Heaven 17 were an English new wave and synth-pop band that formed in Sheffield in 1980. The pairing of founders Gregory and Ware were in Brighton at the Brighton Centre. Live. Now that is temptation indeed. Who would want to miss this?
Heaven 17 are an English new wave and synth-pop band that formed in Sheffield in 1980. The band were a trio for most of their career, composed of Martyn Ware (keyboards), Ian Craig Marsh (keyboards) (both previously of the Human League) and Glenn Gregory (vocals). Although most of the band’s music was recorded in the 1980s, they have occasionally reformed to record and perform, playing their first ever live concerts in 1997. Marsh left the band in 2007 and Ware and Gregory continued to perform as Heaven 17. And the pairing of Gregory and Ware were in Brighton at the Brighton Centre.
Heaven 17 take to the stage and the Brighton Centre had now filled up nicely, not far off capacity. They played through a wonderful set for us with a couple of surprises thrown in to the mix.
Heaven 17: The Set
Now this was a great start to a gig by anyones standards, especially as song number one was the awesome Crushed by the Wheels of Industry. This sounded much stronger than I remember it on vinyl. A much heavier feel to this live rendition.
Gregory is flanked on one side by Martyn Ware, who was dressed immaculately in a sparkle jacket, a lime green shirt with a purple tie. On the other side, Gregory has two backing singers. In fact they frequently get themselves into the spot light joining Gregory as he moved around the stage. I think they have been with the band for a while and have obviously proved themselves to be part of the overall Heaven 17 live experience.
The Luxury Gap and Penthouse And Pavement
Part of this strong line up is Berenice Scott. Again, she has been with the band for a while and contributes, via keyboards, to what Gregory and Ware do. Next up was the superb – the full title –(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang. Another 80’s classic for song number two. Two of the bands main albums The Luxury Gap and Penthouse And Pavement provided so many classic tunes. Groove Thang still reverberates with listeners today.
Play To Win and the wonderful Come Live With Me were up next. At this point I have to say the entire Heaven 17 crew seemed to be having an absolute blast up there. Glen would offer up some song information and insight and also took some time to offer up some shared banter with Martyn. Some fabulous moments shared with us as a song covered by The Human League You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin was up.
Its OK to dance!
Let Me Go was next for the audience, which in the main were seated. Restraint was pushed aside as many took to their feet for the last few numbers. And who can blame them? There were fans dancing to the sides of the venues as Heaven 17 continued…
This was, as we had previously been advised, going to be a short set. So the listing had been put together with great care by the band to ensure they satisfied everyone. And the title track from the brilliant album Penthouse and Pavement was up next. Those still seated now found it hard to resist and were now up! The Brighton crowd were now well up for it, dancing and singing to the songs.
Now, its hard to believe that Heaven 17 never toured when The Luxury Gap album was released. It was their most successful album. The album had some superb tracks on it such as Come Live With Me, which we heard earlier, and of course their most well-known track, Temptation. Now dear reader, I played this one to death, I think I got through two copies from my DJ days and now to hear it played live was an unforgettable experience. It was breathtaking to see this classic and the band really pulled this one together leaving the crowd baying for more.
Outside the weather had been absolutely dreadful, it was pouring with rain and the well known Brighton “breeze” blowing at around 25mph. I have to say that we had been rewarded by Heaven 17 for going out. They told us that we had been one of the best audiences! The audience lapped it up.
The sound was absolutely spot on. The sound desk had a great mix, everything was clear and all the instruments and vocals could be heard. Some great lighting came into play and the entire band were visible at all times. Scene Sussex thank the wonderful Brighton Centre crew. They really do pull together to ensure the audience has a great night.
I can thoroughly recommend you see Heaven 17 live. They are presently on tour with Squeeze and there are a few shows still with tickets. They are touring next year – 2020 – with a greatest hits 40 years anniversary tour.
Heaven 17 are on the WWW here.
Squeeze announced that ‘The Difford And Tilbrook Songbook Tour’ [with Special Guests Heaven 17] will aim to raise food, funds and awareness for the Trussell Trust network of food banks. At all venues there will be multiple food drop points and collection boxes, where audiences can donate non-perishable food or money. Food donated at the venues will be collected and distributed to the nearest Trussell Trust food bank. A great cause and brilliant to see music and this charity together.
Thanks also to the Brighton and Hove news team.
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