Tag Archives: Nick Jones

2014 ➤ Video gems unearthed by the Spandau Ballet biopic premiering at SXSW

Spandau Ballet

Spandau ahoy! Houseband of the New Romantics playing aboard HMS Belfast in 1980. Martin Kemp on bass, Steve Norman on guitar. (Photo by Virginia Turbett)


Spandau Ballet (Official)
“Awesome Spandau meeting yesterday! 2014 and 2015 are shaping up rather nicely, I would say.”

“Look out for MORE exciting Spandau news coming very soon! This is just the start.”

❚ SEVERAL MOVIE DISCOVERIES have been made by the researchers on Spandau Ballet’s new biopic Soul Boys of the Western World, due to be premiered on March 12 in the USA at SXSW. One is footage of the band’s secret live performance aboard the World-War Two cruiser HMS Belfast. In order to emphasise the newness of their synthesised pop music, the band’s ground rule was never to appear at established rock venues. So for their seventh invitation-only date on July 26, 1980, a glittering horde of Blitz Kids descended on the warship moored in the Thames near the Tower of London.

Spandau Ballet, archive, HMS Belfast,SXSW,Blitz Kids

Precious footage of Spandau’s HMS Belfast gig, 1980: two reels of Super8 exhumed from the vaults by ex-Blitz Kid Nick Jones

Songwriter Gary Kemp says: “There are two pieces of archive that most surprised me. The first was the HMS Belfast performance from 1980. I never knew it existed until last year when our manager Steve Dagger had a vague memory that one of the Blitz Kids, Nick Jones, had a Super 8 camera. (He went on to play in the Latin-tinged dance-band Funkapolitan with Tom Dixon and Kadir Guirey, and today he’s a successful director of commercials.) It was some time before Nick could gain access to his storage and at first found nothing. Then we got sent the pic you see alongside.”

Kemp adds: “The footage is in beautiful Super 8 colour and shows the raw energy of that night inside the hot and steamy ship. It lasts eight minutes, but was enough to evoke the moment when Spandau were THE band of London, elusive, unique, magnificent.”

Petr Capaldi, Spandau Ballet, 1982,

Peter Capaldi at 23: comic support on Spandau’s 1982 Diamond tour. (Photo by Shapersofthe80s)

He adds: “The other archive that revealed itself, 33 years after being filmed, was the entire New York gig that we did in the Underground club in 1981.” This footage emerged after painstaking inquiries only last autumn and Spandau can be seen onstage in all their glory sporting their nomadic serfs garb from the Musclebound video.

Some of us also remember the 23-year-old Scottish stand-up who was invited to support Spandau Ballet on the Diamond tour of the UK in 1982. This was Peter Capaldi who has enjoyed spectacular success in the years since then and was revealed recently as the BBC’s 12th Doctor Who.

Kemp adds: “The new Doctor Who is definitely seen in the film – on a tour bus I believe – which explains his new Tony Hadley style as Doctor Who! Come and see the movie and enjoy our history.”


❏ Plan before you travel: SXSW is an industry event which charges hefty registration fees, for example, Films-only registration costs $650 for walkups. However the website says if, after delegates with badges and wristbands are seated at film events, any seats remain, “single-admission tickets will be sold for $10 starting 15 minutes before showtime”.

SXSW update after the live gig is announced, Feb 21: “For the music portion of the event, the situation is very similar. There will most likely be tickets for sale at the door but it varies from venue to venue. Tickets may be sold if capacity allows. Our best advice is to get to the venue early or contact them to see if they will be selling tickets at the door and also see how long the wristband/badge lines are to judge if you could even get in.”

➢ 1982, How Spandau put Capaldi on the road to play
the new Doctor Who

➢ Spandau together again as their ‘surprise’ movie is slated for Texas premiere – more on SXSW 2014 at Shapersofthe80s

New Romantics,

Blitz Kids ahoy! A dazzling audience aboard HMS Belfast for Spandau Ballet’s seventh date. (Photo – Getty)


2011 ➤ Soho House purges suit-and-tie man while the Groucho laughs all the way to the bar

Soho House, Nick Jones,Richard Caring

The Soho House dress-code paradox: shirt-sleeved founder Nick Jones and his suited boss, multi-millionaire Richard Caring. (Jones pictured by Christopher Morris)

❚ “TOO SCHOOL FOR COOL”!!! This is the Soho House’s newly enforced verdict on the wearing of suits and ties by its 15,000 members at its achingly hipster hangouts across the world. One London member has now been banned from entering the Greek Street club and a second warned via text message that he was dressing too formally.

