12 October 2014
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Pioneers of the 80s new romantic scene, Spandau Ballet posters adorned my walls as a teenager so to get the chance to see frontman Tony Hadley perform at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester last night was a dream come true. I went along with my friend who was just as crazy about them as me during their heyday. Like two excited schoolgirls we took our seats in the front stalls where we had an excellent view and waited for the man of our dreams to enter the stage.
Tony Hadley appears suited and booted and looking as suave as ever to huge applause.
The show opens with Don Henley’s New York Minute, and continued with Bowie’s Life On Mars, The Killers’ Somebody Told Me, Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle and a couple of new tracks. All were performed flawlessly and he most certainly hasn’t lost his distinctive powerful voice. The first half ends with a beautiful performance of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water.
For the second hour we are taken on a nostalgic trip through the back catalogue of Spandau hits starting with debut 1980 hit To Cut A Long Story Short after which the well-known songs just kept coming Highly Strung, Only When You Leave, the absolutely brilliant Musclebound , Round and Round, I’ll Fly For You and my favourites Lifeline and Through The Barricades, which incidentally was their last hit in 1986.By this time the majority of the audience were up on their feet dancing and singing along! Toys, Chant No 1 (we don’t need this pressure on) and I guess their biggest hit True followed.
Spandau Ballet have a new film out soon Soul Boys of the Western World and we were treated to a performance of Soul Boy which will be their new single. It was superb and something the band should be very proud of.
As the show came to a close a well-deserved standing ovation brought him back for an encore and he smashes it with Gold.
The show last two hours and we didn’t want it to end.
The Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra add a fantastic twist to the songs and the backing singers are strong and in sync throughout.
Tony Hadley is still the perfect showman, he owns the stage and doesn’t seem to have aged at all (unlike some of us!). We had an absolutely fantastic evening and thought the whole experience was something special.
Tony Hadley is currently on tour around the UK. For more information, tour dates and venues visit www.tony-hadley.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000