HEAVEN 17: At The Scala: CD / DVD

HEAVEN 17 is three guys (Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware, Glenn Gregory) who were pioneers in the whole Sheffield electronic music movement of the late 1970s, two of which (Marsh and Ware) were founding members of THE HUMAN LEAGUE and left before their big single “Don’t You Want Me”. Heaven 17 went on to their own success and hit singles as well as production and playing on other’s albums.

This concert from November 29, 2005 has them playing their classic songs as well as some from the new, (at the time) album Before After and it keeps the sound of the band intact and updates things enough to sound fresh, but not cheesy. “Are You Ready?”, “I’m Gonna Make You Fall In Love With Me”, “What Would It Take”, “Hands Up To Heaven”, “Into The Blue”, and “The Way It Is” are all from the Before After album and “Do I Believe” is from Bigger Than America. The other songs “Geisha Boys and Temple Girls”, “Come Live with Me”, “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang”, “Crushed by the Wheels of Industry”, “Let Me Go!”, “Penthouse and Pavement”, and “Temptation” all come from their earlier and classic albums. You also get a treat of “Being Boiled” from when they were part of THE HUMAN LEAGUE. The new songs are done really well and fit in with the sound of the classic songs, but I do wish a few more classics would have been played and a few less new ones, but they were hawking their new album at the time. The classic songs sound great and it was a treat to hear them live, but the real exciting thing was hearing “Being Boiled”, one of my favorite songs, and done so well. Billie Godfrey does a spectacular job on “Temptation” making the song stand out with her incredible vocals.

The DVD is filmed beautifully, sharp, clear and intimate with the band looking like they are having the time of their life in front of the appreciative crowd. Extras include a pair of interview segments entitled At The Gig (09m:18s) and At The Studio (08m:53s). The first catches the band after the performance, with Glenn Gregory nearly hoarse, and gets their feedback on how the concert went. The second segment has Gregory and Martyn Ware discussing Heaven 17’s history in Ware’s studio, and includes some discussion about the early days of THE HUMAN LEAGUE.

A great CD / DVD combination of a band that put out a lot of great songs, but didn’t tour much. With a great performance and inspired performances of them, this is a great item. I will be playing this a lot and it was great to bring back memories of such fantastic songs from my youth.

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