Tag Archives: reunion

➤ Spandau confirms one-off live reunion gig in Texas – for a tiny elite!

Spandau Ballet,1984,pop music,reunion,Blitz Kids, New Romantics,, Parade, album

Parade’s 30th birthday celebration! In 1984 the fourth studio album by Spandau Ballet yielded two UK Top 10 hits, Only When You Leave and I’ll Fly for You. It introduced the imagery of artist David Band which became the band’s leitmotif

FEB 12 – UPDATE FROM SPANDAU BALLET

Spandau Ballet (Official) – “Awesome Spandau meeting yesterday! 2014 and 2015 are shaping up rather nicely”

FEB 14 – BIG TONE TO HIT THE ROAD

Tickets go on sale for Spandau singer Tony Hadley’s 10-stop UK tour in October, once again with a full orchestra, climaxing at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane

FEB 20 – LIVE REUNION GIG CONFIRMED

Gary Kemp says – “We’re in rehearsals next week!”

❚ SPANDAU BALLET WILL PLAY TOGETHER on March 12 – their first live date in North America since 1985. On the same day that their biopic Soul Boys of the Western World premieres in Austin, Texas, the five Angel Boys will later perform at the Vulcan Gas Company on E 6th Street, a refurbished new entertainment space named after a psychedelic venue from the hippie 60s. It will host 20 gigs during the massive SXSW new-media conference and its music and film festivals.

entertainment

The new Vulcan in Austin: a steam-punk interior and cutting-edge sounds

What will stymie hordes of Spandau’s hopeful American fans is that a registered Music Badge to attend SXSW costs $750 and, even then, does not guarantee admission to specific events.  Platinum and Gold conference delegates are given priority admission before Music and Film Badge holders. Also, the new Vulcan with “an industrial steam-punk feel” is a modest venue – with a typical capacity of 535 – so spare tickets are likely to be thin on the ground. The Festival operates a Queue Card system with updates online, via Venue Status Boards and @sxsw on Twitter. However, before travelling to Austin, Spandau fans are advised to ensure they have secured a ticket (see the comment from SXSW, below). Hints from the Spandau team suggest there may be more news soon.

Elsewhere on the same evening the UK singer Damon Albarn is performing at one of Austin’s 100 venues that stage live music nightly – the town does claim to be the “Live Music Capital of the World”. For three years from 1967 the Vulcan Gas Company on Congress Avenue became its first successful psychedelic music venue, featuring Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Muddy Waters and other greats, then morphing into the Armadillo World Headquarters with a broader musical bill that embraced Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, blues and jazz.

Jimi Hendrix , Johnny Winter, music, Vulcan Gas Company

The original Vulcan on Congress Avenue with its notorious drainpipe backdrop: Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter playing in 1968

Now in the 30th anniversary year of Spandau Ballet’s fourth album, Parade, one of Britain’s iconic supergroups of the 80s returns to the States.

Tony, Gary, Martin, Steve and John will be flying in to attend the 2pm premiere of their archive-only documentary film, Soul Boys of The Western World. Songwriter Gary Kemp says: “We had the idea because we have a good story and the story has a real arc. It’s about friendship, kids who come from the shadows of the Second World War growing up in the 60s and 70s, a period of great rock music from David Bowie and glam rock. They go through the whole punk experience and then had the experience of the whole New Romantic scene of working-class kids dressing up and doing things that were outrageous against a recession.”

ENTRY TO SXSW EVENTS CANNOT BE GUARANTEED

❏ SXSW says: “As far as films go, tickets will be for sale at the door after delegates with badges and wristbands are seated, if there is room. 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. After badges and wristband holders are admitted, 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.”

➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s: Video gems unearthed by the Spandau Ballet documentary movie

Spandau Ballet,1984,pop music,reunion,Blitz Kids, New Romantics,, Parade, album

2014… Spandau Ballet’s next parade is about to begin!

FIRST REACTIONS FROM THE FANS

Jennifer Schmaltz Robbers Aw, this is so bittersweet! It would be great if you guys could add another show outside of SXSW. It will be hard for a lot of your US fans to swing the SXSW pass.

Ricky Resurreccion $795 for a music badge???? My wife and I huge fans from California and she’d die to see you guys perform. Come on, Gary, help us out here!

Molly Fanton It better be a US tour. Come on guys come to Buffalo, Boston or NYC. I so want to see you guys.

Shell Stringer When are Spandau Ballet going to tour round more local places? Come to The Dome, Doncaster please :-)))

Carlos Hidalgo Regular Sud America

Christine Turner Hopefully another tour Down Under.

