It's true! Spandau Ballet are back

The new romantic pioneers have re-formed, despite one of the most vicious feuds in pop. Mark Hughes reports

It has long been rumoured but never confirmed – until now. More than 30 years after meeting in the music rooms of the Dame Alice Owen secondary school in north London, Spandau Ballet, pioneers of the new romantic movement, are to reform. It marks the end of one of the most bitter feuds in pop.

The band will officially announce the news aboard HMS Belfast in London on Wednesday when they will reveal plans to release new songs and details of a world tour, which is believed to include a date at FC Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium in Spain.

Lead singer Tony Hadley, 48, said: "The boys are back in town and we can't wait. It's going to be brilliant, we're very excited, but it will be very different. There will be all the hits, the nostalgia, but there will also be a new take on what Spandau Ballet are about."

The timing of their decision to reunite is particularly salient. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Spandau Ballet plotted the path of new romanticism – a movement that protested against the grey, drab fashion of the period, which was itself indicative of the low spirits caused by the recession of those times.

And the reunion is perhaps one of the more surprising in recent years – a period which has seen reformations of Take That, the Spice Girls and Blur. The band's split in 1989 was followed by a vicious court battle over royalties.

The legal action in 1999 focused on the group's songwriter Gary Kemp. He was sued by Hadley, drummer John Keeble and saxophonist Steve Norman who claimed they were entitled to money from royalties.

The three claimed that a verbal agreement, made in 1980, entitled them to an 8.3 per cent share of royalties from the band's catalogue of songs which included hit singles such as "Gold" and "True". Kemp said no such agreement existed and, at the High Court in 1999, Mr Justice Clark found in favour of Kemp.

In the meantime some of the band's members have carved out other careers. Martin Kemp, who had already tasted acting success alongside his brother Gary when they appeared as the gangsters Ronnie and Reggie in the 1990 film The Krays, enjoyed further acting roles. Most notably he appeared as the villain Steve Owen in the BBC soap EastEnders.

Hadley relaunched his career in 2003 after winning the reality television show Reborn In The USA. He was then asked to play the lead role of Billy Flynn in the West End musical Chicago, in 2007.

But recently the music industry has been awash with rumours that the group were set to reform after it emerged that the band members who had fallen out so spectacularly in the courtroom were back on speaking terms. The rumours were fuelled by the group's website. The site is "under construction" and invites fans to sign up for a "forthcoming announcement".

The news of a tour will no doubt be greeted with joy by their fans, which include Mr Justice Clark. While hearing details of the royalties dispute, the judge was invited to listen to the music to help him decide if the three men had a case. He caused an outburst of laughter in the austere surroundings of the Royal Courts of Justice when he said: "I have certainly assimilated the style of the band, and with great pleasure."

Feud's corner: Bands yet to reform

*Abba

Three decades and two inter-band divorces later, Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid say they will never again don their silver jumpsuits.



*The Jam

Bass player Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler sold out a "reunion" tour of the band in 10 days – even without the presence of Paul Weller. The Modfather has insisted that a reprise of the original three piece will simply "never happen".



*The Smiths

Over 20 years after they went their separate ways and despite many lucrative offers to reform, the animus between Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr has remained too strong although relations between the two have defrosted slightly.



*The Stone Roses

When the latest reformation rumour surfaced last week guitarist John Squire said: "I have no desire whatsoever to desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses." Suppose that's a no then.



*The Libertines

Pete Doherty and Carl Barat had one of the most volatile and creative relationships in pop music. Barat's band Dirty Pretty Things called it a day last year but there is no sign of a return.

Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
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.

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'