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Pure 'Gold' from former Spandau frontman in cathedral gig
This was pure 24-carat 'Gold' from the former Spandau Ballet lead singer who has clearly lost none of his vocal sparkle in the three and a half decades since the band's chart-topping 80s heyday. Tony Hadley gave us a medley of classic songs from across the genres in this special one-off concert in the majestic medieval setting of Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire. Tony, backed by an excellent six-piece band, delivered a catalogue of former Spandau hits from debut single 'To Cut a Long Story Short' in 1980 right through to their final top 10 hit, 'Through The Barricades' six years later. But, interspersed with all the former Spandau Ballet hits were tracks from Tony's most recent solo album, Talking to the Moon', released in 2018, a couple of popular covers, and some delightful festive favourites in the run-up to Christmas.
This sold-out concert, which Tony himself described to the audience as "kinda special", was aimed at raising funds for the annual Lichfield Festival, a charity arts organisation of which he is patron. In addition, he donated his fee to the nearby St Giles' Hospice. Tony immediately got the cathedral crowd in the festive mood by opening up with seasonal classic, 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. Then, after former Spandau favourites 'To Cut a Long Story Short' and 'Highly Strung', he treated us to 'Killer Blow', the first of three excellent tracks from Talking to the Moon. That set the pattern for the rest of this fabulous two hour evening, with Spandau Ballet songs such as 'Round and Round', 'Lifeline' and 'Only When You Leave' mingling in with new offerings and magical seasonal favourites including the classic 'Let It Snow' and 'White Christmas'.
Tony performed Spandau Ballet hits alongside Christmas favourites. Photo Peter Blanchflower
The two cover songs were saved for the second half of the concert, with the contrasting delights of Chuck Berry's 'Run, Run Rudolph', first released in 1958, and a great rendition of Queen's 'Somebody To Love'. Particularly massive fans of Spandau Ballet were also left waiting till almost the very end of the night to hear Tony perform the band's huge top 3 hits 'Chant', 'True' and 'Gold', before a couple more Christmas favourites left everyone to head home with a big smile on their face. Anyone unable to get tickets for this one-off show at Lichfield Cathedral will be delighted to know that Tony will be returning to the region in 2020/21 as part of a 40-date UK tour to celebrate his 40 years in the music business.
Tony and band in the magnificent cathedral setting. Photo Peter Blanchflower