Tony Baker Get your sens darn to the Echo @ Liverpool lads

Brigitte Supercan We want you in Italy very soon please

Catriona Stokes Please come to Dublin again, you were fab in 2009 xx

Gregg Daniell Toronto. Canada would live to have you.

Debbie Meyers Praying for anywhere in the USA

Cecy Blue Pax We want a Spandau Ballet concert in South America too

Cristina Martínez Queralt Barcelona waiting for you

Layne Wheeler ok, about that meeting. when are you coming over to the states, anywhere over the atlantic, the wife and I AND our friends will come see you… here is a incentive… I will cook!!

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2014 ➤ Reunion in the air for Culture Club – again

Culture Club, reunion, 2014,Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy George, pop music

January 2014: George with his old band-mates from Culture Club – clockwise, Roy Hay, Mikey Craig and Jon Moss (photo from Facebook)

➢ Boy George posts a new pic at Facebook Jan 31, and says:
Had a little writing session with the Club last week. Four degrees of pout! The plot thickens.” … His website adds: “Expect a new album and a tour from Culture Club by the end of 2014.

❏ The last time George announced a Culture Club reunion (2011 New Year’s Eve gig in Sydney, Australia) Jon Moss was also photographed in the studio rehearsals, but he couldn’t be there on the night. Update Feb 2014: In an entertaining new interview on YouTube (below) Jon explains why at around 12 minutes…


➢ 2014 George adds six new UK dates to his This Is What I Do tour including London Indigo

➢ George announces his new website, Jan 29 and Club Culture Radio, his new monthly podcast

Culture Club, 1982,Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy George, pop music

Early incarnation of Culture Club in 1982: described by George at Facebook as Mikey’s difficult “jumper” period

➢ Boy George at Facebook, Jan 24:
A lot of people don’t know I’m a DJ but I’ve been doing this for 30 years! They say, Oh you’re not the Boy George from the 80s though are you? and I say Yeah, there’s only one; it would have been dangerous to make two! The fan comments are even sharper, eg, “Do you do private weddings?”

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2012 ➤ Moss misses Culture Club’s new dawn in Australia

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, TV interview, Sunrise

TV scoop November 15: Culture Club announced their reunion on Sunrise, yet Jon Moss seemed distinctly uncomfortable. (Videograb © Channel 7)

❚ THE 80s REUNION OF THE NEW YEAR had been long touted and sceptically doubted. Yet suddenly on November 15 Australia’s number one breakfast show Sunrise on Channel 7 had a world exclusive: the 80s supergroup Culture Club were reforming to play live at the New Year’s Eve celebrations on Glebe Island right in Sydney harbour. That week Shapersofthe80s reported the amazing news. There on video we saw all four members of the chart-topping band with their vocalist Boy George sporting his powder blue Treacy hat, squeezed into a tiny studio in London.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, concert,Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, But everybody’s body language looked awkward, not helped by the satellite link causing long silences in the London-Oz conversation. Once each member spoke up, however, they seemed able to laugh at themselves, including drummer and onetime lover of George, Jon Moss now married and aged 54, who attended George’s last birthday party with his wife. All three were papped there in a smiling embrace.

In the Sunrise interview, however, Jon wore a wearisome expression as he sat behind George, like some jaded husband who’s heard the wife making promises a million times before. And when asked why it had taken ten years to get together, Jon fessed up that “It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other”. Nobody laughed, only averted their eyes. This might of course have been Jon being his usual sardonic self. Or, even then, he might have been suffering the terrible back pain which it is said has laid him low since Christmas .

In the event, on Tuesday as George watched the in-flight movie Senna aboard the plane out of London and tweeted “OMG, he was a beauty & so sweet”, Jon Moss was not beside him. When Culture Club stopped over to play a warm-up gig at the Tennis Stadium in Dubai, Jon was not at his drumkit, nor did he appear in Australia. A brief announcement before Culture Club took the stage in Sydney just after midnight on Jan 1 amounts to all the public has been told: Jon was stuck in London with a bad back, apparently a slipped disc. A sharp-eyed fan in the US called Gloria recalls that George tweeted about this on December 30. He said: “Jon is very unwell sadly. He was too poorly to travel. He’s gutted, so are we!”

