Spandau Ballet are returning to New Zealand where they're set to play one show at the Vector Arena in Auckland on Sunday May 10th. Consisting of Tony Hadley, Gary Kemp, Steve Norman, John Keebleand Martin Kemp, the band reunited in 2009 following a 19-year break, embarked on a world tour and released the album ‘Once More' that same year.
Last week I was fortunate enough to have a chat with drummer John Keeble, and asked how the 2009 reunion came about. "The answer is about as long as the question," he replied. "But really, we were a bunch of guys that went to school together... started playing in the school music room and traveled the world together. The film explains it quite well. 'Boys are good, boys have success, then all the wheels come off'... and then there is a bit of redemption at the end. I'd say the 3 or 4 years previous to the reunion was probably the hardest work I'd ever done - just with negotiation and trying to put this big thing back together. I think we got back together for the right reasons. A band is a bit like a sports team; you need your buddies around you and, as I said in the film, I wanted a better end. And I think what happened is rather than get a better end, we've got a bit of a new beginning. We got back together in 2009 and that went really well, we came down and played the Vector (Arena) and that went fab. We realised we could still do it well, rekindle our friendship and be an inspiration."
The movie that John is referring to is of course 'Soulboys Of The Western World' - which documented the rise, fall and reunion of the 80s pop sensations. "We employed Kate Griffiths to hunt down every bit of footage of the band," says Keeble. "We weren't sure we had enough (footage) to make a movie. It was sort of like making a movie without knowing it really. But we found about 500 hours worth and sometimes the raw footage is better than the stuff that actually got broadcast. I was astonished at how much stuff we had. The shots at the HMS Belfast, which was the last show before we signed a deal, none of us had ever seen that until a year ago. It was literally found in someone's drawer. That was a distant memory and a few black & white photos. So it's been a bit of a voyage of discovery for us as well. "
Along with the movie, 2014 also saw the release of Spandau Ballet's album‘The Story - The Best Of Spandau Ballet', which included 3 new tracks. I wondered whether this had given the band enthusiasm to release an album of new material, to which Keeble responded positively "Yeah, I think you've got to stay in the now. While we're proud of what we've done; all those tunes have become a part of pop culture really, all across the world. You can't get much further away than you blokes", he laughs. "We've been playing those new songs on the tour now and they're right up there with my favourite songs to play. They came together very quickly & everyone I played the demos to said ‘It sounds just like Spandau Ballet', and they're right. The way we play, the way we write, it makes us sound like us. And I think that's possibly the most important thing to have as a band. I think doing these three new tunes has whet everyone's appetite for making some more music."
Keeble is excited to return to New Zealand this May. "I'm looking forward to getting down there, I've got a few good buddies down your way. Dion Nash who use to play cricket for you, he's a big mate of mine. We see each other across a planet."
With the subject of cricket brought up, I asked if he'd been keeping up with the World Cup. "I've got more confidence in Spandau Ballet than the England cricket team!" Keeble joked. "I wish them well and we'll see you in the final hopefully."
I kind of hope New Zealand see England in the final too...
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.