in on our relationship. The words that we sing to each other are words that we say to each other.” While Shirlie added: “I feel this is the best thing I’ve ever done and doing it with Martin was like a dream the whole summer.”
The album was inspired by an impromptu recording session with Martin, whilst working with producer Brian Rawling (Cher, Tina Turner, One Direction). He invited Shirlie into the studio to help with a song and the session helped the couple realise how much they enjoyed recording together. They agreed on a list of uplifting Swing covers, chosen to reflect their relationship because, Martin says: “In the 50s with swing they made love songs that made you happy.”
Shirlie adds: “I feel happy when I listen to this music, I hope people dance and sing along to the album when they are in their homes doing the cleaning or cooking the Sunday roast. Singing is a happy drug.”
➢ Tickets for In The Swing Of It: Live Dates – Royal Festival Hall London 25 Jan, Symphony Hall Birmingham 16 Feb, Bridgewater Hall Manchester 23 Feb.
➢ Previously at Shapers of the 80s:
The Kemp quartet: a happy family George Michael helped to create