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Dubai Tennis Stadium,live concert

Culture Club’s warm-up gig in Dubai Dec 29: while the poster includes Jon Moss, only Boy George, Mikey Craig and Roy Hay take to the stage with a stand-in drummer. (Videograb courtesy boypierreemmanuel)

Fans naturally started to ask what’s really up behind the scenes? Old friends initially suspected a classic attack with a hatpin, harking back to the old feuding of the 80s. But talk within Culture Club circles this week confirms that Jon has suffered an authentic injury and is due to go into hospital for treatment. The camaraderie between George, Jon, Roy and Mikey is reported to have been rekindled and rehearsals actually enjoyable and relaxed enough for whoever is around to join in with the writing. At band dinners in Dubai and Sydney there was agreement that the two shows had gone well. George was being particularly sociable with everyone after hours, rather than doing his own thing as in the old days.

All the more surprising then that George hasn’t offered Jon any further sympathy on Twitter or Facebook. Nor have we heard anything about Jon’s health expressed publicly. OK, there doesn’t seem to be an active official website for Culture Club as a band, but George’s own website has stayed schtum too. Amid George’s continual tweeting during the round trip (which included a bleat about a hotel charging $8 to deliver coffee to his room), the only reference to the show itself said: “I had such a great time tonight in Sydney. A very memorable NYE, with Neil Tennant from PSBs.”

Seven words spring to mind: Do you really want to hurt me?

Culture Club, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy George, Twitter,Neil Tennant, Sydney,live concert
One other interview during December gave a glimpse inside Culture Club family relations. With George sitting on ITV’s This Morning sofa [video below] plugging his £500 coffee-table photobook, Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby quizzed him about the infamous Culture Club split back in 1986, and the 10-year gap since the band’s last reformation.

George said: “We never really ‘fell-out’ fell out. It was more personality things. It was never financial because they’re the worst fall-outs when people fall out financially, that’s hard to come back from. But we never had any of that stuff. It was just childish stuff… What’s funny about bands is it’s a bit like being in a dysfunctional family — and people don’t change. What happens is you change the way you react to people. The thing about being grown up. ‘That annoys me but I’m just going to take a walk’ — ‘I’m not going to tell you that that annnoys me.’ You have to learn to be tolerant.”

Make of that what you can!

THREE-MAN CULTURE CLUB PLAYING DUBAI DEC 29

… AND IN SYDNEY JANUARY 1

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Kevan Frost,reunion, Boy George,  Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert,

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Kevan Frost substituting for Jon Moss on drums. Photo courtesy samesame.com.au

❏ Standing in for Jon Moss as drummer in both Dubai and Sydney was Kevan Frost whose credits as a collaborator with George go back to the 90s, so the music was familiar territory for him. Prominent onstage, too, was the familiar bearded figure of John Themis on guitar, another long-standing co-writer and producer during George’s years as a solo performer. Also onstage, keyboard player, percussionist, four brass and three backing singers.

Culture Club, Roy Hay, live concert,John Themis, reunion, Boy George,Sydney, Glebe Island

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Roy Hay and John Themis. Photo courtesy cyberchameleon.com

Culture Club, reunion, Boy George, Mikey Craig , Sydney, Glebe Island, live concert

Culture Club live in Sydney 2012: Mikey Craig photographed by Johnny Au

ALSO LIVE ON THE SYDNEY NEW YEAR’S EVE BILL

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➢ More NYE pix at The Music Network

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2012 ➤ Boy George reunites with Culture Club for New Year’s Eve — and a new album

Culture Club, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, reunion, Boy Geoge, Mikey Craig,New Years Eve,Sydney Resolution,concert,video,interview

Culture Club on Sunrise this week: Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Boy Geoge and Mikey Craig

➢ Click the pic to view video interview with Culture Club on Sunrise, the breakfast show at Sydney’s Seven Television station

❚ HERE’S A PICTURE MANY SAID would never be taken: all four members of 80s supergroup Culture Club reunited. And a live concert imminent. In 1983 the New Romantic band with its gender-bending singer and unique reggae-based rhythms were prominent among the 18 new-wave bands who mounted the Second British Invasion of the US charts. In 1984 the band won the Grammy Award as Best New Artist and along with Princess Diana, Boy George became an international fashion emblem for the new Swinging London.

This week Boy George’s official website announces that the four original members of Culture Club have reunited for the first time since 2002 for a one-off concert in Australia on Jan 1. Before an audience of 30,000 at Sydney’s Glebe Island, overlooking the harbour, the band will play after the New Year’s Eve midnight fireworks on a bill with The Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquai and other Australian acts.

