Spandau Ballet’s return to the public eye in 2009 after a 20 year hiatus with bitter legal and personal battles, may have brought out a wry smile expecting the same old money/hype get together, but time has broadened the twisted smile into a joyous laugh.

A welcome and positive reception in their live festival shows, an excellent film/documentary ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’ about them and 80’s popular culture, a top 10 UK album last year with old and new tracks, all add up to a happy bunch of lads who want to have fun, and really interact with their loyal audience.

This they do tonight, in Milan’s Mediolanum Forum, the first of five Italian shows. Tony Hadley, Gary and Martin Kemp are elegantly dressed in black suit white shirt and various types of accessories, Steve Norman and John keeble in more casual attire, the stage meanwhile looks like a cool Las Vegas setting; it’s a smart set up.

Time has been good to the boys; on a personal level with good looks and physique pretty much as they could hope, and as a band with their songs holding up well over time. They play well together as a band where the sum of the parts makes the whole and the set generally has a surprising funky edge to it.

A tribute to Steve Strange with a ‘Blitz’( the club Steve ran that really got them their break) medley is a nice touch, lots of hugs, frolicking rather than dancing, sax and drum solos for Steve and John, an acoustic ‘Gold’ played and sung among the crowd by Tony and Gary.

Highlights are ‘True’ , ‘Through the Barricades’ and the final encore ‘Gold’ with all the band and crowd playing it up to each other.
We all had a great time to cut a long story short as the saying goes but no one more than Tony Hadley; Singing wonderfully, a glass of Jack Daniels and a Peroni beer at hand, his mates at his side.

Sometimes there are happy endings .

• SETLIST

1. Soul Boy
2. Highly Strung
3. Only When You Leave
4. How Many Lies
5. Round and Round
6. This Is the Love
7. Steal
8. Chant No 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)
9. Blitz Medley: Age Of Blows Intro / Reformation / Mandolin / Confused / The Freeze
10. To Cut a Long Story Short
11. Raw
12. Glow (Instrumental)
13. Empty Spaces (Acoustic)
14. Gold (Acoustic singalong with the audience)
15. Once More
16. I'll Fly for You
17. Instinction
18. Communication
19. Lifeline
20. True

Encore:
21. Through the Barricades
22. Fight for Ourselves
23. Gold

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