Spandau Ballet

Only When You Leave: Tony Hadley parts company with Spandau Ballet

Tony Hadley has announced his departure from Spandau Ballet in an unexpected and strangely worded statement posted on Twitter and Facebook earlier today.

The single-sentence statement reads: “Due to circumstances beyond my control, it is with deep regret that I am required to state that I am no longer a member of the band Spandau Ballet and as such I will not be performing with the band in the future.”

The other members of the band responded with a similarly terse statement: “Much to our frustration, Tony had made it clear in September 2016 that he didn’t want to work with the band anymore. This has not changed and 2015 was the last time we were able to perform or work with him. So we have now made the decision to move on as a band.”

Formed in 1979, Spandau Ballet were regulars at London’s influential Blitz club and scored twenty top fifty hits between 1980 and 1989 including Gold, To Cut A Long Story Short and their only number one single True. They split acrimoniously in 1990 in a dispute over royalties; Hadley, along with drummer John Keeble and saxophonist Steve Norman, sued guitarist and songwriter Gary Kemp on the basis that, although Kemp was credited as sole composer of the band’s material, they had a “gentlemen’s agreement” that royalties would be shared with the rest of the band. The court found in Kemp’s favour, leaving the other three members to tour as “Hadley, Norman and Keeble, ex-Spandau Ballet”. Although relations between the trio and Gary Kemp (and, by association, his brother Martin, the band’s bassist) seemed irreparably damaged, Spandau reformed in 2009 for a world tour and new album Once More, a set of remakes of their ’80s hits augmented with two new songs. In 2014 a documentary film about the band, Soul Boys of the Western World, was released, accompanied by a new compilation album which included another three new songs. Following Hadley’s departure, the future of the band remains unclear, although they are scheduled to play three US shows in August, while Hadley is due to appear at a number of ’80s nostalgia festivals over the summer.