Review of ‘Ticket to the World: My 80s Story’ by Martin Kemp

I’m always up for an 80s music memoir and this one is a great read, as I knew it would be. Martin Kemp was the bassist in Spandau Ballet (he’s had a prolific TV career also). Coincidentally, this is the second book authored by a bassist I’ve read this year.

This book is not a complete memoir. The clue is in the title – it’s confined to the decade, although there are occasionally mentions of events in Martin’s life before or after. I should note that quite often he says ‘we’ instead of ‘I’, referring to the main topic of the book – the Blitz Kids / New Romantics. Significant content is devoted to his late friends George Michael and Steve Strange. There are really two strands to the narrative: Martin’s personal experience of the early 80s music and fashion scene, and the collective influence that this relatively small group of young people had on the culture of the time and right through to now.

If you’re looking for a detailed discussion of Spandau Ballet’s music or even of the band’s history, this isn’t the book for you. If you want a gossipy, mainly light-hearted collection of anecdotes with a helping of humour, then give it a read!

Includes some photographs. Published in 2022 by Harper Collins.

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