AMSTERDAM 2006 REVIEWS

 

www.kindamuzik.net December 2006
Roberto Lobosco

If you play two evenings in a row at the Paradiso, you must have something to tell. Immediately the question raises if you still do. Can you still get the message/art across, twenty years after your big successes. The big question for The Human League is if they live on past glories. Do you have to rub your eyes to to confirm they're not deceiving you. They looks may have changed, mostly bald and bearded, but the band  have drawn their act effectively into the new millennium.

And there they stand then. Phil Oakey, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall behind the microphone. With a reliable band behind them, one man on angular black/white guitar and one on portable synthesizer, a man playing a supersonic drums cage and a man behind two laptops. They look deliciously 80s: blowdried hair and mustaches. But there's the laptops and the electronic drums cage, that for example techno two-high rolling mill Booka Shade also uses.

The ones who has turned op at the Paradiso, get the impression that it's a ultrahip electroclashoutfit that's about to perfrom. The podium in particularly has been dressed very attractively. Many lights, contrast between black and blank, extra lamps, two large video screens and impeccably dressed artists.

The performance is of a clean character. The way the lights work does sometimes make you think of the show of Soulwax, where everything seems organic, but nevertheless also remote. Thus also the show of The Human League, which have been performing on stage since 1977.

The Human League have not closed their eyes for developments in electronic music. The man behind the two laptops throws from time to time a groove, which can make you regret that this show has started at nine o'clock. The sound of the show almost lifts the roof off the venue.

Everything about The Human League is electroclash. The added value is the notion that this is the forfather of the contemporary electro, although they are by no means inferior as their spirit relatives of now. A concert of The Human league is an entertaining spectacle. Laughing musicians, all very sympathetic. After Oakey roll over on the floor during one of the first songs, he can no longer look at the other musiccians without bursting into a laugh.

At the last two songs the musicians no longer look out to the crowd as concerned accounts, but they seek interaction. Oakey seat himself on the edge of the podium, so that the crowd at the front are in touching distance of their hero. Oakey sing their biggest hit: `Don t You because me and the crowd response in full voice.

The band feel the love of the evening, the white lamps lights up the Paradiso. Time to end with `Together in Electric Dreams. The crowd laughs with broad smiles, couples hold each other firmly, and throw their arm in the air, singing and toasting the peacefull maining of the lyrics. The Human League produce a melancholic synthpop, with that typical can sound and hollow singing, to pumping current electroclash to finish in a loving embrace of hippies.

Loosely translatedf from Dutch