The five original members – Tony Hadley, John Keeble, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp and Steve Norman – recently announced the world premiere of their documentary Soul Boys of the Western World at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX in competition in the 24 Beats section. The feature length film was directed by George Hencken and includes rare original footage and a side of the band many fans will never have seen before.
Soul Boys of the Western World will be screened at 2:00pm on Wednesday, March 12th at 2:00pm at the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave). Later that night Spandau Ballet will also stage their first performance in America in nearly three decades in Austin’s famed Vulcan Gas Company (The Vulcan), 418 E 6th St which has been closed for 44 years and is reopening, re-built and re-born, with this performance by one of the 80’s iconic super groups.
Having emerged from Soho’s ultra hip Blitz Club in 1979 during another economic depression, Spandau Ballet formed at school in North London before becoming the hottest unsigned band on the planet and one of the most influential British bands of all time. Spandau went on to sell over 25 million record sales, 6 multi-platinum albums and 23 hit singles, music lovers all over the world will remember Spandau’s career highlights which spanned from their pioneering early singles “To Cut A Long Story Short” and “Chant No.1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)”, and the globe-trotting smashes “True” , “Gold” and “Only When You Leave”.
From underground, fashion and music obsessed working class Londoners, to global superstars, the band set the pace, the styles and the sound of the 1980s. Their look and style influenced many in the fashion world and beyond. Spandau Ballet are commercially and culturally enormous.
“True” in particular has become a ‘standard’. It has been performed on N American radio 5 million and has featured in countless movies starting with the iconic high school prom dance sequence in John Hughes first movie Sixteen Candles and also in The Wedding Singer sung by Steve Buscemi, Charlie’s Angels, 50 First Dates, Crazy Stupid Love and many, many more as well as a host of TV shows including a whole episode of Modern Family centered around Spandau Ballet with Ed Norton playing a band member and in the Simpsons twice. “True” has also been sampled and adapted by the R&B community over and over again producing numerous other hits for the likes of PM Dawn, Black Eyed Peas, Teddy Riley, Nelly, Lloyd and many more.
Soul Boys of the Western World is a voyage through the 80s in the company of Spandau Ballet, one of the decade’s most iconic bands. This archive-only documentary film tells the story of a group of working-class London lads who created a global music Empire, but at a price none of them imagined. Using the band’s own home movies and showcasing newly discovered material, this film takes us into the heart of the era, and the cultural, political and personal landscape that formed the backdrop to the band’s story. It is a film that speaks not only to fans of the band or those who harbor nostalgia for the 1980s, but also to anyone who has ever experienced friendship and loss.