A Sheffield Spandau Ballet tribute band is going for gold after being signed by an international management company.
True Gold was formed 10 years ago by Lee James who advertised for musicians to help him create a tribute to the 1980s pop group.
Overwhelmed by the response, Lee recruited six fellow Sheffielders to join him on his musical quest to one day become a signed act.
A decade on and Lee’s dreams have come true as the band has been snapped up by Six Degrees Entertainments - landing them some very impressive company.
True Gold is the only tribute band on Six Degree’s books, with all other signings – including Go West, ABC, T’pau, Bucks Fizz and Owen Paul – being original artistes from the 80s era.
Lee, aged 45, from Tinsley, said: “It’s a huge compliment. When you start out in a band, no matter what age you are, you think you’re going to be a millionaire – but the cold reality of how tough the industry is soon hit us.
“We’ve had our fair share of knockbacks, so to be praised by a company with original artistes on the books is the ultimate achievement for us.”
And it’s not just the management company that have praised True Gold for their convincing performance – the original Spandau Ballet band members are also among the tribute act’s fans.
“I’ve had the privilege of meeting all the original members,” said Lee. “I was invited back stage at their 2009/10 arena tour after they heard I was in the crowd.
“They’ve listened to our stuff and think we sound just like them - it doesn’t get better than that.
“We’ve also performed with frontman Tony Hadley on a couple of occasions, which have to be among our most memorable gigs.”
But Lee is quick to point out their lifestyle has not always been so glamorous.
Lee said: “We’ve played some really awful venues over the years – at times there have been more people on the stage than in the audience.
“We’ve certainly paid our dues over the years and now hopefully it’s time to reap the rewards.
“We’re playing festivals in the UK next year such as Rock Bristol, which attracts crowds of around 10,000, then we have further festivals lined up in Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain.”
Before jetting off to Europe, True Gold’s members were keen to thank their loyal South Yorkshire fan base for their continued support, so have arranged a homecoming charity gig at Sheffield’s Genting Club and Casino on August 22.
The band will perform a full Spandau Ballet set plus hits from other 80s bands including Queen, Madness and ABC.
Lee added: “This will be the last gig we will fully manage ourselves so we wanted it to be in our home city.”
n Tickets cost £10, with 25 per cent of all sales being donated to Weston Park. Visit www.truegoldmusic.com