Spandau Ballet with Gary Kemp (far right) (Photo by Denis O’Regan)
Is there any more versatile performer than Gary Kemp? The charismatic musician and actor can play stadiums with his band Spandau Ballet and then light up the stage in London Theatreland. The creative genius today is on a US tour as a guitarist and vocalist for Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, supporting the legendary drummer of Pink Floyd in a performance of the seminal psychedelic band’s early material. The supergroup will perform in DC at DAR Constitution Hall on Monday, April 22.
Mickey McCarter of Parklife DC chatted with Gary Kemp about Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets and Spandau Ballet to discuss the future of both bands and what they mean to him. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.) For more information on Nick Mason, visit the website of Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets.
Tony Hadley sings in New York City on May 2, 2015.
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.)