Following the band’s recent live renditions of the first two Human League albums at Roundhouse in September, Heaven 17 returned to London with their ‘Greatest Hits 17:41’ tour, marking their 40th anniversary delayed by one year due to lockdown.
They band headed by band founders Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware, performed a mixture of material from their first two studio albums and some rarer others, beginning on single ‘The Height Of The Fighting’ from their debut album ‘Penthouse & Pavement’, from which they also did ‘Play To Win’ and ‘Geisha Boys & Temple Girls’.
The set was similar in places to their Roundhouse one with Human League tales and songs featuring such as ‘Crow And A Baby’ and band founder Glenn Gregory often reminiscing about how meeting the band as a photographer changed his life. H17 also played more unusually off their third album with singles ‘(And That’s No Lie)…’ and ‘This Is Mine’, before going back to second album ‘The Luxury Gap’ with ‘Come Live With Me’.
Just like at their Roundhouse show Gregory and ex-Human League member Martyn Ware performed a duet of the Barry Mann cover of ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’’, also covered by The Human League on their debut album, ‘Reproduction’. H17 then continued the set on more from their debut and second albums including singles ‘Let’s All Make A Bomb’ and ‘Let Me Go’.
Gregory and keyboard player Flo returned for the encore with a piano solo of a cover by The Associates, ‘Party Fears Two’, written by Gregory’s late friend Billy Mackenzie whom he emotionally paid tribute to, before joining the rest of the band again to perform their rendition of Human League favourite ‘Being Boiled’, with Martyn playing the introduction on an old synthesiser model.
05/11/21: Heaven 17 @ O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London.
Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.
© Ayisha Khan.