TEMPTATION hit makers Heaven 17 have revealed they are tempted to start writing again after a massive fan base revival, writes Graham Walker.
Sheffield’s 1980s electro legends have not released a studio album for years – but they are pulling in huge crowds and getting rave reviews playing live.
They toured debut album Penthouse and Pavement and are now on the road with second album, The Luxury Gap – made in Sheffield 30 years ago.
Fans lit up Twitter with glowing comments when charismatic singer Glenn Gregory and keyboards genius Martyn Ware performed a homecoming concert at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.
In an exclusive chat – see it at thestar.co.uk/video – the 56-year-olds hinted at writing new songs.
Asked if they plan to work through live performances of their entire back catalogue, Glenn, who praised fans for three decades of support, said: “I don’t know if we can keep doing this. I think there is some interest in new material.
“We’ve been nudging each other and having a poke around, to see what we can come up with.”
Martyn said: “We could do a live show of our third album, How Men Are, but with new material and other hits.”
Resisting temptation to perform with them is Sheffield’s other synth icons The Human League, fronted by Phil Oakey, aged 57.
Martyn, a founding member of both bands, said: “I keep trying to persuade him.”
Glenn, on playing 1983’s The Luxury Gap live for the first time in Sheffield, where it was made, said: “It feels as fresh as the day it was baked.
“The last time I was in this building was to see Martyn on stage with the Human League, supporting The Stranglers, in 1979.”
For tour dates, news and free download visit www.heaven17.com.
REVIEW: Heaven 17 at O2 Academy Sheffield - Saturday, October 27, 2012.
YOU’D better believe it, those adorable creations Heaven 17 just keep climbing higher and higher - just like the words of their global anthem, Temptation.
It’s hard to believe that it’s 30 years since they forged in Sheffield arguably the greatest electro pop dance record of all time.
That’s because they still make their career defining smash as vibrant live in concet today as it did back in 1983 on second album, The Luxury Gap.
Ware’s big, bold and brash synth chords, set against a booming bass and God-fearing lyrics, preached by studio note perfect Gregory, remains the showstopping track as they tour the album live for the first time.
Billie Godfrey, the band’s resident female vocalist since the mid-90s, delivers all the gusto, power and top notes which ensured warrior woman Carol Kenyon’s part in pop history on the original recording.
It’s such a crowd pleaser, at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, they played it twice, first in album track order and then as the 2012 ultimate-mix encore to end the greatest Heaven 17 party you’ll ever see.
But this tour is about more than one song, as the years roll back and the hits keep coming, including Crushed by the Wheels of Industry, Let Me Go and Come Live With Me.
As The Luxury Gap spins to a close out comes all the other big guns, including hits Geisha Boys and Temple Girls, (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang and an exceptional Party Fears Two.
Keyboard wizard Ware, in homage to his first band The Human League, includes versions of Morale...You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, Crow and a Baby and sends fans wild with Being Boiled.
At one point Gregory, a self-confessed League fan, even shares his guitar skills for a crowd sing-along of Phil Oakey and producer Giorgio Moroder’s hit, Together in Electric Dreams.
The show is a sequel of sorts to their 2010 concerts which saw them play debut album Penthouse and Pavement. Their latest outing is even better. This is pure luxury.
Now tempted to see the show or to catch it again before it’s too late? Dates and information at www.heaven17.com.
HERE’S WHAT FANS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE SHOW ON TWITTER:
John Randall: “What a brilliant night in Sheffield. Blown away by a great performance.”
Sandy Wilkie: “I think I just saw the perfect pop gig, Heaven 17 in their hometown. And I got to shake Martyn Ware by the hand after he signed some stuff.”
Sammy Hallsworth “Heaven 17 in Sheffield, awesome. Thanks Martyn Ware for the pictures afterwards.”
Julie Hinchliffel “Brilliant night in Sheffield tonight. Amazing.”
Kate Stewart: “A blisteringly good night at Sheffield’s O2 Academy watching Heaven 17 demonstrate How It Is Done.”
Anita Watkinson: “Heaven 17 – top-class performance.”
Andie Ward: “Cracking gig. A Crow and A Baby awesome. Took me back 30 years.”
Ralph Razor: “Great Heaven 17 hometown show. Really good to see it so packed.”
Emma Louise: “The amazing Heaven 17, Sheffield loves you.”
Martyn Ware: “I love Sheffield and its people.”