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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jan-19 > LIVE & EVENTS

LIVE & EVENTS

© Dave Freak

HEAVEN 17

O2 INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM

17 NOVEMBER

★★★

HEAVEN 17 ROLL BACK THE YEARS TO REVIVE THEIR BIGGEST-SELLING ALBUM – YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH TEMPTATION ON IT…

Playing their 35-year-old album The Luxury Gap in chronological order, you’d think Heaven 17 would know what comes next. But not so. “This is We Live So Fast!” introduces vocalist Glenn Gregory, only to be swiftly corrected by synth maestro Martyn Ware as the duo, augmented by a keyboard player and backing singers, kick into Lady Ice And Mr Hex. Gregory wanders off in shame, much to the amusement of both audience and colleagues, yet swiftly bounces back with all the energy of his 25-year-old self.

Having previously marked the anniversary of their debut LP, Penthouse And Pavement, Ware and Gregory now turn their attention to their second studio album that firmly established them in the pop firmament. Whereas its predecessor was a game of two halves (funk side and synth side), its follow-up has no such divisions, delivering a level field of lyrical and musical sophistication that Ware’s former cohorts over in The Human League would never achieve.

Against an exotic sunset/ industrial backdrop adapted from the cover artwork, the five-piece make an instant impact with the clattering Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry. Gregory’s grinning never stops over the entire 100-minute show and even Ware, in a distinctive jacket that looks like it was procured from an over-sized Munchkin, can’t help but beam. They know they’re onto a winner.

Dropping a huge Temptation just five tunes in, Gregory says he wanted to jumble The Luxury Gap’s tracklisting but was overruled (“we’d normally do this at the end!” he cries). Meanwhile, Ware introduces a stomping We Live So Fast as their tribute to Giorgio Moroder (“that’s a fuckin’ workout!” gasps Gregory at the end), before the arrival of the LP’s final cut, The Best Kept Secret – an orchestral ballad of almost John Barry-ambition.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 48 is on sale now! In our latest issue we look ahead to the most hotly-anticipated album of 2019 – it’s the return of Madonna. We also analyse her six personas that changed the face of pop and wax lyrical about her classic album Like A Prayer. We’ve got outrageous must-read interviews with Paul Heaton plus Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Ultravox fans will love our chat with the legendary Midge Ure. Our panel of experts look back over the year to count down their pick of the finest albums, reissues, compilations and books of 2018 and elsewhere we catch up with The Fizz to hear about their rollercoaster year as well as tracing the make-or-break record that saved The Jam’s career. We review new releases by Trevor Horn, Joe Jackson and Fun Lovin' Criminals while in our packed reissues section we look at Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Brian Eno and much more. We also check out gigs by Heaven 17, Rick Astley and Blancmange.