The Human League were formed in Sheffield in 1977, but it was in the early 1980s that they achieved international success with a number of global hit singles and the classic album “Dare”. Since then they have continued to record for various labels building up an extremely impressive back catalogue and have toured regularly. The 3rd of December saw the legendary electronic outfit return to Scotland to play the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of their current UK tour.
The set consisted mainly of songs from the iconic “Dare” album and the classic hit singles. The hits including the opener “Mirror Man”, “Love Action” and “Fascination” still sounding as vibrant and exciting as the first time I heard them on the radio or on Top Of The Pops. The material from “Hysteria” also faired equally as well and the rousing version of “Lebanon” and the wistful “Life On Your Own” still managed to give me goosebumps after all these years.
It was a pleasure to hear some of the lesser well known songs included in the live set. However I personally don’t feel that either “Sky” or “Egomaniac” were particularly the strongest material of the outstanding recent album “Credo”. I would have also enjoyed to hear more songs of “Romantic?” and “Octopus” included in the live set instead of just the first major hit single from both albums. However The Human League know what their fans want and thrilled an ecstatic audience with a crowd pleasing set.
Phil Oakey remains one of the most charismatic and underrated frontmen of his or any generation. His striking stage presence immediately engaging the crowd, his warmth and humour providing a contrast to the electronic soundscape of the music. Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall remain as stunning and charming as ever. They continue to provide that special magic that makes The Human League such a unique pop phenomenon.
The highlight of the night for me was still “Don’t You Want Me”, which remains one of the pinnacles of pop music. Witnessing the ecstatic response of the crowd to this pop classic was spine tingling and a memory I will treasure. As always The Human League remain a truly remarkable part of British music and I can’t recommend catching them live highly enough.