Spandau Ballet Present News Singer Ross William Wild in Milan -
Martin and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet at the Noise11 studio. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Martin and Gary Kemp, Spandau Ballet: Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Spandau Ballet Present News Singer Ross William Wild in Milan

by on November 6, 2018

in News

Spandau Ballet are back for a mini tour with three dates in Italy, two in Holland and one in London, primarily I presume to introduce their new singer Ross William Wild after the departure, definitively this time, of Tony Hadley.

Is there any point of a ‘new’ Spandau Ballet sans TH one might ask? In these days of reformation of classic (and non-classic) groups, having the principle members, if still alive and kicking, would seem to be a necessary requisite ideally. However, it does not seem to be the case most of the time.

Tonight, we are at the Fabrique, in Milan, for the first of these gigs where a pretty decent crowd is gathered including many lovely middle-aged ladies it has to be said. Spandau come on stage without RWW, playing an instrumental ‘Gold’ as a way to say hello really. Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, John Keeble and Steve Norman are all looking good, especially the smiling and enthusiastic SN who seems at least 10 years younger than his 58 years. There is the silent keyboard player on stage to,o as they have always had, accompanying their live performances.

As the band go into ‘Chant No.1’ on bounds RWW, much to the surprise of many in the crowd judging by their bewildered looks having presumably not done their homework and not knowing of TH’s absence. A young-looking version of Tony in many ways cannot be a coincidence me thinks but can he cut it on vocals? Its apparent that Ross is not really a rock’n’roller but more theatrically trained as a performer so he tends to project to the back of the room rather than confront the throng at the front. He easily hits all the notes but there is a certain lack of urgency and bite. For the first 4 or 5 tracks its all a bit wooden with even the band not really helping the lad as everyone sticks to their place. Obviously its not easy and finding their way as a group is what these live dates are all about. The sound system tonight is good however and the band are solid and tight.

Martin Kemp takes the mike and tries to gee up the still stunned crowd by introducing ‘Virgin’ as one of the three songs played at LiveAid in July 1985, and the interaction is enough to stir everyone up. Ross then takes to the mike to introduce himself and a mini set including a selection of early songs from the first album ‘Journey’s To Glory’ and gradually probably thanks to the throwback to ones youth and excitement these songs evoke, the vibe in the room changes such that the closer ‘To Cut a Long Story Short’ is a full blown success.

Gary then leads the band into ‘She Loved Like Diamond’, whilst Ross takes a costume change, doing a very nice rendition of the song in the style of ‘The La’s’ lets say. Gary has recently been touring as guitarist in Nick Mason’s new project ‘Saucerful Of Secrets’ playing all the early Pink Floyd songs, seemingly a big leap for him in such uncharted territories, with band and Floyd fans no mugs in terms of sound and execution of their precious songs on stage. Getting back to basics must be both relaxing and comfortable and indeed it shows.

Steve Norman then introduces the very fine song that is ‘Once More’ that he and Gary wrote in 2009 for the first re-union after the 90’s split, and though no new tracks were on display tonight, it would seem if this were to be a serious project, new, hopefully good, material with RWW on vox is essential.

‘I’ll Fly For You’, ‘Round and Round’ have the crowd singing along and when ‘True finally closes the set, all things considered, its gone well with grins on the bands faces, hugs and shared vocals on mikes evidence of harmony. ‘True’ it has to be said, is a most wonderful song, sampled by many and lives well beyond its iconic 80’s status. Ross probably does his best work on it too, finally letting go of his theatrical delivery and giving it heart and soul and some nice, different vocal melodies to boot.

Encores are ‘Through The Barricades’ and ‘Gold’, full band version this time. An appreciative band thanks the crowd for coming out tonight, and it feels if Spandau Ballet mark II has begun.

“I’m absolutely f…ing knackered “ says an emotional Martin Kemp as the band leave the stage, having passed the exam, with maybe honours coming with time.


Gold (Intro)
Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)
Only When You Leave
Highly Strung
How Many Lies?
This Is the Love
The Freeze
To Cut a Long Story Short
She Loved Like Diamond
Once More
I’ll Fly for You
Round and Round

Through the Barricades

Danny Gandolfi for

For news as it happens follow Noise11 on Facebook

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Related Posts

Don Walker photo by Ros O'Gorman
Don Walker To Play More Solo Dates in 2024

Don Walker released his solo album ‘Lightning in a Clear Blue Sky’ in 2023.

2 days ago
Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo at the Palais Theatre Melbourne 6 December 2023 photo by Lucas Packett
Devo Complete Their ’50 years of De-Evolution’ Farewell Tour In Melbourne

Devo may or may not have played their last show ever in Melbourne. The show on 6 December, 2023 at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda was the last date of the ’50 Years of De-Evolution’ world tour. If this really was their last show ever 50 years certainly ended with little fanfare.

2 days ago
J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr, photo by Ros O'Gorman
J Mascis To Play Two Solo Dates In Australia

J Mascis will play solo dates in Sydney and Brisbane when Dinosaur Jr head down in 2024.

2 days ago
Rod Stewart at Rod Laver Arena 14 March 2023 photo Bron Robinson
Rod Stewart and Jools Holland Team Up For Swing Album

Rod Stewart and Jools Holland will release a Swing album together in February, 2024. ‘Swing Fever’s first single is ‘Almost Like Being In Love’.

3 days ago
Myles Goodwyn from his Facebook page
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine Dies Aged 75

Myles Goodwyn, lead singer and guitarist for Canada’s April Wine, has died at age 75.

5 days ago
James Taylor performs with his All Star Band in Melbourne at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 8 February 2017. Ros OGorman
James Taylor To Perform First Australian Shows Since 2017 in 2024

Singer/songwriting legend James Taylor will return to Australia in 2024 for his first tour since 2017.

5 days ago
Morrissey, Festival Hall, Melbourne, Photo By Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, photo
Morrissey Blows Out First Australian Show In Perth

Morrissey’s Friday night concert in Perth was cancelled because of “technical difficulties”.

6 days ago