Today Gary Kemp releases his first single, “Ahead of the Game,” off of his upcoming album, ‘INSOLO.’ This is the second solo album by Spandau Ballet songwriter and Saucerful Of Secrets guitarist and co-lead vocalist, Gary Kemp.
As the songwriter & guitarist in one of the most iconic bands of the 80’s, Spandau Ballet, Gary became one of the most commercially successful writers of the decade. During their career Spandau notched up 23 hit singles and spent a combined total of more than 500 weeks in the UK charts, achieving over 25 million album sales worldwide. Some of their songs, like “True,” “Gold” and “Through the Barricades” have become standards. “True” has now achieved over five million plays in North America alone and “Gold” was the true soundtrack to the London 2012 Olympics.
Gary is also an accomplished stage and screen actor with critical & commercial success in films such as The Krays, The Bodyguard and the BBC TV comedy The Kemps – All True with his brother Martin and on stage in London’s West End as part of the Jamie Lloyd Theatre Company.
As a member of Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets Gary performs early Pink Floyd material the world over to huge acclaim. His co-front man in the band, Guy Pratt, is also his presenting partner on the Apple #1 podcast The Rockonteurs.
Twenty-five years on from his solo debut ‘Little Bruises’ Gary has written and produced an album that focuses on two dominant themes: the paradox of solitude in an urban landscape, and his growing obsession with life seen through a rear-view mirror and how the past infects our present.
The first track to be taken from the album is the bright & breezy 70’s inflected “Ahead Of The Game,” of the track Gary says, “Richard Jones added the bass guitar. Apart from being a friend Richard’s an amazing player and I’ve worked with him before, so we had an easy language. He loves late 70s pop and I felt some of that influence in this tune. In building backing vocals on this album my references were always from that era – Wings, 10cc and Supertramp.”
Accompanying the track is a visual directed by Charlie Lightening whose previous credits include the Liam Gallagher documentary ‘As It Was’ plus shorts with Paul McCartney, Nile Rogers, Jamiroquai and Black Sabbath.
Asked why make a solo album now Gary says “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.”
With Gary at the peak of his powers as a guitarist he played all the guitars on the album, the bass duties were handled by Guy Pratt (Pink Floyd, David Gilmour), except Ahead of the Game and Too Much by Richard Jones of The Feeling and Waiting for the Band by Gary’s brother, Martin Kemp.
Ash Soan (Seal, Adele, Rod Stewart, Trevor Horn) played drums on Ahead of the Game, I Am the Past, The Fastest Man in the World, The Haunted and Our Light. Drums on In Solo and I Remember You were played by Ged Lynch (Peter Gabriel, Electronic, Goldfrapp). Ged also played percussion on The Haunted, In Solo and I Remember You. Drums on Too Much were played by Queen’s Roger Taylor.
Matt Clifford (The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger) played French horn on In Solo, Too Much and I am the Past. Sax on Waiting for the Band was played by Theo Travis (Soft Machine, David Gilmour, Steven Wilson), and Lily Carassik (Modern Nature) played trumpet on I Remember You. Gary’s other Saucerful compatriot, Lee Harris, played lap steel on A Rumour Of You.
GARY KEMP ‘AHEAD OF THE GAME’ AVAILABLE NOW
GARY KEMP ‘INSOLO’ RELEASED 18TH JUNE 2021 ON COLUMBIA RECORDS
In Solo (6:23)
A Rumour of You (5:36)
Waiting for the Band (5:28)
Ahead of the Game (3:53)
I Remember You (3:47)
Too Much (4:15)
The Fastest Man In the World (4:29)
I am the Past (4:36)
The Feet of Mercury (3:32)
The Haunted (6:02)
Our Light (4:06)
Written by Gary Kemp
Produced & mixed by Gary Kemp & Toby Chapman
except Ahead of the Game, mixed by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, assisted by Matt Wolach
Recorded at RAK Studios and Metropolis Studios
Mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios
GARY KEMP ‘INSOLO’
Released 18th June 2021 on Columbia Records on Limited Vinyl, Vinyl, CD, Digital