For American audiences the 80s band Spandau Ballet seemingly came out of nowhere, but in the U.K. they had achieved a reputation for marrying soulful, beat-driven music with a sense of fashion and style as part of the New Romantics scene. Thanks largely to MTV, American audiences - and the rest of the world - embraced their massive hits "True" and "Gold" which sent them on tour around the world, including a high-profile spot on stage at Live Aid in 1985. But tension began to creep in. Their 1989 album Heart Like A Sky was a disappointment. Chief songwriter/guitarist Gary Kemp and his brother, bass player Martin Kemp, went off to shoot a high-profile film based on the real-life British gangsters The Krays. The band called it quits.
Years later a court case over royalties drove an even bigger wedge between them. But in 2009 all five members put aside their differences and, after almost twenty years, re-formed to make new music and go on tour.
Their fascinating journey from the earliest days coming out of a punk and disco club scene in London in the late 70s to feeling stronger than ever about their music as they each reach their mid-50s is documented in the fascinating film Soul Boys Of The Western World.
Here, Gary Kemp, drummer John Keeble and multi-instrumentalist Steve Norman (the man responsible for that sweet sax solo in "True") sit down to reminisce and look forward. Enjoy! -LM
Above, trailer for the excellent doc about the band Soul Boys of the Western World and, below, my personal fave Spandau song... "Gold"
We reference in the podcast a new film starring Tom Hardy as the infamous British gangsters, but in 1991 it was Gary and Martin Kemp who portrayed The Krays in this excellent film...