Tony Hadley performing his 40th Anniversary Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 21st May 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

In 1979 five youngsters from Islington formed new wave band Spandau Ballet and went on to release seven studio albums, and win such awards as Q Award, a Brit and an Ivor Novello, making them one of the most successful bands around.

Fast forward forty two years, and front man Tony Hadley who left to pursue a solo career, was at the Royal Concert Hall on Saturday night two years later than expected to celebrate his 40th anniversary in the music business.

With his very talented The Fabulous TH Band, he opened with Instinction from Spandau’s 1982 album Diamond, which was quickly followed by Only When You Leave. Confirming that the voice is still powerful and capable of virtuoso moments, his set mainly consisted of the old glories from his Spandau years.

The unmistakable synthesised introduction to Cut A Long Story Short saw the entire audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles, before Communication, Be Free With Your Love and Round And Round induced sing alongs.

With a new album, Because Of You, released earlier this year he revealed new songs, the album title track, Obvious and Mad About You, ably assisted by band member Lily Gonzalez who not only provided backing vocals but was also a very good percussionist.

Early in the set there were a couple of covers, and Hadley doing Chuck Berry’s Carol and The Damned’s New Rose felt a little out of place, but he picked up the pace again with his charming stage presence and interesting between song banter. Through The Barricades, which has always showcased his strong vocals, lifted the audience before Lifeline and Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) demanded maximum audience participation.

A stripped back version of I’ll Fly For You was a highlight before True had the audience holding their arms aloft, waving in unison. For the encore there were a couple of other covers, but the song of the evening was undoubtedly Gold that proved that this power house performer has still got it , and he’s got the fans to match.