A year ago The Daily Telegraph reported New York’s Soho House purging members to regain its cool, and over the past two years about 1,000 of its 4,500 members have not had their annual $1,800 memberships renewed, mainly bankers, lawyers and anyone considered “too corporate”. Being aged over 27 didn’t go down too well either.

The paradox is that the 80% owner of the Soho House Group, the immaculately groomed restaurant tycoon Richard Caring (worth £700m on The Sunday Times Rich List) is never seen out of a suit and seldom without a tie. On the other hand, his open-collared Soho House chief executive Nick Jones, who founded the careerist club in 1995, favours the dress-down style of the creative industries, judging by most of his Google images. In 2005 he told the Independent: “Yes, I get Basil Fawlty moments. They usually revolve around suits. I don’t like packs of people in suits. I feel like giving these people some jeans and a T-shirt and saying, ‘Can you go and put these on, please?’ ”

Does this mean Basil would turn away his boss Richard Caring at the door?

Stephen Fry, Groucho Club

Groucho Club style: the corduroyed Stephen Fry

Style guru Peter York identifies what he calls Soho House’s implicit dress code as “knowing casual, rather than the smart casual people bang on about — Tod’s, dark linen, soft shirts with teeny open collars and all that expensively sub-fusc kit”. So loosen up, Mr Caring, if you expect to gain admission.

At the other end of London’s Old Compton Street, peels of laughter were tonight ricocheting round the distinctly more artsy and proudly louche Groucho Club (founded 1985) where broadcaster Stephen Fry has been known to murmur: “Ties are tolerated but not encouraged.” Matthew Hobbs, managing director of the Groucho, gave today’s Evening Standard the official line: “We have no dress code whatsoever.”

❏ Soho House members include: Kirsty Young, Michael Hill, Ashley Highfield, Spencer Matthews, Ollie Locke, Geri Halliwell, Nigella Lawson, Scarlett Johansson, Uma Thurman, Ed Westwick, Ellie Goulding, Davina McCall.

❏ Groucho Club members include: Stephen Fry, Sienna Miller, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Sam Taylor-Wood, Jonathan Yeo, Alex James, Janet Street-Porter, Melvyn Bragg, Julie Burchill, Gary Kemp, Robert Elms, Liam Gallagher, Peter Saville.

➢ Club bans PR boss for wearing a tie — extract from tonight’s Evening Standard report:

A leading London businessman has attacked “Stalinist” rules that led to him being banned from Soho House for wearing a suit and tie. Peter Bingle, 51, has been told he is not welcome at the West End members’ club or any of its offshoots after “clearly disregarding” its casual dress code. The sanction comes after another member was told that his suit was “too school for cool”.

Mr Bingle, chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, said he had received a “yellow card” e-mail two weeks ago. It warned him Soho House “openly discourages the wearing of suits at the clubs as we are a club for the creating industries and like being a relaxed environment”. Yesterday he was given his marching orders in a letter from UK membership manager Tom Russell.

➢ The PR man Peter Bingle musing about being banned from Soho House for wearing a suit


➢ “As a member myself I go to Soho House wearing a tie because you are not allowed to” — Michael Hill, creative director of Drake’s, the Savile Row haberdasher, in the Evening Standard, July 28

Soho House, anti-suit, dress codes,

Culture Gestapo’s message

➢ Do suits indicate pretentious self-regard and lack of imagination? — FT.com, July 28

➢ Soho House gets it in the neck for telling members to remove ties — Evening Standard, July 29

➢ Peter York: The secret and changing life of the private members’ club — Independent, July 31

➢ New York’s Soho House purges members — Daily Telegraph, July 2010

➢ The Culture Gestapo is on the loose — Gawker, 2009