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TONY HADLEY INTERVIEW [2012]

I WAS JUST READING THE LAST INTERVIEW WE DID TOGETHER AND YOU'D JUST HAD A NEW BABY, ZARA, AND IT'S ALL COME FULL CIRCLE AGAIN BECAUSE YOU'VE HAD ANOTHER BABY RECENTLY HAVEN'T YOU?

Blimey, that's five years ago, has it really been that long? But yes we've just had another baby, Genevieve Elizabeth… the Elizabeth is because she was born on February 6th which was the Queen's anniversary.

She's an absolute poppet, but I'm knackered all the time! She's doing pretty well, I mean she's sleeping maybe five hours a night but even so…

YOU SHOULD PROBABLY GO ON TOUR OR SOMETHING, GET AWAY FROM IT ALL AND CATCH UP ON YOUR SLEEP!

You know what, I've sort of stopped touring at the moment and I just do festivals… to be honest I've got enough going on at the moment with making the new album, plus I've got a load of live stuff that needs mixing. This year is just flying by, there's not enough hours in the day… but everything's good, everything's very good and that's what counts isn't it?

ONE OF THE BIG FESTIVALS THAT YOU'VE GOT COMING UP IS 'REWIND' ISN'T IT? WHICH LOOKS REALLY GOOD THIS YEAR, LOTS OF BANDS ON THE BILL WHO HAVEN'T DONE IT BEFORE…

Yeah, it all looks really good, but you know, they're good fun to do. Most of us know each other which is great, so from that point of view it's a good laugh. The atmosphere is always great too, I mean the last time we did it it was pouring with rain but people still had a great time, no-one went home, and there was even a moshpit!

The one thing I do find frustrating is being limited in the number of songs I can do… most of the acts only do six or seven numbers.

I'm actually flying back from the middle of my holiday to do 'Rewind'. I do the festival and get a flight back in the morning and I'll be back round the pool by lunchtime!

WHEN YOU DO THESE SORTS OF EVENTS DO YOU MAKE A POINT OF CHECKING OUT THE OTHER BANDS WHEN THEY PLAY?

I do, because I like music… it's not like checking them out because they're the competition, I mean if you've been doing this for thirty years or whatever then you've got to be pretty comfortable in your own skin, and you already know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so I never do it from that point of view, I just genuinely like watching other bands.

When we did South Africa - which was brilliant, I think there were about 35,000 people there - it was great to see Marc Almond. I'd never seen him live before, but yeah I always like watching other bands, it's great fun and I do usually get there early so I can watch the other acts because I just love live music.

YOU'RE PLAYING REWIND ON THE SAME DAY AS OMD, THE LIGHTNING SEEDS, ROLAND GIFT…

I haven't seen the OMD boys for ages, but yeah, it's a good lineup. I'm looking forward to it, I think it's going to be great fun!

YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU'RE WORKING ON THE NEW ALBUM AT THE MOMENT…

That's right… it's taking the longest time ever known. I started this album before Spandau got back together and then with the Spandau tour it all went on hold, I got back from that tour, did festivals all over the place and then just stopped working for a little while and had a bit of a break.

But we've just recorded a TV special which will be on TV and on DVD and there's nine new songs in that so we had to get them all worked out, and next I'm due to go to LA later this year and then across to Miami to write with Barry Gibb just to see what happens. I like a lot of that country rock thing… the stuff I've been doing is pretty much straightforward pop, but there's a bit of a country lilt on a couple of things.

I'm looking forward to all of that, and everyone who's heard the album so far really likes it, but it's got to be just right you know?

WHEN DO YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE RELEASED?

I think it'll be next spring, but having said that it's got to be right you know? There'll be ten or twelve tracks on the album and every one of them has to be just right, and that takes time. it's hard to get to that point…

WILL ANY OF THE NEW SONGS MAKE IT INTO THE FESTIVAL SET BEFORE THEN?

Hopefully yeah… there's a song called 'My Imagination' that might make it in there, but obviously they're festivals so we all know they have to be like a celebration and everyone is really there to hear 'True', 'Gold' and 'Through The Barricades'! But 'My Imagination' might work, it's a real upbeat rocky song, so that might be nice to put in there!

HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPANDAU BALLET SONGS CHANGED AT ALL, AFTER PLAYING THEM WITH SPANDAU AGAIN?

It was difficult actually, because I'd got into different ways of singing them, different arrangements and everything. I mean 'To Cut A Long Story Short' for instance, when I do that live - and I only do it live occasionally to be honest - the version that we do and the version we do as Spandau Ballet are two completely different versions.

Also, as a solo artist, you stray sometimes from the… how should I put it… from the straight and narrow melody, but with Spandau I have to bring that back in again because it has to be the original band version.

I've never really been an artist that likes to be scripted... that might be an understatement!

Tony Hadley will play the REWIND FESTIVAL in Henley on Sunday August 19th.

REWIND FESTIVAL 2012

MAY 2012

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