It might be thirty years since the release of Heaven 17's classic album 'The Luxury Gap' but from the opening bars of the first song of the evening - 'Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry' - to the closing bars of the final song - a blistering version of 'Temptation' which leaned heavily on the impressive vocal talents of backing singers Billie Godfrey and Kelly Barnes - Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory had tonight's audience in the palm of their hand, partly as a result of the band's comfortable and intimate banter which quickly broke down the barriers between band and audience, but partly because 'The Luxury Gap' - performed tonight in its entirety - is an excellent album and one which the band were clearly revelling in playing live.
The show was, of course, primarily about playing 'The Luxury Gap' live, and the album was duly delivered with confidence and panache without a single weak moment. The highlights for me were fantastic renditions of 'Let Me Go' and 'Lady Ice and Mr Hex', but this show was about much more than just that album with Gregory and Ware proceeding to deliver a potted history of their band and its influences.
Heaven 17's own catalogue was plundered for fantastic versions of 'Geisha Boys and Temple Girls', 'We're Going To Live For A Very Long Time' and 'Penthouse and Pavement', but we also get a selection of interesting oddities including dark, brooding, wonderful versions of early Human League songs 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' (which included a rare but impressive vocal performance from Martyn Ware) 'Crow And A Baby' and 'Being Boiled', plus a stripped-down cover of The Associates' 'Party Fears Two' and a quirky tongue-in-cheek acoustic-guitar extract of The Human League's 'Don't You Want Me'.
An excellent concert experience to sit alongside the equally enjoyable 'Penthouse and Pavement' shows back in 2010. The only question now is whether we'll see the band moving on to 1984's 'How Men Are' next…
LONDON - SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE, 3/11/12
Crushed By The Wheels of Industry / Who'll Stop The Rain / Let Me Go / Key To The World / Temptation / Come Live With Me / Lady Ice & Mr Hex / We Live So Fast / The Best Kept Secret / You've Lost That Loving Feeling / (We Don't Need That) Fascist Groove Thing / Geisha Boys and Temple Girls / I'm Your Money / We're Going To Live For A Very Long Time / Crow And A Baby / Don't You Want Me (acoustic excerpt) / Penthouse and Pavement / Being Boiled / Party Fears Two / Temptation
See the band's OFFICIAL WEBSITE for details...
Please rate this show or this tour below, and share your thoughts in the comments section further down the page.