Spandau Bring the Gold to Eden
As Spandau Ballet rolled into the Eden Project it’s hard to believe that this is the penultimate show of this year’s sessions. Having previously seen some modern day heroes mixed with music legends, Spandau brought us something a little different. Support on the night came from legendary DJ Rusty Egan, who was also a founder member and drummer for ’80s new wave act Visage.
His dj set started early and continued for the best part of two hours. In this time he played a mix of ’80s classic mixes that were well received by the sizable crowd. I’m probably going to upset a lot of DJ’s now but in my opinion, why not just put a cd in the soundsystem and press play?
As Rusty stood behind the DJ desk he could be seen adjusting things on his laptop whilst occasionally looking out into the crowd. I will say however that his choice of music was perfect for the Spandau fans who stood drinking in the Eden sunshine waiting to see their heroes.
After his set, the stage was quickly made ready for Spandau Ballet and it was just over thirty minutes before they made their Eden debut. As they appeared on the stage, wolf whistles came from many of the women in the crowd and during the night several items of ladies underwear were thrown onto the stage. These guy’s posters would have adorned many teenage girl’s walls back in the ’80s, and they all seemed to be looking good some thirty years on. From the off, their sound was spot on and I would say they have had the best sound of any act so far at this year’s sessions. As they set about their sizable set list it was clear to see they were loving the reaction coming from the crowd. They made full use of the large Eden stage as they strutted their stuff and the crowd were loving it.
Spandau bass player Martin Kemp patrolled the right hand side of the stage and numerous fans could be heard shouting “I love you Martin” and from the grin on his face I’m sure he could hear them. As the sun set the awesome lighting show came into its own and just added to make this gig a treasured memory. My favourite song from their set was “Highly Strung” that I was surprised was the second song in the set. With many well known hits, and a new song, the Eden fans were treated to one fantastic show. An acapella version of “Gold” had the fans singing along and at times it was hard to hear Tony over them but it probably left many fans feeling short changed until frontman Tony Hadley announced “more of that later” which was met with one of the biggest cheers of the night.
The songs continued to come with hit after hit and looking back it shows just how popular these guys were back in the ’80s new wave era. A popularity they still seem to have today judging from the response to the new material. As their scheduled 10:30 pm finish time came and went we were still waiting for “Gold” and “True” but we didn’t have to wait much longer. As these two were played the mass of camera phones raised in the air to capture a video memory made for quite a sight and I’m sure there’s some good footage out there. The end of “Gold” saw the band members form a line, hand in hand to take a well deserved bow as they soaked up the applause.
Like good wine these guys have improved with age and sound better now than they did back in their hey-day. With the new material sounding good, perhaps we are about to see Spandau Ballet storm the mainstream music scene again and with an already established fanbase they are already halfway there.