The Independent December 2002

Simon Price

In my teens, I used to sell seafood at Barry Island Butlin's during the summer hols. Every year, they'd host a Festival Of The Sixties, and I would sneer with poorly-disguised contempt at the sad bastards from the Midlands and the Valleys who would flock to see portly, toupeed also-rans (Russ Conway, Gerry Marsden, Kathy Kirby and the like) and spend their year's wages in the Elvis shop in the arcade. Kill me if I ever turn out like that, I thought to myself.

Well, kill me now, because this is my third Here & Now Tour, I'm the sad bastard, and if there was a Visage concession stall at Wembley, I'd have blown my annual income on it…

… The Human League, as headliners, are allowed the privilege of using their own band, and – a stroke of genius – their own stage set. Everything is entirely white and lit with a UV glow: even the dirty old monitor wedges are coated in gleaming dust covers.

Having reviewed them once this year, I don't need to tell you how magnificent the League (still) are. The whole night has been a three-hour procession to "Don't You Want Me", and the quality chasm between 1981's Christmas Number One and 2002's (unknown at the time of writing) is so vast that, regardless of who wins in the Pop Rivals' phoney war, Pete Waterman oughtta consider topping himself regardless.