We caught up with one of pop musics greatest vocalists Tony Hadley ahead of his 10 dates in October performing hits of Spandau Ballet..


Tell me about the new tour...

Last year we did an orchestral tour with the Southbank Sinfonia and the Tony Hadley band on stage. It was 50 musicians all on stage together and from a singer’s point of view it was just the most brilliant experience you can ever have. To have the Strings, the Violas, the Flutes, the Timpani and the brass section all playing together is just awesome.

We did a small tour of three venues, Birmingham, Manchester and ending at the RAH in London. It was so successful that we decided to do a proper tour.

We start the tour on the 7th Oct in Ipswich and finish on 19th October at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. I feel like a real thesp now, ‘Theatre Royal Drury Lane darling, wow!’ The great thing about the show is that we have orchestrated Spandau’s greatest hits, and that just gives a different meaning to all of those great songs and that’s the second half of the show. The first half is songs I particularly love, like ‘Jim Croce’ – Time in a Bottle’ it’s just literally me and the strings which sounds really beautiful and intimate. ‘New York Minute’ by Don Henley – wow what a song that is. Then there is a few bits and pieces from the new album in the show and more music that I love.

You have the film that’s out at the same time can you tell us a little about that?

The film is about Spandau Ballet, everyone will be happy to know were all now friends again. We have been working on a documentary for some time now and it’s a real honest, (warts and all) kind of documentary. We have recovered film footage from places we just didn’t know about like people’s cupboards, attics, and other footage from TV. There was 450 hours of film in total and our director George Hencken went through it all. She then interviewed each of us to get our story of events. It’s all going to be a little bit different, my event and Gary’s event are obviously going to be slightly different maybe. But then from each our stories and all the footage she was then free to completely edit the film as she saw fit. There are parts in it that maybe individually we are wishing weren’t in there, but we had to give her that control so that it wasn’t sugar coated or sanitised in any way, we did not want that.

The film is set against the backdrop of the 80’s which was filled with massive political and economic change, Live Aid and the birth of charities as I see it. It’s a really honest documentary about friendship, falling out and not being quite so in love. A 20 year period of certainly not being so in love and then we all fell back in love again. I said the other day all we need now is for Lassie the dog to walk on and that would be the Hollywood ending.

What was your favourite gig as Spandau Ballet and you’re favourite as a solo artist?

Favourite gig as Spandau has to be Live Aid. I know a lot of people say that but it truly was one of the most amazing days of my life. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were there, Geldof going on at everyone to raise money and meeting your heroes like David Bowie, McCartney and Queen. As a young singer in a band, to meet all your heroes and to hang out with them it really was a special day. To perform in front of 80,000 people and however many millions across the world, that was particularly beautiful.

As a solo artists the Royal Albert Hall last October with the orchestra has to be my favourite. It was a sense of seeing you name ‘Tony Hadley at the RAH with the Symphony Orchestra’ and having 50 beautiful musicians on stage with you all sounding awesome. Anne Dudley was conducting and it was just the actual serge of appreciation we received which I never expected when I walked on stage to perform the first song ‘New York Minute’. It was just like wow, the crowd were so loud it really was unbelievable. I got quite choked up to be honest, I just thought this is really beautiful. The reviews that we had afterwards, that feeling that I got and all the comments about what a good show it was. Definitely the Royal Albert Hall with the orchestra was the best show for me.

What’s your favourite song to perform live?

My favourite to perform with the orchestra has got to be ‘New York Minute’. I’m a massive Don Henley and Eagles fan so that was really special. We also did a song from the new album called Killer Blow. It’s a little bit quirky and a little bit out there, but it sounded fantastic with the orchestra.

From the Spandau Ballet material, my favourite was the song ‘Toys’ from the first album ‘Journeys to Glory’. I always thought it should have been a single. It sounded so fantastic with the orchestra and obviously Gold, True, and Through the Barricades - they were always going to sound fantastic. Also ‘Musclebound’ actually, that was a song I was never going to do again but we worked with the orchestra and it does put a different emphasis on all the songs, they can be treated in a much more subtle way.

Can you tell us about the new record, who are you working with and what we can expect?

The new album I have been working on for so long now in between the tours and everything. But then I keep writing new songs which is really dangerous but it is nearly finished now. The first two tracks are now mixed and I have been working with Gary Stephenson recording up at his studio and with my Tony Hadley band. Chris Sheldon has been the guy that I wanted to mix the album. He has been really great and really has brought something else to the mix. He has worked with bands like Foo Fighters, Skunk Anansie, and Therapy. I thought it would be a really interesting combination of the TH band with this kind of quirky, pop rock, dance and with his input from a rock perspective for the album. The first time I heard the mix of the first song ‘Take Back Everything’ with my friend Dave Tench who is the MD of The Voice it just blew us away. So he will definitely be mixing the rest of the album and it will be out as soon as I can finish it!

Who are your favourite Dance artists at the moment?

I was into a lot of Techno in the past and I have written in the past with some Techno guys in Germany and Holland. I love Avicii and Swedish House Mafia. I like John Newman too, I think he has a very quirky and unusual voice. Going back a bit, The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs are still two of my favourite bands. I try to keep up with as much new music as possible, it can be difficult with two young kids and touring all the time. As much as everyone goes on about the past I think there is some fantastic music out there today. I’m up for anything that’s new.

What are your plans for the summer and the tour?

I’m turning 54 on June 2nd, I really don’t know where that time went as I still feel like I’m 28. Now that it’s festival season we will be doing a lot of them throughout the UK like Henley, Rock the Moor and various other ones. Then we have the tour and were also off to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Tony Hadley and the Southbank Sinfonia orchestra will be on tour in October 2014.


Labels: , , , , , , ,