■ The former Spandau Ballet singer, 58, on leaving the band, playing at a murder scene and dignity
You’ve got a new album out. What can we expect?
I wanted to make sure every song was the very best — I’ve taken a long time with this album. I’m happier with this than anything I’ve ever done. There are no covers, we did it ourselves and it’s what I wanted to do as an artist.
Does it have a general theme?
We’ve done a vinyl version and looking at it, side one is all, ‘I love you, you’re the best thing, it’s fantastic’. Side two is, ‘Oh dear, it’s all going wrong’. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it’s just the way it worked out. The song Delirious is about ‘I’m in love to the ultimate degree’, then there’s What Am I? which is a bit autobiographical — it’s about being true to yourself and being able to work with your head held high no matter what you’re hit with.
What Am I? is about leaving Spandau Ballet, right?
It kind of is. You’ve got to have a bit of dignity. I get asked all the time why I left. I made a cryptic statement endorsed by my lawyers and maybe I’ll say why one day and maybe I won’t. I didn’t realise when I made the announcement about leaving [in July last year] that it would get on the news — I didn’t think people would be bothered. It went mental. I could say why I left now that I’ve got an album out but the song is about keeping your dignity. I might say what the reason is one day but if they wanted to get rid of their lead singer, they went the right way about it.
It’s a shame, though, isn’t it? You didn’t talk for years and then got back together for two big reunion tours…
I always thought it was a reunion tour after a lot of angst. We got together again in 2009, did the tour and a documentary, then another tour in 2014, so I thought we’d get together every few years. I was happy with that but it didn’t work out that way.
They’ve replaced you with West End star Ross William Wild. Has it been strange to see someone else singing the hits with the band?
I suppose so, because I’m not dead. If I was dead I’d have been up in heaven saying, ‘Come on, guys, you can move on…’ but I’m not dead — so it was weird. I’m too old to carry grudges. I’m 58, I’m losing people, I’m the patron of a children’s hospice, there are wars going on, so who gives a toss about Spandau Ballet and if I’m in it? I wish them the best. I’m putting my energy into the new album, my band and looking after my family.
Do you regret taking the legal action against band-member Gary Kemp over royalties all those years ago?
No. I’d do it again because I believed I was right and you have to stick by your principles. I don’t regret my actions. I was a solo artist for 20 years before I got back with Spandau. People say I’ve upset the fans but as far as I was concerned it was purely reunions, and if anyone mistook it for anything else, I apologise.
Have you stayed in touch with anyone from I’m A Celebrity… ?
I keep in touch with Ferne [McCann] and I’ve messaged Vicky [Pattison] a couple of times but when you’re in there, you get everyone saying, ‘I love you, let’s all keep in touch’. I said, ‘I’ll be honest with you, guys, we’re not going to keep in touch. I can’t keep in touch with the friends I’ve got and as much as we’ve had a great time, we’re not going to keep in touch. But if you ever want to come to a gig or festival I’m doing, give me a call’. Maybe a couple of people thought I was grumpy but I was just being a realist. It was such good fun but people get a bit carried away on these shows.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever done?
When I first became a solo artist I did a European tour with Joe Cocker and a 50-piece orchestra playing to 20,000 people a night. Then I did a gig in Ilford. I found out someone had been murdered in the venue two weeks before and we were the reopening act. It was the most awful gig I’d ever done. There wasn’t a massive audience. It was a horrible place.
What lessons has your career in the music industry taught you?
The advice I’d give to any new band is no matter how much you trust the people you’re with, you must always get independent legal advice. You’ve got to make sure everything’s been done in the proper and right way.
Hadley’s album Talking To The Moon is out now