Spandau Ballet in concert from Madrid this weekend – Recorded by Radio Nacional España on July 12, 1981.
Spandau Ballet formed in Islington, London, in 1979. Emerging from new wave, they became one of the most successful groups of the New Romantic era of British pop, and were influenced by music ranging from punk rock and soul to the American crooners Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
The band’s classic line-up featured brothers Gary Kemp on guitar and Martin Kemp on bass, vocalist Tony Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble. Gary Kemp also served as the band’s songwriter. Their debut single “To Cut a Long Story Short”, which reached No. 5 in the UK in 1980, was the first of ten UK top 10 hits, including a No. 1 single “True”, a No. 2 single “Gold”, and two No. 3 singles: “Chant No. 1” and “Only When You Leave”. The band have had eight UK top 10 albums, including three greatest hits compilations and an album of re-recorded material.
The band achieved the height of their popularity with the 1983 album True. In 1984, they received the Brit Award for technical excellence and were involved in Band Aid. In 1985, they performed at Live Aid. The band split in 1990 and the members pursued solo careers, with both Kemp brothers winning acting roles. Since their reformation in 2009, the band have been recognized at the Q Awards and Gary Kemp’s songwriting has been honored by the Ivor Novello Awards.
In 2017, Tony Hadley publicly announced his departure from Spandau Ballet via Twitter. A year later, the band announced the singer and actor Ross William Wild as their new lead singer at a ticketed gig at Subterania Club in west London .
As a reminder of their earlier breakthrough period, or an introduction to the band two years from their start, here is that gig in Madrid from July 12, 1981.
Crank it up and enjoy.