Inevitably, the first few days after completing a tour are filled with mixed emotions. On the one hand, there is a sense of euphoria and deep satisfaction but on the other, there’s a kind of post-tour depression as it sinks in that all that hard work, all that planning has finally come to an end.
As I sit here at gone 2 am signing calendar dedications and getting them ready for posting, I feel drained and exhausted from performing four shows in a row around the country with The Sleevz.
And yet I have a big silly grin on my face as I contemplate what just happened.
The band were on fire and the audience reception was celebratory and heartwarming. Their feedback was so positive and uplifting, either during the show or simply chatting with them afterwards. I was particularly touched to see how certain tunes we performed touched them, whether they be from early Spandau, latter Spandau, my own compositions or covers of other artists that I have some kind of connection with.
The Spandau flag is still flying, that’s undeniable. But it’s also about the musicianship and energy that’s flowing from the stage that adds to the excitement.
I’m proud of The Sleevz. I’m proud to have such fine musicians in this band, this inner circle of close family and friends.
I love it when, every once in a while on stage we find ourselves out on a limb in mid-performance as we all improvise onstage like peeps possessed, be it intentional free form or simply because I may have started singing at the wrong point of the song and thrown everyone out of sync, resulting in us having to use all our telepathic skills and ‘nods n winks’ abilities in order to claw our way back on track.
In fact, we went more ‘off piste’ intentionally during these gigs than ever before, e.g. ‘Chant No1’ at both the Lytham and Altrincham shows.
And that’s what it’s all about for me.
Audiences naturally pick up on these spontaneous progressive moments, moments of controlled chaos as we take right liberties and run riot with popular Spandau tunes, sailing close to the wind, Sleevz stylie; when audience and band are in it together along with a love in the room and a collective feeling of liberation.
A massive thanks to the band and the team for giving their all, for mucking in and generally being awesome. It was proper teamwork and I couldn’t do it without you.
Most of all, a massive thanks to all of you who came and supported us. It means so much.
Music heals souls.
Let’s make more.
Big love, Steve X
Photo taken by Michael Porter at Lowther Pavillion in Lytham on February 5.