More surprising is that the photo shows Roy, Jon, George and Mikey in a London recording studio where George said “we’re in the middle of writing for a new album” with their original producer Steve Levine. This first pic of the reunited Culture Club is grabbed from Sydney’s Seven Television in an interview on Tuesday when George said they’d include a couple of new songs in the “hit-packed” Sydney show. When Jon was asked why a reunion has taken so long, an agonisingly long silence followed until he managed to answer “I don’t know!” This did raise the laugh we see above, then he added “I think we have a ten-year cycle. It takes that long to recover from the last time we worked with each other.” Not a flicker of a smile from anyone. The six-minute exchange contained so many sidelong glances between the four and generally awkward body language that you might wonder whether they would survive the flight to Australia together.

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Romance blossoms: Drummer Jon Moss gives George a peck at Planets club in July 1981 way before Culture Club existed. Photographed © by Shapersofthe80s

Culture Club’s initial five-year career was blown apart after clocking ten Top 40 hits in the US, which included Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. By 1986, however, George’s addiction to drugs was making tabloid headlines and his secret four-year romance with Jon was growing ever more explosive. A sanitised TV dramatisation titled Worried About The Boy provided an extremely one-sided version of events when aired last year. From 1998 a band reunion over four years yielded two chart hits and a platinum compilation album in the UK.

➢ NY Eve concert tickets are priced from $198 at Sydney Resolution

➢ Update: Boy George’s first live concert in ages, scheduled for Dec 8 in London, has been cancelled without explanation

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➤ Bombshell for Spandau Ballet fans as Hadley unwinds after US solo tour

Tony Hadley , John Keeble, Las Vegas, US tour

The Hadley band in Las Vegas last week: John Keeble (drums), Phil Williams (bass guitar), Big Tone, Richie Barrett (guitar), Phil Taylor (keyboards)

❚ EXACTLY WHAT SPANDAU BALLET FANS don’t want to hear! Yesterday as the 80s supergroup’s vocalist Tony Hadley was taking a well-earned rest following his American solo tour, he delivered the bombshell. Fans who want to see him singing again with his onetime schoolmates in Spandau “could be waiting 20 years”!

The shocking prospect came yesterday in an interview with TNT, the Australian backpacker magazine, anticipating his imminent tour down under. Before his US dates earlier this month he’d been much more circumspect about another Spandau reunion, using the phrase “maybe one day in the future” to American music magazine ConcertLivewire. Tony’s new forecast for a rendezvous with Spandau means the already portly singer would have passed his 71st birthday — along with many of Spandau’s original fans, ear trumpets at the ready.

Remember, an argument over royalties split Spandau asunder in 1990 and Tony didn’t speak to songwriter Gary Kemp for 19 years until their sudden reunion tour in 2009. Even so, the singer tells TNT: “It was only ever meant to be a one-off. After 20 years of squabbling we buried our differences. But after our last show in 2010, you know, I had a band waiting around for me on a retainer for six months. I’ve had no time off and I’m trying to finish the new album so at the moment there aren’t plans to do Spandau again. You could be waiting 20 years.”

Tony has pursued an active solo career ever since the split and his current band has backed him for 13 years, with John Keeble of Spandau playing drums. This month’s American tour was an investment, and Tony told Windy City Times they “want to come back next year and do 20 or 30 shows”.

His big news is about his solo album, due next year. He tells TNT: “I’m doing some writing with Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees. I went round his house and had a little cup of tea and said, let’s get together and do some songs. For me, that is a major wow.

“2012 will be busy with the Olympics. My manager has been talking to various people about an orchestral version of Gold [the Spandau Ballet hit] for the games — doing it with an 80-piece orchestra would be amazing.”

➢ Read the full Tony Hadley interview with TNT, dated August 26

➢ Videos and reports from Hadley’s US tour at Shapersofthe80s

➢ Next stops — Sep 2, Rewind Scarborough UK; Sep 4, Cantazaro, Italy.

➢ Sept 11 in New York, 13h30 — Tony sings at the memorial concert for 9/11 in The British Garden, Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan, NYC, created with the endorsement of the British Consulate-General to honour the 67 British subjects lost in the 2001 attacks

➢ Tony’s Australia dates 2011 — Oct 26, Hindmarsh, South Australia; Oct 27, South Morang, Victoria; Oct 28, Doncaster, Victoria; Oct 29, Chelsea Heights, Victoria; Oct 30, Rewind Australia, Wollongong, NSW; Nov 3, Coolangatta, Queensland; Nov 4, Penrith NSW.

➢ Spandau Ballet’s official website news

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