It’s the morning after the night before but Tony Hadley is nursing a feeling of happy not head-achey. He spent the previous night at the starry premiere of the movie Eddie the Eagle alongside messrs Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton in London’s Leicester Square.
The movie has sparked a reunion of nostalgia for this once-frilled New Romantic thanks to a soundtrack that is all about the eighties. The album Fly is made up of songs inspired by the film Eddie the Eagle and basically it’s a line-up of the record collection of a good bunch of Luxe readers. On there you’ll find the likes of not only Tony Hadley but those chums from bands who are still up and at it; such as Howard Jones, ABC, Paul Young, Go West, Midge Ure and Kim Wilde.
It marries new songs with voices that make up a snapshot of teenage life featuring abundant white shirts, bandanas and angsty memories for today’s forty-and-fiftysomethings. The collection of songs also marked the gathering of the above-mentioned artists for a concert organised by Gary Barlow a week prior to the film premier and album release.
So, it would appear, Mr Hadley is still living the dream, albeit in a sharper suit these days. He’s sitting in his orangery at home when we talk. The chat is to do with an up and coming exclusive gig that he is playing at Rockliffe Hall on 14 May.
Tony is no stranger to a North East audience. Most recently seen with his Spandau Ballet mates at a gig at Newcastle Racecourse last year, he has also appeared solo at a number of corporate and charity events in the region. He loves nothing more than performance and feels, “26 not 56” these days. Creating the new Fly album was a bit like gathering together an eighties supergroup.
People think you slow down as you get older but I feel 26 not 56. I still ski, I play football and I can do new things with my voice now!
“We had such a laugh and a giggle doing that concert. People think you slow down as you get older but I feel 26 not 56. I still ski, I play football and I can do new things with my voice now!
“I’ve got five beautiful children, two of them are young and they keep you on your feet.
“And I love hanging out with other musicians. Some of those guys have amazing voices and you can’t mistake them – people like Pete Cox from Go West. We got together a cracking band and it has been brilliant.“
The Fly album and Eddie the Eagle movie have given him a showcase to a new and younger audience – as did his appearance on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2015.
“It was great to be known by young kids! [At the premiere] They were saying, that’s the guy who sings Gold! It was a fantastic party and it’s a cracking film.
“I’ve never been one for premieres and parties, I don’t choose to do that a lot. I live in the countryside, about an hour from London – I’m not that mad keen on the partying – I am more interested in the music but it was great to see the film and have that connection with it.”
Love of music and Spandau Ballet’s musical ‘time-capsule’ keeps Tony on the road for gigs like the one at Rockliffe Hall. He has his own full band with him and reeling out the hits is guaranteed.
“I’m not stupid, I’d be committing harakiri if it wasn’t”, he laughs.
“It’d be like Frank Sinatra not doing My Way if I didn’t do Barricade – these songs are a slice of peoples’ lives.
“Songs like True, Lifeline, Gold are a time-capsule.
“But I will have some songs from a new album and songs that I just love to sing and 35 years on I am lucky that I am still doing that, I like the fun of it.
“I see bands and try to keep up with music. I thought James Bay was great on the Brits. I listen to Radio 1 – and my daughter’s NOW albums! We nick each others’ albums and try to identify the production!
“I still spend a lot of time writing – I am with Ricky Wilde (Kim’s brother), doing some writing.”
Summer’s festival season keeps Tony busy. He loves the “loud and brash fun” of the outdoor festival but doesn’t hang around in a tent afterwards, as you might expect. He’s too tailored for that. These days he is the poster boy for a sharp suit and looking what you might call ‘well turned out’. In his young Spandau days clothes and image were everything. Who can ever forget those flouncy shirts, baggy pants and bandanas? Image is important still he admits.
“I think the True days was my favourite look”, (we’re talking floppy cream suits with big-shoulder jackets and baggy trousers).
“As a solo artist these days it’s more about looking smart, I’m a jeans and jacket or a suit man. I’ll get suits made in Hong Kong or go to Savoy Tailors or Cerruti.
Tony will perform at Rockliffe Hall’s first ever grand marquee event on Saturday 14 May 2016. Tony’s performance will include hits of Spandau Ballet as well as songs from his solo career accompanied by his band. The black tie evening will be hosted by Smooth Radio and a donation from each ticket will go towards supporting the Alan Shearer Foundation and St Cuthbert’s House.
Tickets are available from £135 per person including champagne reception, three-course banquet, charity donation and all entertainment.