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
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
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.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'