‘Soul Boys of the Western World’ is a documentary about the famous UK new wave band Spandau Ballete made almost entirely with original archive footage.
Inspired by the New Romantic movement of the 1980s, Spandau Ballet became one of the most successful bands to emerge during that era.
All the members turned up for the film’s European premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall:
“It was a group of people that certainly, coming out of one small club – The Blitz Club in London – that wanted to really design the youth culture and pop culture for the next decade,” said band leader Gary Kemp.
“That was an era where music, fashion, three TV channels, there wasn’t much more going on, so, anything that was different then was very, very kind of, you know, in the media’s eye if you like,” said lead singer Tony Hadley.
Born in the late Seventies London nightclub scene, New Romanticism was a pop culture counter movement to Punk, rejecting its austerity and anti-fashion stance. Based on a flamboyant, eccentric style and new wave music, it often involved counter-sexual clothing and make-up, as worn by iconic figures like David Bowie and Boy George.
“I suppose it was about hedonism, wasn’t it? Just making the most of every day and just having a good time with it,” said bassist Martin Kemp.
The documentary is not only about the band but also tells the story of five friends from North London who rose to fame, went through a split up and acrimonious court battles, before reuniting again after nearly twenty years and performing at sold-out venues across the UK and Ireland.
“Nowadays, the boundaries of taste in all areas has been pushed to the nth degree so I don’t think it would have the same impact because no-one’s shocked anymore,” said Tony Hadley.
“We enjoy each other’s company. We have a great laugh. We’re a band of brothers and that’s who we are,” said Martin Kemp, giving Hadley a hug.
‘Soul Boys of the Western World’ – the biopic about the UK new wave band Spandau Ballet is on general release from October 3. A new album collection including three new songs is due out this month, with a soundtrack album also scheduled for release.