The Human League

MARK NICHOLLS UEA LCR, Norwich

MARK NICHOLLS

This was electric dreams coming true in electronic heaven for those who worshipped at the Shrine of the Synthesiser in the 1980s.

For a while the Human League reigned supreme and it is easy to see why on this tour to promote a Greatest Hits album.

Likewise, the massive impact they had on the music scene two decades ago had in many ways faded.

But the band, led timelessly by the vocals of Phil Oakey and flanked by the girls – Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall – were on good form at the UEA last night.

Love Action and Mirrorman paved the way for a string of hits that, on the back of the superb album Dare, made the Human League one of the bands of the 80s.

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The UEA wasn't quite packed to the rafters last night but there was still an appreciative crowd in for a band that emerged from Sheffield to become a defining influence.

Oakey perhaps overdid it with the fur coat and sunglasses but Susanne and Joanne brought a touch of style and reality to the stage.

In the audience there were a few big hair-do's along with cuts that had seen better days.

But after all this was an evening for nostalgia. In the live setting of the UEA the simplicity and validity of the songs came through loud and clear, songs that in so many ways laid down a blueprint for what was to follow.

Loyal fans and the simply curious enjoyed versions of Open your Heart, The Lebanon and Fascination erased the sound of the crowd and the inevitable Don't You want me Baby.

Bland, boring, dull – not the 80s that the Human League ruled.

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