1st April 1982
Edinburgh Usher Hall
It is often forgotten that, between their emergence as the darlings of the
“New Romantic” scene, and their development into one of those 1980s groups which fell into the category of “Princess Di” bands, Spandau Ballet had a brief stab at rebranding themselves as a funk outfit. London
Fairly anodyne funk of the white boy variety admittedly, but funk it certainly was….of a sort. The band had dabbled in this particular puddle with the b side Glow, before giving over the first side of their second album Diamond to dance music. The rather more challenging nature of the music on side 2, perhaps suggested Gary Kemp was still doodling around with the band’s future direction.
I had bought the first album Journeys to Glory, not because I felt any affinity with the New Romantic movement – how could a scruffy little toe-rag like me possibly? It was just about the music, as ever. The Freeze was the band’s most enjoyable single to date, but there were also a couple of wonderful little gems hidden away toward the tail end of the album: the lilting sixties-influenced Confused, and Toys – this latter arguably one of Gary Kemp’s finest songs. You just gotta love those Hadley histrionics.
I had a little problem with this gig as I had bought tickets for Wife and I, but she already had something on, so I ended up going to the gig my mate D. Now, as readers of earlier blog pages may note, D’s musical tastes really ran only to loud guys with lots of hair – Cock-Rock, I would call it. So, I had to tell him we were going to a gig, without letting him know who the band were. His dismay upon seeing the posters outside the Usher Hall upon our arrival was palpable. And if he enjoyed even one second of the concert he never let on.
The set was, as I recall, relatively short and appeared to be little more than a perfunctory run through of the majority of the band’s recorded output up to that point. I don’t know that all of the more experimental pieces on the second side of Diamond were aired – somehow I doubt it (Missionary, anyone?). I could not help but get the feeling that the band viewed their after-gig “Event “as the real deal, with the concert just a warm-up.
This post gig party, held at a night club a few streets away was by invitation only, although quite how these briefs were distributed I never found out. Certainly this particular oik, and his denim-bedecked hairy companion were not requested to attend.