Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spandau Ballet U.S. tour, compilation album and documentary

Jimmy Kimmel Live photo by George A. Paul
Spandau Ballet, one of the most successful and influential British bands of the 1980s, have announced their Soul Boys of the Western World Tour.

It marks the first time the band will tour North America in nearly 30 years.

All five original members - Tony Hadley, John Keeble, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp and Steve Norman - make their long awaited return in January. See dates below.

"We are over the moon at rediscovering our friendship and are really looking forward to playing live in the U.S. again," said lead singer Hadley. "Playing live is what we do best. The shows will have all the hits and more."

From their synth pop and dance pioneering early singles "To Cut A Long Story Short" and "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)" to the smashes "True" and "Gold," Spandau will be playing the hits once again. With 25 million record sales, six multi-platinum albums and 23 hit singles, this is one eagerly awaited reunion.

"We are tremendously excited about coming back to America to perform," said guitarist/songwriter Gary Kemp. "We have great memories of our shows there in the '80s and can't wait re-connect with our amazing fans there."

This past Monday, Spandau Ballet made their U.S. late night television debut on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! in Los Angeles. It was the first time the band had performed on television in the United States since 1985 when they made an appearance on Soul Train. 

Jimmy Kimmel Live photo by George A. Paul
I was in attendance. All the guys looked and sounded sharp onstage. The five song set featured "True," new single "This is the Love" (done twice because of a glitch in Steve Norman's sax sound), "Only When You Leave," "Communication" and "Gold." Three songs were played at soundcheck.

In case you missed it, check out the Kimmel show clips here:


This morning, the band also did a sit down interview with veteran anchorman Steve Edwards on Good Day LA. 

Soul Boys of the Western World, the band's new documentary, will screen at the DOC NYC film festival in New York City on Saturday at 9:45 PM at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street). The band and director George Hencken will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A about the film afterwards. This is their first public appearance in New York City since the 1980s.

A voyage through the Eighties in the company of Spandau Ballet, this archive-only documentary uses the band's own home movies and showcases newly discovered material.

Initially together for 10 years, the group came back again with the successful sell out Reformation Tour of Europe in 2009/10. It was during this time that work began on Soul Boys Of The Western World.

Critically acclaimed when it world premiered at SXSW film festival earlier this year, the UK and Ireland got an opportunity to see the film on Sept. 30 with the European premiere at the Royal Albert Hall. This showing was beamed by satellite into over 200 cinemas across both countries along with a Q&A with the band and director George Hencken moderated by Lauren Laverne, followed by a short live performance by the band.

In related news, Spandau Ballet's new compilation The Story: The Very Best Of, looks back at the definitive tracks from their career, along with three newly recorded songs produced by Trevor Horn (Seal, Rod Stewart), whom the band last worked with on "Instinction" in 1982. 

Romantic first single "This is the Love" features a stately synth line and smooth vocals. "Steal" is all luxurious splendor with swelling strings and Hadley singing "hold onto the mood" as Norman does a memorable sax solo.

Then there's the uptempo, semi-autobiographical "Soul Boy" - the only one on the collection penned by Hadley. It shares a lyric with the documentary title and finds Hadley recalling a time being "forever young and so cool" to a regal string arrangement (think James Bond film themes) and another memorable sax solo by Norman. Hadley really belts it out at the end. 

The Story: The Very Best Of track listing:

1. "To Cut A Long Story Short"
2. "The Freeze"
3. "Musclebound"
4. "Chant No.1"
5. "Instinction"
6. "Lifeline"
7. "Communication"
8. "True"
9. "Gold"
10. "Only When You Leave"
11. "I'll Fly For You"
12. "Highly Strung"
13. "Round and Round"
14. "Fight For Ourselves"
15. "Through The Barricades"
16. "Once More"
17. "This Is The Love" (new song - single)
18. "Steal" (new song)
19. "Soul Boy" (new song)

North American Tour 2015

23 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre On-Sale 11/14
25 Los Angeles, CA Wiltern Theatre On-Sale 11/14
27 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre On-Sale 11/14
30 Chicago, IL House of Blues On-Sale 11/14
31 Detroit, MI Masonic Temple Theatre On-Sale 11/14

3 Toronto, ONT Massey Hall On-Sale 11/14
5 Boston, MA House of Blues On-Sale 11/14
6 New York, NY Beacon Theatre On-Sale 11/15
7 Westbury, NY Theatre at Westbury On-Sale 11/14
9 Washington, DC 9:30 Club On-Sale 11/13
10 Red Bank, NY Count Basie Theatre On-Sale 11/14

*all tickets on-sale at 10:00 AM local time

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