Live Review: Spandau Ballet @ The O2

By londonist_music Last edited 109 months ago
Live Review: Spandau Ballet @ The O2

martinkemp1009.jpg The air in London somehow smelled of roses around North Greenwich last night as Spandau Ballet played the last of three nights at The O2.  Surprisingly enough, many young faces could be spotted amongst the sleek eighties driven attire habitués of the audience.

The new romantics don’t do support acts, they prefer bold statements with a definition of the word Reformation on a make shift screen and the resonance of heartbeats as their time on stage drew close. - "Recession, Unemployment, Gloom, War, Tragedy… and Dreams" flashed up with requisite library videos in the style of Evening Standard headlines from the Thatcherite eighties, followed by videos introducing the Islington based lads. As you might expect, ex-Eastender Martin Kemp received the largest cheer.

Then suddenly they appeared, fittingly starting with the synth-pop driven "To Cut A Long Story Short" followed by "The Freeze".  Within the first few songs they appeared closer than ever, chatting about how they lived, ran and were sloshed together in the studios recently. With plenty of hits to offer up, the mix of a few lesser known tracks from the new album “Once More” caused a slight lull.  However the prominence of the core velvety saxophonist matched the passion of Hadley, who can still hold those high notes impressively with little effort.  Such highlights included "Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)", "Lifeline", "Round & Round" and of course, "True".

Notably the crowd seemed to lighten up in the encore when both Kemps returned on stage without the sharp suits, but now sophisticated vests.  Leaving the crowd on tenterhooks, they closed the gig with “Gold” against a star lit background. Definitely the best reformed group of the year and as more artists still continue to sample their work, this band certainly isn’t an endangered species.

Richard Johnson

Last Updated 23 October 2009