Tony Hadley, the former front man for Spandau Ballet, has returned to Majorca as part of his summer tour - a world away from headlining the British troops' Golden Jubilee celebrations in Cyprus last week. When he arrived back in London yesterday afternoon it was straight into the recording studio. In between touring the world, he is cutting a new album, his first for nearly four years, which he hopes to be released at the start of next summer, on his birthday, “the same day as her Majesty's.” Since Spandau Ballet broke up Hadley has recorded a cover and a live album, but this time “I'm doing it my way,” he said yesterday. “I have written or co-written all the new songs and I've got a great band, although we have not got a name yet - the Tony Hadley Band I guess - and I'm really excited about it. “I'm singing better than ever and I have got all my confidence back - the only problem is that we've got 20 great songs with great lyrics and melodies every song tells a different story, but we've got to choose 12 - which is going to be a nightmare.” In the meantime he has some dance records out this year, one with Alphabet City and another one in Belgium which is going to be listed with all the clubs “so I'm involved with the dance thing quite a bit, but the album is going to be pop rock I guess. “What amazes me though is when I play, how young the kids are and they know everything,” such as the case on Wednesday night at BCM (even a few knickers were thrown) “it's all good for a laugh,” he says. But on a more serious note, the new album will reveal a new Hadley. “This time I've got my own recording company so I don't have to pay lip service to producers paying the money who want this sound or that sound - it's going to be done the way me and the band decide. “I know it will sell, I just hope that the radio stations give me some air time so that people know the album is out there. “So much of the music in Britain now sounds the same and there are no songs being written, just sounds produced to sell,” he said. “But what is also really good is that the BBC has recommissioned the series Down to Earth which I wrote the theme tune for last year and the song is coming out in March or April, released for the radio in May and the album will be out on the back of all that.” “My album is not going to revolutionise music, but it will be a collection of great songs.” Hadley says that what British music is lacking is individuality - hence last week, for the first time in 30 years I think, there were no British bands in the US top 30. He does not believe that Pop Stars etc., while being “excellent viewing and entertainment,” is the way to go for the industry. “There's room for all that stuff and pure pop, some of it's really good, but there has to be a balance with Travis and Supergrass, those sorts of bands, needing to be given time, but the record companies are unfortunatley looking for short-term gains.” “The Americans and Canadians are suddenly being much more imaginative than we are, it's all got quite a quirky edge to it.” There is nothing quirky about straight talking, straight singing Hadley however and he cannot wait to get back to BCM for the GOLD LIVE 2002 nights.

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