Spandau Ballet on replacing Tony Hadley: 'We're bigger than one member'
Just as The Who carried on despite the rock'n'roll deaths of Keith Moon and John Entwistle, so Spandau Ballet will continue despite the Twitter resignation of frontman Tony Hadley.
That was the message from Gary Kemp and the rest of the band as they announced that the hunt is on for a new Spandau singer.
Hadley announced in July, in a tweet, that he had quit. "Due to circumstances beyond my control, it is with deep regret that I am no longer a member of the band Spandau Ballet and as such I will not be performing with band in the future."
Kemp said the news came as no surprise - relations are said to have been frosty for quite some time - and that the remaining members would carry on.
"This is still the engine of Spandau Ballet," he said, gesturing to bandmates John Keeble, Steve Norman and Martin Kemp after a Soho screening of their new documentary. "We've been together for 40 years. I don't think we're ready to give it up.
"There are only two members of The Who left – I'd still go and see The Who every day of the week because the essence is still there. Spandau Ballet are bigger than one member."
A shortlist of singers has been drawn up and the band will hold auditions in a couple of weeks.
"We are not replacing Tony," said Norman, despite appearances to the contrary. It would be difficult to find someone with Hadley's impressive vocal range, he explained, and they would instead look for "someone different, bringing their own personality".
"He decided he didn't want this any more. It's as simple as that. We have to respect that and wish him well and move on."
Spandau's new 45-minute film, Through The Barricades, documents the making of their 1986 album of the same name. The band were at their mullet-haired, leather-trousered, arena rock peak and the film is a treat for fans of Eighties nostalgia. It shows them being interviewed on The Tube by a flirtatious Paula Yates, appearing on Saturday Superstore with Mike Read and getting helicoptered into Live Aid by Noel Edmonds.
The film includes larky home footage shot by Norman as they recorded the album in Ireland (where they formed an unlikely friendship with Def Leppard – Gary Kemp and Norman sang uncredited backing vocals on Hysteria) and the South of France, before embarking on a year-long tour that culminated in a gig for nearly 100,000 fans in Milan.
Hadley features prominently throughout. Martin Kemp said: "We were really close. We were five mates from out of Islington who were conquering the world. The sad thing for me about watching that film is we were all so happy and we were all a family. But when you get to the peak, there's only one way it can go."
Spandau Ballet ‘Through The Barricades’ special remastered anniversary deluxe edition CD/DVD is released 22nd September 2017 on Sony Legacy