Well the idea has been talked about for quite a few years now, we realized it was a great idea to get the 3 bands to play on the same bill and we all have at some point played together but never all 3 on the same stage. I don’t really think there is one person you could thank… I suppose a great big group hug of all 3 bands and all the managers would be the best thing to do.
The line-up for us will be a new one for this tour it will be myself and Martyn with Billie Godfrey and Mesha Bryan on BV’s with a newcomer Joel Farland on electronic percussion and Asa Bennet on keyboards and guitar. We’ve yet to start rehearsals so have not yet decided on what songs we’ll be playing. Ian is busy doing something on his own and won’t be joining us on the tour…
The honest and simple answer to that question is yes… but the thing is it’s impossible to say what might have happened if we had played live earlier… I might have completely hated it by now and never want to sing those songs again, so I’m just happy that we are gigging now.
I must say I absolutely love it and am always amazed at the fantastic reaction we get, especially when we play songs like ‘Temptation’ or ‘Let Me Go’… I think ‘Let Me Go’ is my favourite song to sing actually – or maybe ‘Come Live With Me’ – I’m working on a new version of ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ to perform live at the moment, and that’s sounding pretty good too!
I did play quite a few horrible pubs back in the day, although not as Heaven 17, so yes I am glad we didn’t have to do all that. I suppose I have The Human League to thank for that; after the split Virgin Records just carried on with both halves of the original band and I walked into a ready-made deal and infrastructure so it was all very painless. Although I did have quite a hard act to follow…
Yes we have played together but only once, and that was in Bournemouth at a big School Disco live night, and it was really good fun… lots of school girl dressing up and waving their grown up bits at us! All very entertaining, if not a little off-putting, when you’re trying to remember your words…
Yes I’m good friends with Martin, he’s really good fun and also such a fantastic showman. I’m really looking forward to spending time with him on the tour, he really makes me laugh. As I live in London now and Phil, Joanne and Susan live in Sheffield I very rarely get to see them, but the tour will sort that out… I’m sure we’ll all have a ball!
The first Heaven 17 album and the first post-split Human League album were both recorded at the old Human League studio in Sheffield. We used to split the time and Phil and Adrian would do days and we would do nights. It was really funny actually… I don’t think there was any animosity or rivalry that was anything more than fun really.
I have always been a huge Human League fan and a big fan of Phil’s voice, so all I wanted to do was make sure I sounded as good as him… you’ll have to ask him if I achieved that!
Ohhh that’s a hard one… I can listen to the first three Human League albums and think every song is my favourite as it starts! I guess I always loved ‘Louise’ but then I love ‘Being Boiled’… and ‘Night Clubbing’… of course ‘Don’t You Want Me’… OK, I’m going with ‘The Sound Of The Crowd’… I think!
For ABC… well again there’s so many brilliant tunes. ‘Tears Are Not Enough’ I think is one of the best, and ‘When Smokey Sings’ but I do really like ‘Skyscraping’ from the album that I worked on with Martin.
Well I don’t want to give too much away, but we might be dusting a off a few from the attic and maybe working out new ways of performing old favourites… although there are some that just need to be done in the way that people remember them and want to hear them again.
I keep trying to work out a way to do ‘I’m Your Money’ but unfortunately haven’t been able to make it work for live as yet… still trying though!
Not at all… as long as the audience love ’em so do I! I even sit down and play them on guitar sometimes and it’s amazing how different they sound on an acoustic guitar. That doesn’t mean we’ll be doing Heaven 17 unplugged…. that’s not a bad idea though… hmmmm…
I think it would be a real missed opportunity if it doesn’t get filmed. We’ve not yet had any production meetings but I will put it on the agenda!
Honeyroot yes… in fact I have just sent a file of the new single ‘It’s All Good’ to be mastered. It’s coming out mid August I think… and it sounds great I promise! Martyn is supposed to be working on a new BEF project but he’s such a busy lad that I don’t know when it might be ready… I’ll give him a nudge later! As for Ugly, I’m afraid not. It will always and forever be that one release.. I don’t even have a copy you know?
We are thinking about putting together something for the tour. At this stage we’re looking at maybe recording some of the new versions of old tracks that we will perform, and maybe a few brand new tracks, and perhaps a couple of covers. It’s all still at the talking stage though… actually, isn’t it about time for a new mix of ‘Temptation’!?!
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