Southern Daily 4th November 2004

Eighties stars in a League of their own

CAST your mind back to that most pop-tastic of decades that was the 80s and the band that springs to mind is most probably The Human League.

 

Riding the crest of the current wave of 80s nostalgia, The League are touring the UK and are stopping off at Southampton Guildhall next month.

 

Phil Oakey, Susan Sulley, Joanne Catherall and the gang will be performing a mixture of classic tunes such as Don't You Want Me and Tell Me When, plus some more recent hits from their critically acclaimed album Secrets, released in 2001.

 

One of the most influential bands of the 80s, The Human League were the original pioneers of electronic sound on the British music scene.

 

Initially dismissed by critics for not conforming to the ideal of a traditional live act, the band broke the mould and went on to achieve world-wide success, winning over fans and critics alike with their unique sound and image.

 

With a career that spans nearly three decades, amazingly the band is still going strong and they're loving every minute of it.

 

"I love touring and playing live. Being in a pop group is the best job in the world!" says vocalist Susan Sulley.

"I never get tired of playing our well-known hits because when you're stood singing to 2,000 fans and as far as the eye can see they're singing right back at you, you can't help but get a buzz."

 

Susan puts the group's lasting success down to good communication and close friendships between its members.

 

"I honestly don't remember the last time we had an argument. We all get on collectively and that's got to have something to do with why we're still here. My best friend is in the band and what could be better than that?"

 

She is, of course, referring to Joanne Catherall, her fellow vocalist in the band and best friend since the tender age of 13.

 

The pair were famously discovered dancing in a Sheffield nightclub and before they knew it, were singing and dancing on Top of the Pops as part of The Human League.

 

As well as their close friendships, the band's longevity can also be attributed to the support they receive from fans both old and new, as Susan explains.

 

"We have an amazing mix of fans who are keen to see us live. Quite simply, the demand is there so we play."