Spandau Ballet, The O2, Dublin

In the drab Britain of 30 years ago, Spandau Ballet stuck out like a sore thumb and kick-started the 1980s with appearances at non-rock venues which were as much fashion shows as harbingers of the pop music of the future. Images and memories of being mobbed with the band in Edinburgh in 1982 flashed through my mind, as they do on the film montage which introduces their first gig in two decades. The audience tonight is at least 70 per cent female, though the merchandisers also cleverly target the thirtysomething couples with romper suits adorned with Spandau motifs. It's all a far cry from the heady days of the Blitz, the Soho venue where it all began for the group who put the style back into pop. Fittingly, they start with the synth-driven "To Cut A Long Story Short" and the irresistible walking bass line of "The Freeze", their first two singles, even if they don't revert to their kilt and frilly-shirt selves of 1980.

First Night: Spandau Ballet, O2, Dublin

I know this much is true – they've still got it

How We Met: Gary Kemp & Robert Elms

'Our current obsession is cycling. But in the past it might have been existentialism or tailoring'

Pandora: Labour promises an 'A-list' conference act

The Conservatives are to offer more energetic party members the opportunity to rave on to early-Nineties club sensation Angie Brown (last year's star, Tony Hadley, was, we're told, "too busy with Spandau Ballet" to make a second appearance), while the Lib Dems decided not to book anyone – but what of Labour's plans for their conference entertainment?

Katy Guest: Nostalgia is the coming thing

The one thing that will symbolise our retro-fest era is band reunions

ABC, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>The Prodigy, Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff

Martin Fry's 1982 tale of heartbreak is performed in its entirety &ndash; and has lost none of its power

One-click Wonder: Forgettable reunions

Eighties popsters Spandau Ballet have confirmed they’re putting differences aside to embark on a comeback world tour. With the whiff of cash-strapped desperation in the air, here we recall some other dodgy musical reunions...

Fashion: Back to the Blitz spirit

Fashion's whimsy regularly requires wearers to stockpile like a chameleon, to blend in with the ever-changing milieu of what's hot and what's not. But right now, fashion has gone one step further: think like a karma chameleon, dig out your Culture Club clobber and get ready to party like it's 1979.

Alan Hubbard: Woodward promises no more Eddie the Eagles in Britain's new ice age

Inside Lines: There is no doubt Woodward will be the key backroom figure in Vancouver

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

Story of the Song - Spandau Ballet, True (1983)

Gary Kemp had long desired to emulate the Motown greats.

Janet Street-Porter: We've lost sight of what bravery really means

Is "brave" the most over-used word in the English language? Jade Goody receives the same kind of gushing tributes that surrounded the death of Princess Diana. Then, psychologist Oliver James was roundly condemned for daring to voice the opinion that the nation was succumbing to a kind of collective hysteria (and not true mourning) about a woman people felt they knew, even though they'd never met or spoken to her.

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

Hospices where Ivan's legacy lives on

The Camerons make appeal for carers and charities that helped their eldest child
Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone