Spandau Ballet - To cut a long story short...

Amazing what beer can do. Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet describes how the rifts were healed and the band got ready to tour again

The idea of us getting back together had been put forward several times over the years, for one reason or another. I did an interview with Shane Richie on Virgin Radio in 2007. He's a massive fan of Spandau Ballet and said: "Come on, when are you getting the band back together?" I said: "Oh, the 30th anniversary" – and the next thing I knew it was on the news, it even reached Australia, and all these people were calling me.

I had just said it to shut Shane up. My manager said: "How do you feel about it?" and I said I'd have to think about it. I'd been performing solo and John Keeble had been drumming with me for nearly 20 years. I just had to sit and think: "Could this work?" Obviously there had been a great deal of animosity between us and we hadn't spoken since the court case [over royalties]. It was a case of: "Can we get back on a friendly footing?"

There were certain criteria on which we'd get back together: I couldn't get on stage with people I wasn't on good terms with, and I couldn't go on tour where we would be travelling in separate planes and limos. Some bands do that, but I've not got that personality. It would have to be because, first and foremost, we love music, and second, the camaraderie. We've got to remember what it was like when we were 16 years old. The tour was never going to happen unless we realised there was still a friendship there.

The rest of the band weren't 100 per cent sure I was serious about it. I remember speaking to Martin [Kemp], saying: "I want to do this, really, let's get together." Our first meeting was a bit spooky. I think everyone was a little apprehensive – when you haven't seen someone for such a long time it can be tricky.

Probably the hardest meeting was between myself and Gary [Kemp], but once we'd said everything we needed to say, we drew the line. Time is a great healer. We all met up at the pub and all the old jokes came out, and all the old stories. We had a few pints together and actually got on extremely well. It was almost like the 20 years hadn't gone past at all. We realised what a great force the five of us were. It was obvious we realised we get on pretty good.

It takes time, but once you've got over the "Hello, how are you" part, you realise the reasons you formed the friendship in the first place, when we were kids at school. It's amazing what beer can do. It's been nice to bury the hatchet, but not in each other's heads.

Things are good. Bridges had to be built for the tour to happen – there's been a bit of soul-searching and acceptance that things that happened in the past are unfortunate. When "True" was No 1 and the band were catapulted into world stardom, I was 23. Martin was 22. My eldest son is 25 now. I think: "God, we had a No 1 and charted in 20 countries round the world at that age, it's amazing we handled it as well as we did!" We're all 49 or 50 now.

I'm not big on nostalgia. I don't keep archives. That was a good period, it was fantastic, but I move on. I'm always forward-looking. I hate to hear people say the best days were at school. No, they weren't! The best days are today.

We've had one rehearsal and we played better than we've ever played. For me, I've been playing constantly as a solo performing artist, so to get us in a room after all these years was great. It sounded a million dollars. We ended up going through 19 songs. This is the tour we should have done 25 years ago. It's five guys having a lot of fun onstage.

We looked back at all the footage and saw which arrangements worked best – we've taken the best parts of the last 30 years. It's really exciting. Obviously it wasn't the best-kept secret in the world. It will be nice to get the five of us on stage again. I just want to play a gig. I'm bored rehearsing now.

Everyone's says it's brilliant that we're getting back together. Whether you were into the band's music or not (and even though our image was a little bizarre at times), everyone said that we defined an era, a specific period of music and fashion. The radio stations still play our songs today and so I have kids coming along to my gigs now who know the words to "Gold", "True" and "Through the Barricades". The band has stood the test of time.

For tour dates, see spandauballet.com

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee