The ’80s was an era of bright clothing, bizarre haircuts and pop cheesy enough to disturb even the least lactose intolerant (although I don’t remember that existing back then). In an era of political upheaval and social change, there were a number of youth movements reflecting the need of a generation to find their place in the world. New Romanticism was born with Culture Club, Visage, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet the main players on the music scene.
George Hencken’s documentary charts the rise of Spandau Ballet from the very beginning. He tells the story through pictures and archive footage allowing the band members to separately provide the voiceover. Starting in the late ’70s when they were called The Cut and then The Makers, Soul Boys of the Western World charts the rise of a band who went from being school friends to bona fide pop stars.
Soul Boys of the Western World is an entertaining documentary about one of the most important bands in the New Romantic movement. It gives a social and historical background to their rise as each member tells the story of how they met, their music evolved and how they became world famous. Unfortunately, whilst Hencken does tackle the acrimony within the band after the split (Tony Hadley’s expressions at the reunion says it all), it’s in nowhere near enough detail considering they ended up in the High Court.
Soul Boys of the Western World is an entertaining watch, which will please fans, but avoids asking the difficult questions.
BBC Nationwide Photoshoot for Axiom, 25th February 1981
BBC Nationwide Interview February 1981
Interview by Pat Wardsley at the Underground Club, New York 5th May, 1981
Never Seen Before Performance at the Underground Club, 6th May 1981
Isle of Wight Festival, 13th June 2010
To Cut A Long Story Short Time Machine Edit
Soul Boys of the Western World is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Metrodome on October 27th.