Friday, January 21

The Human League

- December 20, 2021

It’s 40 years since the release of the iconic album Dare, scary if you are my age and bought a copy on release when I was 25, how did that happen? But more importantly how has an album that is forty years old stay as fresh and as vibrant as Dare does.

The Human League on this occasion were supported by Clare Grogan and Altered Images, still pretty impressive, and Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins. I was never a Thompson Twins fan back then but on this night he really impressed with a fine set of pop hits that I this time round rather enjoyed.

But we were really there to see The Human League and yet again they did not disappoint. There is a commitment from these pop legends to deliver and this they do with an amazingly tight set, staging and lighting. Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall might once have seemed like stage dressing for the band but their presence is as iconic and dare I say vital to the effect. Sully is the more animated of the two and looks fabulous and Catherall is more sedate but her statuesque presence is equally important. Philip Oakey looks amazing and sports some very fine outfits, at times looking like he has time jumped in from The Matrix and at others sporting tailored suits so sharply cut that they are only a breath away from those of German performance artist Klaus Nomi! He stalks and strides around the stage, seldom still and delivering those songs with a power that demonstrates that he still has it.

The whole album is delivered with both energy and accuracy, we want to hear Dare in the form that made us love it all those years ago and that is what we get, plus a few extras along the way.

It’s the kind of gig that reinforces that thought that some of us, people of a certain age, grew up through one of the best eras of modern popular music, music that stands the test of time and will no doubt continue to do so.

Andrew Kay

16 December

The Brighton Centre

Rating: ★★★★★

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