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.