Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet). Image credit: Charlie Lightning
Spandau Ballet songwriter and Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets guitarist and co-lead vocalist, Gary Kemp has released Too Much - it's the second single from upcoming album, InSolo, out on July 16 via Columbia.
The track explores the feeling of being overpowered by the global bad news that constantly seems to beat us down. Kemp elaborates saying, "That feeling of helplessness and exhaustion that it sometimes creates in us. That sense that there's too much going on to ever be able to change anything can make you retreat into the shell of your family. I was hit by it one day and sat at the piano - my usual solace along with the guitar - and this tune and lyric came out in one sitting. If felt like a comfort to declaim it and not write a song about what we should all be doing."
Charlie Lightening has directed the stunning video for Too Much. The film complements the reflective nature of the song by showing Meaghan Grace, a lead dancer with the Royal Ballet at The National Opera, in an urban setting. The ballet routine was choreographed by Melanie Hamrick, formerly of the American Ballet Theater and performed in Camden's Alexandra Road Estate, a post-war brutalist masterpiece designed by Neave Brown, featured in many films including Clockwork Orange and Kingsman.
Gary Kemp says, "I wanted the dancer to be like my alter ego, my wish fulfilment character, feeling free and expressive, while the real me is struggling to deal with the 'crisis' surrounding him."
The track features Richard Jones from The Feeling and Loup Garoux on bass, along with Matt Clifford who plays keyboards for the Rolling Stones playing French horn. For the drums on, Kemp turned to someone whom he'd known since the mid-80s. "During recording I sent a couple of songs over to my friend Roger Taylor from Queen, wondering if he fancied playing drums on anything. He chose this and I'm so glad he did. The power in his playing seems to help the lyric and lift the song just at the right moment."
The album comes 25 years after his solo debut, Little Bruises. Asked why he decided to make another solo album now, Kemp replies, "It's confidence, playing around the world with Nick Mason gave me a certain reputation as a guitar player and singer that I never gained from Spandau Ballet. That allowed me to go and do my own record and I am of a certain age where I feel the need to understand the issues in the world and my own life, the only way I can do that is in the self-therapy of songwriting."
A Rumour Of You Waiting For The Band Ahead Of The Game I Remember You Too Much The Fastest Man In The World I Am The Past The Feet Of Mercury The Haunted Our Light