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True! Spandau Ballet are big hit with judge

THE HALLOWED halls of the High Court in London echoed yesterday with the strains of Eighties pop innovators Spandau Ballet.

Mr Justice Park smiled as the sounds of hits "Musclebound", "Instinction" and "To Cut A Long Story Short" filled his courtroom. "I spent a large part of the weekend listening to this, it's very good," said the judge. He had enjoyed the album The Best of Spandau Ballet so much he had left the CD, also featuring "True", at home. "I have certainly assimilated the style of the band, and with great pleasure," he added.

Drummer John Keeble, 39, singer Tony Hadley, 38, and sax player Steve Norman, 38, are suing songwriter Gary Kemp, 39, over hundreds of thousands of pounds of allegedly unpaid royalties. Mr Keeble described how eventually relationships between the best friends sour.

"Gary Kemp has the ability to be extremely pedantic. Being in such close quarters there was a lot of tormenting," he said. The court heard that bitter battles led to Tony Hadley threatening to quit.

From "19-year-old lads whose dreams had come true", discord reached a painful peak in 1988, while recording the third album, Heart Like A Sky.

"It was not the best atmosphere. Gary Kemp took control and was so set on what he wanted," recalled Mr Hadley, from Muswell Hill, north London.

"Everything we did as a band was shared. Gary is a brilliant songwriter and he definitely deserves the lion's share.

"But it was an understanding from day one that Gary would share the publishing royalties. I recall him saying it on October 10, 1980, the day we signed up to the Chrysalis record company."

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.