In the early 1980s the city of Sheffield shaped the music scene. The recently-announced Steel City tour aims to show modern audiences why. We spoke to one of those taking part, the Human League’s Phil Oakey.
WHENEVER lists are compiled of the most influential records, the chances are that two albums forged in Sheffield will invariably feature.
The Human League’s Dare and Lexicon of Love by ABC are regarded as classic examples of the ’80s and are still impressive today.
Later this year — for the very first time — the Human League, ABC and Heaven 17 will tour the UK, bringing to life the Sheffield legacy.
For Phil Oakey, frontman of the Human League, it’s a prospect he’s relishing.
“It’s certainly a tour which interests me,” he said. “I think if I wasn’t actually involved it’s a show I would go and see.”
The Human League have featured in a number of Here and Now tours in recent years, featuring the likes of Culture Club, Altered Images and Visage. But Phil sees this winter’s tour as being different.
“This tour makes more sense, if you like,” he said. “Looking back I think we are all quite proud of what we did and how we were able to send music in the direction it went.
"When you have something as personal as music at the time it can look like fashion.
"But now, looking back, you can see that we did have an effect on so many things.”
The tour — which comes to Manchester Apollo on Wednesday, December 10 — will be the first time the three bands have played together.
Heaven 17 have a long association with the Human League — both Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh have been in both bands.