80's pop legends Spandau Ballet star in Soul Boys of the Western World
On Tuesday 30 September, Picturehouse at FACT are showing the European premiere of Spandau Ballet's new documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, charting the rise and fall of one of the 80s most memorable bands
29 September 2014
Spandau Ballet are one of Britain’s most iconic bands, selling millions of records across the world and Soul Boys of the Western World journeys through the the decade that made them. The film tells how a group of five outsiders in London shaped the world’s view of music and fashion together with the brutally honest story of how their friendships were won, lost and regained along the way.
Quickly establishing themselves as part of the Blitz Club scene and as one of the super-groups of the 80s, Spandau Ballet were a huge driving force of pop culture, at the birth of the new romantics where new sounds and styles would spread around the world starting an underground revolution in club culture.
Director George Hencken saw Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran as the oral wallpaper she grew up with, admitting she was never really a fan of their music, giving an unusual dynamic to the film. Her aim was to make a documentary that wouldn’t just appeal to the Spandau Ballet fans, but to a wider audience interested in pop culture, pop art and cultural resonance of 80s bands such as, Spandau Ballet.
Tony Hadley, lead singer of Spandau Ballet has said ‘if you’re that interested in politics… be a politician’ not wanting to venture too far into political debates. But on the other hand, it is interesting to consider the political economy of the 80s. Spandau Ballet hit the charts at the same time Thatcher came into power, and, coincidentally, spilt as she left Downing Street. Spandau Ballet is not a political band, but it is curious that they seemed to optimise 80s ideals, the aspirational, young, go-getters who wanted it all making them one of the most iconic British bands of the time.
This honest and open documentary not only tells the ‘warts and all’ tale of the band’s rise and fall but also acts as a fascinating, hard-hitting social and cultural document.
Soul Boys of the Western World will be screened at FACT on Tuesday 30 September, followed by a live satellite performance from Spandau Ballet and a Q&A with director George Hencken live from the Royal Albert Hall. Tickets are available from the Box Office, by phone on 0151 902 5737 and online.