Entertainment & Arts

Tony Hadley cuts ties with Spandau Ballet

Spandau Ballet in 1983
Image caption Spandau Ballet backstage at Top of the Pops in 1983, with Hadley front and centre

Singer Tony Hadley says he has left 1980s pop group Spandau Ballet, and "will not be performing" with them in the future.

In an oddly-worded statement, the star said: "I am required to state that I am no longer a member of the band".

He did not indicate why he was leaving, but blamed "circumstances beyond my control".

The group, who scored hits with True and Gold, broke up acrimoniously in the 1990s but had reformed in 2009.

The remaining members put the blame for the latest split on Hadley's shoulders.

"Much to our frustration, Tony had made it clear in September 2016 that he didn't want to work with the band anymore," they wrote on their official website.

"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."

Image copyright Tony Hadley / Twitter

Formed in 1976 as The Cut, they cut their teeth in the punk era, before emerging as one of the planet's biggest pop bands - engaged in a fierce rivalry with fellow New Romantics Duran Duran.

Following their first hit - 1980's To Cut A Long Story Short - they released six studio albums and had 10 UK top 10 singles, topping the charts with True in 1983.

Spandau's original split came after the five-piece fell out over money.

In 1999, Hadley, saxophonist Steve Norman and drummer John Keeble sued guitarist Gary Kemp for a share of the band's songwriting royalties.

Kemp, who played in the band with his brother Martin, wrote all of the hits, but the other musicians believed they had a gentleman's agreement to share the profits, in recognition of their musical contribution to the songs.

The case went to the High Court, where Kemp won. He later described the battle as "like walking away from a car crash - you're glad to be alive but mortified and shocked by the wreckage".

The band were back in court three years later, arguing over the right to use the name Spandau Ballet. Hadley, Keeble and Norman lost again and had to tour under the humbling name of Ex-Spandau Ballet.

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Media captionSpandau Ballet in the 1980s

By this point, Hadley was not on speaking terms with the Kemp brothers, and for a number of years a reunion seemed like an impossibility.

In 2007, the singer told the Daily Express: "I know you should never say never, and bands in the past have said hell would freeze over before they got back together, but in our case I think hell is frozen and we still wouldn't do it."

Naturally, they reformed two years later, hosting a press conference on HMS Belfast in London, the scene of a landmark early gig in 1980.

Since then, they have toured the world, headlining the Isle of Wight Festival and producing a documentary about themselves called Soul Boys of the Western World.

They even recorded a handful of new songs for the 2014 album The Story - The Very Best of Spandau Ballet.

More recently, the band have been playing solo shows; while Martin Kemp appeared as a judge on the BBC show Let It Shine.

Hadley's decision to cut ties with Spandau effectively puts an end to any future reunion.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The band last toured together in 2015

His full statement read as follows: "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."

Fans on Twitter responded by quoting some of Spandau's more memorable lyrics.

"Say it's not True!" wrote one. "Communication let them down," added another. "He didn't need this pressure on," noted a third.

"You'll notice it [the statement] is only one sentence," said Scott Taylor. "I think @TheTonyHadley found it hard to write the next line."

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