Tag Archives: Will Young

2017 ➤ So who can fill Tony Hadley’s big Ballet shoes?

Spandau Ballet , pop music,Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, John Keeble, Steve Norman

Face wanted in the Spandau Ballet lineup: from left, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, John Keeble, Steve Norman. Might the new singer even be female?

AFTER YEARS OF HINTING that his career as Spandau Ballet’s frontman was over, both during and after two world tours – all of his bombshells reported here at Shapersofthe80s – today Tony Hadley finally quit with a single tweet. Immediately, the Spandau management declared that the other four resting band members will rise like Lazarus to “move on as a band”. Er, well, perhaps, but Big Tone’s suave 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) frame leaves not only a physical hole in the five-piece line-up, none of them especially noted for their singing voices, but an inevitable audible gap too. The four Spandau remainers provide the complementary blue-eyed soul music to a big balladeering voice, albeit described as a “dramatic warble” by Dan LeRoy at AllMusic, or that of a “top crooner” by somebody at BBC Somerset.

➢ Earlier at Shapersofthe80s:
Today’s Hadley bombshell

So who’s in the frame for the key job without which Spandau’s legacy will remain all behind them? It has to be either a dead ringer who plays to fans’ expectations, or a radical candidate who will set a new direction. One obvious contender is Paul Young as a singer who built a strong reputation for vocal interpretation during the same renaissance of British pop music that made Spandau an international supergroup. His covers of Marvyn Gaye and Jimmy Ruffin well qualify him at 61 to become the big brother of the Spandau dad-band.

Click any pic below to launch slideshow

Less obvious but no less talented is Brandon Flowers, 36, former frontman of the Killers with whom he helped repopularise the sounds of the 80s in the noughties. His charismatic presence and fashion sense would sit comfortably with the Spandau heritage.

Amazingly, Will Young has reached the ripe old age of 38 in minutes seemingly, but as a respected vocalist and former Pop Idol winner he can claim four UK number-one albums and two Brit awards, while his recently acclaimed stage experience in Cabaret might bring a fresh note of theatre to Spandau performances.

Olly Alexander, pop music,

Olly Alexander at Glastonbury (Getty)

But if Spandau really want to inject some millennial youth into their daddy line-up they could consider the chirpy presence of actor-vocalist Olly Alexander, 26, whose sheer energy would trigger a mighty refresh. Olly describes himself as a “real left-winger” which should sit well with the millionaire Spands whose working-class roots reach back to Islington.

Of course, they could just as easily invite on-board one of those Hadley impersonators who wowed viewers of the Saturday night talent show Stars in Their Eyes – such as Martin Lewis who sang Gold brilliantly in 1997 or Steven Houghton who sang the same number in 1998.

NOW NOMINATE SPANDAU’S NEW VOCALIST

❏ Who would you like to see as the next vocalist with Spandau Ballet? Many fans today have been wailing how irreplaceable Big Tone is, while others have condemned him harshly for robbing his former schoolmates of their pensions. Clearly the band believe they have one more album and tour ahead of them, but who will lead them on through the barricades? Please leave your comment below.

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2011 ➤ Other picky people’s year-ending Best Ofs in music of all styles

BEST ALBUMS OF 2011 AT ALLMEDIANY

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AllMediaNY.com offers the next step in the evolution of modern journalism — “free media” — an outlet where journalists and readers together decide on what is newsworthy and what is not. Editor-in-Chief Drew Kolar says it was “a great year for real music”, sadly marred by the death of Amy Winehouse.

50 SEVENS THAT REALLY STRUCK ME AT DIS

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❏ At Drowned in Sound Wendy Roby whittles her year’s reviewing down to a top 50 “that really struck me”, starting at Africa Hitech’s Do U Really Wanna Fight, via Metronomy’s The Look and ending on Jamie Woon’s Lady Luck.

POPJUSTICE READER POLL’S BEST SINGLE

Rihanna — We Found Love feat. Calvin Harris.

RUSTY EGAN: WHAT’S ON MY IPOD MIX

❏ An hour’s-worth of vintage sounds mixed by former Blitz Club deejay Rusty Egan: “Some lost classics here plus some bands born in the 80s that sound like they wrote and recorded the songs in the 80s.”

CHRIS SULLIVAN’S TEN BEST MUSIC
DOCUMENTARIES EVER

Great Day In Harlem,photography,Art Kane, Esquire ,jazz,Count Basie,documentary
A Great Day In Harlem (1995) — “A must for any serious black music aficionado,” writes Zeitgeist-Meister Sullivan at RedBull.com. This documentary by Jean Bach tells the story of one summer’s day in 1958 when 57 musicians from jazz history met at 126th Street in Harlem to have their picture taken by Art Kane for Esquire magazine. Keen eyes will spot such greats as Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, English-born Marian McPartland OBE, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie. Kane called it “the greatest picture of that era of musicians ever taken”.

KATY PERRY’S FIREWORK SHOCKER

❏ The video for Firework not only outraged British TV stations into censoring the gay kiss, but it then won Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. Result: the single remained in the UK charts for 58 weeks, way longer than in Billboard’s.

J J WHEELER’S JAZZ PICK

❏ A refreshing selection of five CDs and five gigs from 2011 offered at The Jazz Breakfast by a much-lauded British drummer/percussionist currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music after graduating from Birmingham Conservatoire. Listen to clips from his own quintet’s imminent album Unconventional at Soundcloud.

MUSIC BOOKS ROUND-UP

Nile Rodgers, books,Le Freak, Upside Down Story, disco, autobiography
❏ A broad survey of the year’s music books by the Evening Standard’s David Smyth reveals that in his collected lyrics Jarvis Cocker says “seeing a lyric in print is like watching the TV with the sound turned down: you’re only getting half the story”… Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny gives us a tour of the fascinating life story of Nile Rodgers [pictured] — conceived when his mother was 13, raised by beatniks who’d have Thelonious Monk over, he joined the Black Panthers and jammed with Jimi Hendrix, all before he wrote a vast collection of mega-hits, virtually lived in Studio 54’s bathroom and produced Madonna and David Bowie.

LADY GAGA: GOOD THING, BAD THING?

PopJustice’s 2011 In Review asks singer Will Young: As a notorious homosexual, did you feel empowered by Born This Way by Lady Gaga?
Will replies: “When it came on the radio I thought ‘She’s basically written this song for me’. Amazing. I actually think I shed a tear as I was driving up to Wales. I stopped at a petrol station and I thought ‘You know what, I don’t care what they think’ and I brought some pink bon bons. Normally I would just go for a Wispa.”

STEVE NORMAN’S HOTTEST DANCE VIDEO

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Tightrope by Janelle Monáe feat. Big Boi — “Amazing. Here’s to a year to remember, like 1981 only better!” says Spandau’s sax player Steve Norman.

➢ Don’t miss: Other picky people’s year-ending
Best Ofs from fashion, TV, web and film

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