Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spandau - everything their fans hoped for

I wasn't supposed to be going in the original plans. I had never imagined going to a Spandau Ballet concert. I wasn't a fan in the 1980s and, in truth, never imagined that any man was a fan of theirs. But, last night I found myself at the Point Depot, oh sorry, the O2, for Spandau's first concert since their acrimonious break-up 20 years ago.

Before the show started I was relieved to see that I wasn't the only husband at the show. Us males were outnumbered by a count of about 4 to 1, but still it was better than what I'd feared: 10,000 women and me. And sitting right in front of us was a middle aged man on his own!

The show started with a video intro that was a welcome trip down memory lane for the band's thousands of 30+ fans in attendance. I know it was welcome because it elicited shrieks that I'm sure most of those ladies thought they'd never know again. And the guy in front of us? Well, he was in tears, overcome with the emotion of seeing the band together again.

I'd like to be able to give you details on the set list, etc., but I can't remember now and I don't really know the names of their songs anyway. All I can say is that the band sounded great. A lot more rock-n-roll than I'd have imagined. I think the first song was To Cut A Long Story Short, but I really can't remember. The first three songs were pretty exciting. I hadn't anticipated anything like it.

Fortunately (for me at least) I knew most of the songs because they were mostly right off their greatest hits album. I know if I was a music critic I'd have to slate them for their slavish adherence to the nostalgia theme, but I was entertained for two hours, which is a lot more than I hoped for. The band plays with a lot of energy and if they tour long enough no doubt lead singer Tony Hadley will lose a couple of chins and the 25 pounds (plus!) he's added since the band's heyday.

There was very little chatter from the band. They don't seem to go for a lot of talk, no little political asides (TG), a number of jokey references to the years that have past and the troubles the band had in the 80s. They dedicated True to Stephen Gateley.

My biggest disappointment was that the guy in front us left about half way through. He'd been dancing in his seat for a good hour or so, but I think the obnoxious people sitting next to us drove him away. I'm sure today he's exhausted, what with the emotional toll of seeing Spandau together again after so long. Me, I'm just exhausted what with the toll of being out so late on a Tuesday night. It was 11:30 when we got home! I can't believe I was in my 20s only 20 years ago.

UPDATE: 3:20pm You can find the set list and a clip from the show's opening here.