U.K. ’80s pop act Spandau Ballet has reformed for a world tour, following a reconciliation among the five members a decade after a bitter court battle over royalties.
The reunion after 20 years was announced today (March 25) on board HMS Belfast near London’s Tower Bridge, the scene of one of their famous early shows in 1980.
“The 1980s really did kick off on board this ship,” said broadcaster Robert Elms, a friend of the band who introduced their return to the world’s media.
“As you can see we’re back together again and we’re very happy boys,” said singer Tony Hadley. Eight dates have been announced so far, beginning at the O2 Dublin on Oct. 13.
Spandau Ballet had a run of hits in the ’80s, including U.K. No. 1 single “True” in 1983, and they enjoyed a friendly rivalry with Duran Duran.
They split in 1989 and a dispute over royalties ended in a London High Court victory for songwriter and guitarist Gary Kemp in 1999. Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble had claimed a share of the royalties. Bassist Martin Kemp, Gary’s brother, did not take part in their legal claim.
Questions about royalties today were brushed off by the band, who laughed and joked with each other during the press conference. The five members described how they had reformed over a drink in a pub, although it had been a gradual 18-month process to reach the point where they could sit down together.
“I think it’s the realization that time is a great healer,” said Hadley, when asked how they had overcome their issues. He added that the media response worldwide to comments he made during a radio interview about the possibility of a reunion made them realize “how powerful the band were.”
“This is my other family and I’ve missed them for the last 20 years,” said Gary Kemp.
Martin Kemp added: “We’re like any family, families go through terrible times. They argue.”
A world tour is planned with further dates to be announced. The other dates confirmed today are Belfast Odyssey Arena (Oct. 14), Sheffield Arena (Oct. 16), Glasgow SECC (Oct. 17), London O2 Arena (Oct. 20), Birmingham LG Arena (Oct. 24), Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (Oct. 26) and Manchester MEN Arena (Oct. 28).
“This a greatest hits tour,” said Hadley. “It’s the one we probably should have done many years ago.”
They also claimed that their early ’80s sound would not be out of place in 2009, naming their favorite current acts as the Killers and MGMT. “I think we’ll slot in perfectly,” said Keeble.
Asked about any plans to record new material, he added: “You never know. In the future – don’t rule it out.”
Tickets are available from spandauballet.com from today and a general sale begins March 28. The tour was booked by the Solo agency and is promoted by Kennedy Street.
The band will perform together again on TV on BBC One’s “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross” next month, according to Gary Kemp. The band has already been in rehearsals, with Hadley claiming they “sounded a million dollars.”