Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Life of Live - Heaven 17

This was a real impulse nostalgia thing. Heaven 17 had a strange rush of publicity , a tv documentary and a reissue of their debut lp all the be followed up by a mini tour playing the whole of Penthouse and Pavement live

As usual with these things the set was in 2 parts . Part one was the lp in track order , with part 2 being a bit a greatest hits and other oddments (including a strange version cheeky version of Don't You Want Me)

The only slight downer was that one of the trio was missing having left the band. What we had was Glen Gregory and Martyn Ware backed by a band.

The main highlight of the night was how good Glen Gregory's voice was, if anything stronger and richer than the recorded version. The other thing that struck me was that live most of the songs didn't seem to have dated at all, they all had a bit of a freshen up for the tour

The second part of the set was largely pulled from the Luxury Gap, as well as a couple of the BEF covers (Wichita Lineman was as haunting as ever). The only misfire was Claudia Brauken coming on for These Boots Were Made for Walking and this is only because I cant stand that song in any guise!

There was a nifty light show but it wasn't really needed

I've posted one of the lesser known tracks from the lp which has always been one of my favourites, catchy and quirky at the same time

Geisha Boys and Temple Girls - Heaven 17

Here is a taster of the concert


  1. I have now misfired 3 times in the past few years getting over the pond to see H17 live. Managed to collect some of the promo poster and ephemera, but seeing H17 is still a goal I have in the bucket list - yeah it really is that big a deal to me.
    Penthouse and Pavement makes my Top 25 of albums I can't be without. Human League Mk.1, along with Numan and Ultravox Mk. 1 taught me to appreciate synthesizers as more than just a fad or add-on and actually the future of modern music.
    Heaven 17 found the key to that future when they released Penthouse and Pavement. They didn't discard pop or funk or rock and roll, for that matter, but incorporated it and took it where it needed to go. H17 gave synths a soul.

    1. Those first 3 H17 releases are just brilliant. Full of social commentary, electronics and the funk! H17, along with ABC and Scritti Politti (C&P 85era) were the MASTERS of the correct use of Fairlight CMI. Where Trevor Horn let the synt run a muck for Frankie Goes To Hollywood, H17 made the instrument do their bidding on How Men Are.

  2. Hi Echo i agree re the soul thiing . I actually prefer the luxury gap despite temptation now suffering form over familiarity... and How Men Are is a bit of a forgeotten classic

  3. I'm jealous, as I've not had a chance to see them live ever - That taster is pretty yummy - I wonder if someone recorded and posted their Wichita Lineman cover.

  4. Hi Wally I did ages ago - drop me an email and I'll post a link

  5. Name dropping again I'm afraid. Another of my Sheffield Poly knockabouts; 20 odd years later my old MG was dead; pouring rain in St John's Wood, outside the posh houses. I'd been struggle with the bonnet up for about 20 minutes; tap on my shoulder, amazingly tall geezer, anorak hood up, had exited his posh house with a cup of tea for me and helped me fix the midget with some techy advise "flat battery mate!' He then pulled his posh 4x4 to my bumper and jump started me. Only then did the hood slip to reveal... Glen Gregory! Top man!

  6. pops star with a heart and a working knowledge of spark plugs!


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