The Human League are all about contrasts and contradictions. Two nights in Amsterdam in 2002, twenty years since their groundbreaking Dare album, finds a revitalised band belting out their greatest hits and more.
The Paradiso is a converted Church building with a fine acoustic. A stark decor for the technology of the four piece backing band, their pumping beats and analogue synth waves. During the night I find myself desperately trying to remember what year this is... 1982...2002 or 2022? It's all possible as these (still) s..y Northeners go through a no frills set of their best tracks and deliver them with passion and enthusiasm.
A fine combination of big hits (Don't You Want Me, Tell Me When, Human), personal faves (Seconds, The Things That Dreams Are Made Of, Being Boiled), underrated rock anthems (The Lebanon) and fresh new tunes (All I Ever Wanted and Love Me Madly). Although Phil announces Tell Me When as "our last decent song" it's surprisingly enough a new song that gets the best reception of the evening: All I Ever Wanted.
Even the band's so-called coldness disappears as Susan and Phil have difficulties hiding their excitement behind their ultra-cool way and numerous costume changes. A band that can still teach most current bands a lesson. Hopefully they'll be able to bring that message across in the charts sometime soon.