As part of their busy schedule of headlining several festivals nationwide this summer, The Human League stopped by in Kent to top the bill on day two of the four-day castle hosted event. They were joined by a refreshed backing band on keytars, guitar, synthesisers and electronic drums.

Continuing from their recent ‘Dare 40’ tour marking 40 years of their third studio album, the band played the majority of their set from ‘Dare’, starting on ‘Sound Of The Crowd’ and ‘Open Your Heart’, which they followed with the thundering drumbeats of ‘Seconds’; founding member and frontman Phil Oakey shouting out the vocals.

The League continued with ‘The Lebanon’ from ‘Hysteria’, featuring choking guitar riffs, then went to the next album, ‘Crash’, with Oakey performing ‘Human’; although  it ended with a long instrumental that seemed strange with none of the main members onstage. Oakey credited the band’s cover of ‘Behind The Mask’ to the “horrible synth noises” of Yellow Magic Orchestra before they returned to ‘Dare’ with ‘Love Action (I Believe In Love)’.

The band came back for an encore of their 1978 debut single, ‘Being Boiled’, which saw the deep, guttural synth and creaky theremin effects of the early version that personified The Human League’s sound, and ended on Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Together In Electric Dreams’.

06/07/22: Rochester Castle Festival – The Human League @ Rochester Castle, Kent.

Photo (top) © Michael Palmer.

Photo (bottom) © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.