Grimsby Telegraph December 2003

Eve Parish


They're only Human, but Grimsby loved them.
The Human League landed at Grimsby Auditorium on Saturday night and conquered a sell-out crowd with their unique sound.
It may be more than 20 years since the
Sheffield band was born out of experiments with electronic music, futuristic make-up and scary hair, but their voices were as fresh as when they spent five weeks at Number one with Don't You Want Me.
Support act John Foxx, formerly of Ultravox and others, warmed up with music to please the electro-purists - just himself, a band-mate and a couple of keyboards and synthesisers producing sounds which captured the hypnotic wierdness of early Eighties disco music, including his hit Underpass.
The Humans walked out to cheers and whistles to open the show with Hard Times and Here Comes the Mirror Man.
They were undaunted by technical problems, which cut their synthesisers in the show's early minutes, and few in the crowd noticed.
Pillars of moving light gave the stage the feel of an Eighties nightclub, and lit up Philip Oakey's long metallic coat and the bling-bling jewellery worn by Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall. "We've never been in Grimsby before - it's only taken us 26 years," called Philip to the crowd.
He added that it was great to be on tour in a place where he could watch the same regional television programmes as at home.
The band's futuristic and experimental style has generated more well-known tunes than most people think, spanning decades.
As well as Love Action,
Lebanon and Empire State Human the band got the crowd going with Heart Like A Wheel, Tell Me When and One Man in My Heart, all hits from the Nineties.
They finished with their biggest hit, Don't You Want Me, a tale of yuppie love, which still resonates with today's young professionals on the make.
Cheers and foot-stamping brought the band back for an encore, and they said farewell with Together in Electric Dreams.
Judging from the shouts of "I love you Phil," coming from the floor, fans who used to have Oakey's poster on their bedroom wall were thrilled to finally see their teenage fantasy in
And with mainstream pop stars like Kylie Minogue currently taking inspiration from Eighties electro-beats, plenty of people who would still have been in nappies when the Human League were at number one, turned out to see the original pioneers of that sound.
Tell Me When...can we see them again?