Tony Hadley, Symphony Hall, Birmingham - review

Entertainment | Published:

It was a night of nostalgia as former Spandau Ballet lead, Tony Hadley, burst onto the stage submerging the audience into the sounds of the 80s.

Tony Hadley

Supported by acoustic talent Damian Wilson, who imparted a personal tale with every heartfelt tune, Hadley demonstrated his musical prowess with his dramatic warble while mixing classic tunes and new tracks from his 2018 album.

Hadley's new album, Talking to the Moon, which won album of the week on BBC Radio 2, was named due to his fascination about what is in space when he looks at the moon in the sky.

Moreover the album is a strong case study of how singers musically evolve, with new sounds included in his tracks such as Tonight Belongs to Us and Unwanted.

Tracks such as Skin Deep echoed the Spandau Ballet classic True making the performance feel like it recognised the importance of Hadley's career beginnings in the Islington, new wave band.

The audience hung on every lyric and Hadley and his band commanded great stage presence.

With a simplistic stage setting bathed in white decor, that reflected the changing colours swimming around the performance hall, the focus was clearly on the music and what it made people feel.

Throughout the night the audience were in multiple stages of love and worship as they alternated between singing, head-bopping, toe-tapping, swaying and dancing.

When Hadley waved, people waved back, when he nodded at someone they screamed back - never before has an audience been more switched on.


There was a sense that Hadley was genuinely communicating with his loyal fan-base and this is even more apparent when considering he had used Twitter to pre-emptively ask the public what they wanted to hear.

He played a lot of great Spandau Ballet tracks, such as the incredibly popular Cut a Long Story Short and Instinction.

With an immoveable and genuine smile, he looked to be having as much fun as the audience even when discussing a humbling moment of rejection after a girl refused his offer for a dance at a disco.

Halfway through Hadley sat down and covered well-known songs, Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce and Somebody to Love by Queen.


While putting his own spin on the tracks Hadley did the songs justice and his vocal ability appeared to be unchanged as his talent shone through.

With effortlessly grand vocals, Hadley certainly had the audience on his side and some of his tracks such as the aforementioned, Skin Deep, was performed for the first time live in the Symphony Hall.

Overall, Tony Hadley is not one to miss and I doubt his fans will.

By Eleanor Forrest


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