Tony Hadley performing his Big Swing Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Tuesday 12th March 2024.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Tony Hadley, the former front man of the 80’s synth pop supergroup Spandau Ballet, was at the Royal Concert Hall on Tuesday night to deliver a laid back evening of timeless classics as part of his Big Swing Tour.

Coming on to the stage wearing a leg brace, he was forced to sit for most of his two sets, but that did not detract from his charming stage presence as he opened with The Mood I’m In which was followed by Tony Orlando’s The Good Life, both of which had the crowd immediately feeling the intimate mood.

With an assembled brass section alongside his fabulous Tony Hadley Band on either side separated by floor mounted lights, he had momentarily transformed the Concert Hall into a 1930’s jazz club. And with an early airing of Spandau Ballet’s Only When You Leave and Hadley’s personal favourite, Through The Barricade, the crowd were delighted.

There was an excellent version of Feeling Good which was an early highlight, followed by the lesser known Just A Gigolo and Wives And Lovers. He dipped back into his pop roots with the magnificent True, whilst I Will Wait For You and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered were sandwiched with Walk Of Shame, a new song from his recently recorded BBC Piano Room sessions.

The second set opened with Touch Me, Too Close For Comfort and another new song, The Summer Wind which went down a treat. Other delights were Mack The Knife, Come Fly With Me and That’s Life which earned Hadley an early standing ovation, as he showcased a voice that can still captivate an audience.

For Gold, the crowd were on their feet where they remained for the set closer, the power ballad, My Way. Delivering a relaxed but far from charmless set he was back on stage for One For My Baby and Elvis Presley’s powerful If I Can Dream to end an evening that at times felt like something in between a music gig and a cabaret show. But what was certain was that Hadley played to the crowd in an effortless way that made the whole swing thing much more palatable and pleasant.