After a lengthy hiatus, Spandau Ballet has embarked on a massive tour to promote its rockumentary and to prove to the world that the “Soul Boys” still got the magic after all these years.
And they did. The British band’s first-ever Manila concert, held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last Sept. 21, was an audiovisual spectacle that truly deserved a standing ovation. Clocking in at nearly two hours, the show included more than 20 songs spanning the band’s decades-old repertoire, from its synth-pop debut “To Cut a Long Story Short” all the way to new singles such as the sultry “Steal.”
Of course it wouldn’t be complete without the classic hits. While the soulful “True” had couples swaying and single folks feeling kilig, the pure inspirational power of “Gold” never sounded old, whether performed unplugged or with a full band. One could feel the emotion pouring from the socio-politically charged ballad “Through the Barricades,” which also felt like a timely tribute to the band’s reunion.
It was a real treat to watch the members (sans drummer John Keeble, who was unable to play due to illness) tear into their instruments with raw energy with every song. Not surprisingly, millennials (yes, there were a few) and older folks alike sang all the parts in “True” (the keyboard intro, the melodic vocal humming hook, the sax solo) with suit-clad frontman Tony Hadley and his ageless vocals.
“Spandau Ballet is recognized all over the world now, even though younger generations may not know the band’s name,” saxophonist Steve Norman told us in an exclusive e-mail interview (See story on this page). “Sing a couple of bars of ‘True’ or ‘Gold’ and the response is always ‘Oh yeah! Of course I know them!’”