They were the band famously torn apart by a High Court case over publishing rights, but Martin Kemp says Spandau Ballet finally found their peace thanks to some old home movie footage.

The bassist, who grew up in Islington, was ironically the “shyest little boy you’ve ever seen“ until, aged seven, his parents Frank and Eileen enrolled him in the Anna Scher Children’s Theatre drama club across the road.

“They put me in it two nights a week to get rid of my shyness, not to be an actor or to be in entertainment. It’s just how it worked out,” says the former pupil of Rotherfield Junior School.

“From there I did things like Comedy Playhouse in the ’70s and just stayed with it ever since.“ He left Central Foundation Boys’ School in Islington aged 16 to start an apprenticeship in a print factory, but it wasn’t for him.

His life changed forever when he joined brother Gary’s band in his teens as a bass player and Spandau Ballet, named after a scribbling on a toilet wall in Berlin, found success a fews years later as part of the New Romantic craze.

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But they famously and bitterly fell out when Tony Hadley, Steve Norman and John Keeble took on Gary Kemp at the High Court in 1999 and lost.

Martin went on to find fame as an actor as Steve Owen on EastEnders, but he recalls why his first Spandau paycheck turned out to be perhaps some of the best money he ever spent.

“The first money I ever got from the band was £50 and it was given to me in a nightclub in London called the Embassy and I went out and bought a Super 8 camera and followed the band around everywhere.“

The footage remained hidden for years until the band finally reunited in 2009 for a short tour and hit upon the idea of using Martin’s old home movies as a backing for their 1983 song Round and Round.

“That went down so well that we thought we would extend it and make a movie,“ says the Hertfordshire resident who believes music is “in his blood“.

Each member recorded separate voiceovers telling the stories behind the clips and the resulting documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, has been shown in cinema’s across the country and is also the name if this tour.

Martin says the first time they watched it together was a moment he will never forget.

“We sat down in Texas in the South By Southwest Festival.

“It was the most emotional moment I have had with the band because it was the first time I had ever heard Tony’s story of the years when we split up and the court case. It was the first time I heard Steve Norman’s story, which I found very emotional. How hard John Keeble found it not playing with the band and seeing each other as friends.

“I remember clearly we all got up out of our seats and walked out and we all had tears in our eyes. It was completely cathartic.“ Their past troubles now well and truly “water under the bridge,“ Martin says they are embarking on a “new beginning“ with their massive 42-date tour which starts on Tuesday in Dublin and ends in Singapore mid-September.

“I’m as lucky as anything to be going out on the road with my mates. You can’t have more fun than that.

“Of course, things are different. When we were kids it was all about what would happen after the gig, what party we were going to go to, but now it’s more about the show.

“But when you were a kid and at school and dreamed of being a pop star you don’t dream about who’s going to make your video or produce your records, you dream about playing live, because that’s what it’s about and that’s what’s the most fun.“ So what can fans expect this time around?

“It will be all the hits and a few surprises along the way,“ says the gym-loving musician.

They were back in the studio last autumn to record three new songs but the father-of-two says that is just the beginning as they plan to head back to the studio after the tour to record a brand new album.

“It will always sound like Spandau Ballet,“ says Martin, who has found time in between the music to star in action movie Age of Kill which is out in June.

His favourite song is still the one that started it all, To Cut a Long Story Short, but he says: “We are all better musicians now, that’s the nice thing this time round, we give each other more respect.“ He adds: “The most exciting thing in my life is the band and that’s where I find the adrenalin.

“When you direct or act it is just about you, when you are in band you can share the success, or the failure sometimes, and you share everything with other people and the comradery of being in a band is just fabulous. “It was something I had forgotten about. And it was really nice to come back to it.“  

The O2, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX, March 17 and 18. Details: 0844 856 0202, theo2.co.uk