Spandau Ballet @ Birmingham LG Arena – 24th October 2009


First it was Take That, then the Boyzone comeback, tonight was the revival of Spandau Ballet and they didn’t try to be anything but the band that started out all those years ago.

On entry to the LG Arena, there was a little mix up at the box office with photo pass and ticket where i was being told you are not on our list despite showing them an email from the promoter clearly stating that I was on the list, shortly after I have to say the door supervisors and LG staff couldn’t do enough to make sure I was sorted out and even got escorted down to the pit and introduced to the promoter himself.


Luckily SB were running late by about 15 minutes and as the lights dimmed, the big screen showed images of the boys back in their heyday and as the white stage sheet fell away there stood the band in 2009 with no sense of all the controversy that surrounded them back in 1999 when there was a court case over song writing royalties, they have made up now had finally buried the hatchet.
The original line up of Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Steve Norman, John Keeble and of course Tony Hadley on a simple stage didn’t need anything else, they just took you back to the 80’s as if they had never been away. Almost note perfect and amazing power to Hadley’s voice, the guys went through their hits with the audience recapturing their youth.


Four or five songs in and a couple of less popular songs ” man in chains” and “virgin” led to a rush to the bar or a stampede to the toilet but then this seemed to right itself when the classics started to flow.

It’s easy to forget just how many hits SB have had, 10 top ten singles spanning over six albums and their new album “Once More” shows the guys more acoustically and bringing the songs back into 2009 reworked.

Songs such as “to cut a long story short”, “thru the barricades”, “communication”, “true” and who can forget “gold” got the crowd to their feet , while some reminiscing came through with “round and round” as the big screen put up footage of the band in their heyday with the ladies screaming at old footage Martin Kemp in his speedos!


Perhaps the lesser known Steve Norman proved to be the biggest hit tonight as he dazzled us with his guitar, saxophone, clarinet and drum playing effortlessly and pretty much the same can be said for backing vocalist Dawn Joseph who toured with no less than Kylie and her voice replicated the haunting female vocals on many of the ballets songs.

I have to say unlike so many of the bands that make a comeback there were no circus acts, no pyrotechnics, no special effects just SB doing what they do best on what can be described as a basic stage set , they just simply didn’t need anything else, I know this much is true, they are pure GOLD !

Review – Dave Edwards
Photos – John Mason

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3 thoughts on “Spandau Ballet @ Birmingham LG Arena – 24th October 2009

  1. I was at the LG Arena and apart from being throughly un-impressed with the ‘new’ NEC Spandau Ballet were amazing.

    Only being 21 I don’t remember the guys first time around but had they not mentioned they’d be off the stage for 20 years i’d never have known. They delivered alright. They kept us in suspence by leaving Gold till the very last song of the night but what a close. A truely fantastic night. Should they tour again next year, I for one will be there.

    One thing I found amusing and surreal was that I was one of the youngest in the audience and was out cheered by the mostly 40+ audience reliving their youth! Good on them I hope i’m still like that in my 40’s! 🙂

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