GOTHENBURG 2004 REVIEWS

 

www.zeromagazine.nu May 2004

On valborgsmässo-night stood The Human League from England for the first time ever on a swedish stage. Romo Night Club made its wish come true and had the honour of arranging this performance...

...Human League went on stage and did it without a backing band. They stacked up the hits and finished of with Don't You Want Me, and as everyone was waiting for an encore, they closed the curtains. It looked like the band had fun and so did the crowd, who came from all of Sweden. Some did complain that it wasn't a live performance and it was too short. But we did get to see The Human League.

 

www.gp.se May 2004

Patrick Andersson

SAD RETROPOP

It's no use having done brilliant synthpop-tunes in the past. The Human League at Trädgär'n makes Patrick Andersson extremely disappointed

It's with an aching heart I have to say this, but I have no choice.

This is how it is. Once upon a time The Human League were pioneers. They took (synth)music to places it had never been before. Then they got a surprising and undeliberate monsterhit with Don't You Want Me, which mostly gave them problems. The band stopped doing brilliant synthpop in search for the new hits. After years of artistic downfall, was Secrets from 2001 a big step back to form, or should we say forward. But a record comapny going out of business meant no advertising and that the album could be The Human League's last.

Which finally brings us back to the performance at Romo Night, the club that started as much inspired by The Human League.

They begin strongly. Phil Oakey, Susan Sulley and Joannne Catherall standing dressed in black against a white back drop. Wearing sunglasses. The Sound Of The Crowd, the first single from the big breakthrough album Dare, blasts out through Trägär'ns run down sound system.

But it's sing-back. Not a musician as far as the eye can see, just pre-recorded music. And when they stack up song after song, that would probably work fine at your high school reunion or an 80's night at Valand, it just feels poor. We are after all in a synth club. In total it's nine songs. Nine. Sing-back. 30 minutes and not one  encore (a third of the length of their show in London last summer - with a full band).  For this people have paid 325 kroner. And then Phil has the nerve to kick you in the stomach with the in-between-songs-talk of them "we are doing a short set tonight, but hope to be back with a full band and really knock you off". Yeah right.

That's not good enough. No matter how much of a pioneer you are.

1/5