Music Park: Palma Violets @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 5/11/15

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The Palma Violets threw down in an intensely focused and highly energetic show Monday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

The British quartet had few words to share with the audience, but they let their music do the talking for them as they pounded through an hour-long screeching rock symphony, each song often banging along frenetically to dissolve in a din of lights and drums.

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Interview: William Martin Doyle of Palma Violets (@ Rock and Roll Hotel, 5/11/15)

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Palma Violets (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Palma Violets perform at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Monday, May 11, in support of their new album, Danger in the Club, which just came out last week. In anticipation of the show, Mickey McCarter chatted with Palma Violets drummer William Martin Doyle, and he was everything you would expect in a member of the Palma Violets — quick witted, convivial and down to earth! I asked him about the new album, touring and his reputation as part of a great live band.

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Music Park: Spandau Ballet @ 9:30 Club — 4/28/15

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Tony Hadley sings in New York City on May 2, 2015.

Wow, Spandau!

Golden-voiced Tony Hadley jumped to the stage of the 9:30 Club Tuesday night and nailed the lyrics of more than two dozen amazing songs by his band Spandau Ballet into the collective consciousness of everyone within earshot.

In the process, Tony and his bandmates *almost* had more fun than the audience at the very so nearly sold-out show. And they most certainly made certain that after a decades-long absence from the United States that they would not be forgotten here generally or in DC specifically any time soon.

Buoyed by the confidence of a band in the thick of strong friendships and camaraderie and confident in a catalog of songs unmatched in their strength and appeal, Spandau Ballet stormed the 9:30 Club with soulful new wave tunes that left men and women aged 20 to 50 screaming for more.

Spandau Ballet weren’t just good — they were superb.

Tony hit the right note immediately with new song “Soul Boy,” also the title track of a new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World, about the band, premiering tonight, April 29, at the IFC Center in Manhattan with the band’s participation. During the song, the audience gets its first taste of the indefatigable Steve Norman on saxophone.

Steve is everywhere — almost always with his trademark sax in one hand — appearing on bongos in one song, slinging a guitar in another and trading his sax for an oboe in a big finale. The man is a one-man band, and perhaps the strongest player in Spandau Ballet if not the entire history of rock and roll. (If that sounds like glib hyperbole, I dare you to watch him in action and then challenge me on that statement.)

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Music Park: Spandau Ballet @ 9:30 Club, 4/28/15

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Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet sings in Italy on March 27, 2015.

I’m amazed to report that tickets are still available for tomorrow’s concert by Spandau Ballet at the 9:30 Club!

The Soul Boys of the Western World (to borrow the title of a new documentary about them) began the latest leg of their U.S. tour in Chicago on Saturday, April 25. Tonight, they perform in Toronto before returning to the United States Tuesday, April 28, for their show at the 9:30 Club. The reinvigorated quintet have been tearing up the concert circuit, earning great reviews, and generally wowing audiences with strong performances.

Their setlist at the House of Blues in Chicago on Saturday included new songs like “This Is the Love” as well as old favorites like “Chant No. 1,” “To Cut a Long Story Short,” “Gold” and of course “True.”

After Spandau Ballet leave DC, they will go to New York City Wednesday to host a special Q&A about their documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, at the IFC Center in Manhattan. Although it doesn’t have a DC date, Soul Boys of the Western World will play around the country and be available for download through iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and YouTube, as well as other platforms, on Wednesday, April 29.

Listen to the bandmates in Spandau Ballet talk about touring the United States and other subjects in a clip from the U.K. interview show “Loose Women”:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJa34frETis]

And here’s a full show from London in 2009, the year the band reunited after being apart for about 19 years:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxt66bFlDa4]

If you need more fuel in your fire to see the band, check out our brief recap of Spandau Ballet’s history. We were absolutely chuffed that the 9:30 Club linked to it in its weekly newsletter last week!

Spandau Ballet
9:30 Club
Tuesday, April 28
Doors @7pm
$45
All ages