1. The name
The band was named Spandau Ballet after journalist and DJ Robert Elms, a friend of the band, saw the phrase 'Spandau Ballet' scrawled on the wall of a lavatory in a nightclub in Berlin. It was a slang term used in the First World War by Allied war troops, referring to the twitching of corpses when hit by the German Spandau machine gun. Their music is just as eccentric and unique, so the name, though negative, was appropriate in that sense.
Gold - One of Spandau Ballet's biggest hits
2. The members
The five members of the band are Tony Hadley (lead vocalist), Gary Kemp (guitarist and main song writer), Martin Kemp (guitarist), Steve Norman (saxophonist) and John Keeble (drummer).
3. Iconic 80’s
The new wave band, when formed, was inspired by and became a main part of the pop culture movement in the 80’s, known as the New Romantics era. Characterized by an eclectic fashion sense, the band made pop dance scores fashionable and were instrumental in changing the club music scene in and around London.
4. Double decade hiatus
In 1990, Spandau Ballet endured a bitter and publicized feud in the music industry when three band members sued Gary Kemp for royalties on the songs he had written for the band. Kemp won and the band dispersed with resent and the world saw that they would never get back together again.
After the break up, brothers Gary and Martin Kemp went into acting and solo music. They were critically acclaimed for their roles in the 1990’s drama “The Krays”. Tony Hadley went on a solo music artist route with album releases, tours and collaborations with other singers. John Keeble played drums with Tony on his solo 2006 tour along with other occasional gigs. Steve Norman plays live at house music events and international clubs collaborating with lead singers and musicians.
Gary Kemp initiated the reunion and in 2009, the band announced that they were getting back together for the first time in 19 years with the Reformation tour followed by the release of their album named “Once More”. The tour ended in June, 2010.
7. The movie
In 2014, the band came together again for the promotion of their movie “Soul Boys of the Western World”, directed by George Hencken. The 102 minute long movie documents the birth of the band in the 70’s and their growth, split and reunion over the years using public and personal archive video footage.
8. Never say never
As recently as 2007, Hadley declared: "I know you should never say never, and bands in the past have said hell would freeze over before they got back together, but in our case hell is frozen and we still wouldn't do it."
But contrary to this, the band came together for an alleged ‘one time-last time’ tour in 2009 and yet again in 2015 as part of their “Soul Boys of the Western World Tour”.
9. Top 5 scores
The top five scores of the band that you should be listening to are “True” (1983), “Only when you leave” (1984), “Through the Barricade” (1986), “Gold” (1983) and, “To cut a long story short” (1980).
10. Listen to them live!
Yes, they are performing live in Dubai, for a second time and you can learn more about the event here.