Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet)

By Thomas Semioli 


Oh, I’ll bet you think it’s easy to play bass with capes, drapes, nipped-in waists, high-collars, lace, and billowing frocks!*


As bassist for the UK hit-making New Romantic movement ensemble Spandau Ballet, Martin John Kemp mastered his instrument in a matter of months, and has anchored the Islington ensemble throughout its entire on-and-off career since 1980.


With a crisp tone abetted with flange, chorus, and delay that slices through Spandau’s hooky synth laden compositions, Kemp is an under-rated groove master who references soul, old school rhythm & blues, and funk. Martin is also an accomplished actor and director, appearing such programs as BBC East Enders, among numerous other roles.


Dig Martin with Spandau Ballet (a moniker suggested by writer Robert Elms who saw it scrawled across a wall in downtown Berlin…)  


“Only When You Leave” from Live Aid ‘85


“Through the Barricades”






*It is actually, but I’m not telling you why I know this for a fact ….