Spandau Ballet's True tour was one of my first big concerts that I ever attended back when I was 14 years old, nothing was going to stop me seeing the 5 back on stage 30 years later. It seemed 20,000 other people thought the same as the O2 was filled to the rafters.
Spandau Ballet have always managed to span a wide fan base and this was evident within the audience range that night; 80's Blitz club devotees, new romantics male & female and the middle age women whose idols adorned their bedroom walls in their teens. Rusty Egan warmed the crowd up with a DJ set playlist legendary from his Blitz club years, before Spandau hit the stage with their new track Soul Boy
Soul Boy lead into their Parade back catalogue; comprising of
Only When You Leave
How Many Lies
Round and Round all with some great clips of yester year
this led nicely into a couple of new tracks, produced with Trevor Horn as part of their Soul boys story.
This Is the Love and Steal before taking us right back to the year of 1981 and the Blitz years.With a huge glitter ball dropping from the ceiling and a hardcore base and synthesised beat rippling out across the stage it was time to pull on the frilly shirts and party new romantic style.
kicking off with the classic Chant No 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)
To Cut a Long Story Short and Raw followedthe band partied hard and finished with a heart-stopping tribute to Steve Strange, their friend & founder of the Blitz club who they had buried a few days previously. He would have loved to have seen the boys back on stage in such synthesized up style!
Glow (Instrumental played by band) After a fabulous instrumental medley from Martin, John and Steve which showcased their considerable talents as musicians, it was time for Tony & Gary to pop up in the middle of the audience for a small acoustic set of Empty Spaces and a fabulous audience participation of Gold.
Empty Spaces (Acoustic)Gold (Acoustic singalong with audience) demonstrating how far these two had become and what talented individuals they are
I'll Fly for You
it was time for the huge hits back catalogue to get the crowd back on their feet with the boys launching into some of the crowds favourites....it was evident now that the 5 were having a ball and it really felt that issues that had kept the 5 estranged for so many years and been put aside and the crowd were loving it.
2 hours whizzed past in a flash and it was soon time for the song that launched Spandau Ballet from a North London new romantic band into global superstars, millions of girls fell in love to this song and it still has the ability make me smile, sigh and remember the guy (aside from Tony Hadley) that I fell in love with to this song...
With feet stamping and shouts and claps of encore ringing around the arena the band took to the stage to finish the night with 2 of their biggest hits and favourites.... in the words of John Kebble it really did feel like the band had a better end.... with movie flash backs showcasing the struggles, friendship and love these 5 have had over the 30 years it really showcased how they had overcome the barricades to deliver True Gold..
Through the Barricades
Through the Barricades
As with all legendary Spandau Ballet encores, the evening wasn't complete with a few bottles of beer and a jack daniels on stage to toast the evening with gold!
With a final that had every one on their feet it was time for the band to take an emotional bow and party with their loved ones.... allowing 20,000 people to leave south London with a golden glow in their heart and a smile on their face.
The Soul Boys tour will take the band across the world throughout 2015 to places that I imagine that they never thought would play again.... I hope that they enjoy those shows as much as I and my friends enjoyed the O2... it really has been a Journey of Glory for these 5 boys from Islington, and they delivered a truly stylish set of nostalgic gold. Having been at the Albert Hall for the movie premiere and the O2 for the 2009 reformation tour ut really does feel like this band has found the thing that made them great in their hey day and as a fan I am happy and thankful to have seen them back on stage together again. The 5 have still got it and flaunted it in style ! I shared some of my images on instagram the following day and to my delight it seems that Gary Kemp liked them too....