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Spandau star's swing saga

PUBLISHED: 09:30 01 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:33 01 August 2010

On the eve of Tony Hadley's Suffolk concert, the former Spandau Ballet frontman reveals why swing is now his thing

Tony Hadley might have made a name for himself as the one of the best pop vocalists of a generation but - as the audience at next month's concert at Somerleyton Hall will discover - swing is where is heart is.

On the eve of Tony Hadley's Suffolk concert, the former Spandau Ballet frontman reveals why swing is now his thing

Tony Hadley might have made a name for himself as the one of the best pop vocalists of a generation but - as the audience at next month's concert at Somerleyton Hall will discover - swing is where is heart is.

He said: "As a kid growing up I was bombarded with swing. On Sunday mornings my mum and dad would play those records before Sunday lunch.

Whether it was Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, or Tony Bennett - or even Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn - I was gradually convinced of the music and have loved it ever since."

On stage at Somerleyton Hall on August 15, Tony will be joined by a 17-piece band playing songs from his fouth solo album Passing Strangers, as well as reworked versions of the Spandau classics.

He said: “We're going to be playing a selection of really brilliant songs from the album. There are also a few songs that are quite sexy and up tempo. It is very sixties, lots of flutes on it. It is a very cool sounding album. People are going to respond to it in a good way.

"We are looking at the arrangements of all the songs and trying to give them a slightly different treatment. Just because of the fact we'll have about 15 to 16 people on stage. It will sound awesome. For people who have not seen a big band - it is different vibe altogether from conventional pop rock. It is a huge sound, very exciting and loud. When the band really swings, you've never heard anything like it. "

But Spandau Ballet fans will not be disappointed, promising all the classics. He said: "When I sing True and Gold and Through the Barricades, I certainly don't sing them through gritted teeth. It would be a bit like Frank Sinatra not singing My Way. I don't want to leave people disappointed; I want people to have a good time. And obviously they want to hear Tony Hadley sing some of those classic songs. I don't have a problem with that at all."

Whereas the Spandau tour was made up of a tight-knit group, Tony admits touring with a larger band will be different.

He said: "This is gonna be a bit different because obviously I will be going out with a different set of musicians. I have performed with them all at some time or another either while recording the album or at swing concerts and they are all great players.

Tickets for the event cost £27.50 for adults, or £30 on the night; £15 for children aged five-years to 15-years, or £20 on the night. There is also a 10pc discount for group bookings of 10 or more, and you can claim 5pc off if you have already bought a ticket for Rock With Laughter, which is being held on the Somerleyton estate the following evening.

They are now available from Norwich Theatre Royal on 01603 630000; Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier Theatre, 01493 842914; IML Concerts, 01603 660444 or www.iml.concerts.co.uk ; or the UEA students union, 01603 508050.

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