HERE in Perth we are used to the 80s promising much and delivering little,
so it was hardly a surprise that Here & Now was a disappointing event. To be
fair, it wasn't a flop, with three of the acts turning in fun-filled
performances and three crashing out in front of around 5,000 people.
...Sheffield synth-pop act Human League glided on after setting up their
austere stage - shiny white equipment, white backdrop and goth clothing.
Philip Oakey, minus his freaky fringe, wandered on with backing singers
Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall, for Love Action (I Believe in Love).
The Kraftwerk-inspired electronic sounds of Heart Like a Wheel, Human and
(Keep Feeling) Fascination left many cold, while pockets of fans welcomed
Human League's first Perth show. However, Oakey woke up the crowd with his
1984 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, Together in Electric Dreams, and
closed with Human League's massive 1981 hit Don't You Want Me.
Thus, the retrofest ended, after four hours, seven bands and nothing but pop
hits. The line-up may not have gelled - Human League were too left-of-centre
after the sugarcoated pop of Wilde and Carlisle, and Go West and Young were
too crap - but if this package works elsewhere around Australia, we may be
seeing Here & Now back again.
There must be loads of 80s acts keen for a paid jaunt around Oz. Anyone know
where we can find Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet and Ultravox?
Australian November 2003
History never repeats" was how
Split Enz so famously described life at the dawn of the 1980s. Yet here were
seven leading acts from that decade bunched together for the first show of
the Here and Now national tour, armed with a decent gallery of hits, many
more than 20 years old.
It was hardly history
repeating itself, what with waistlines a tad wider, the Barbie-blonde locks
slightly less believable and the music certified archival material. But that
wasn't going to stop Powderfinger precursors 1927 from reclaiming the stage
with a short set of melodic classics, from Compulsory Hero to the monumental
If I Could.
…While the Human League
initially alienated most of the nostalgia-hungry audience with that (still
credible?) Kraftwerk crossed with Joy Division sound, by the set's end the
band reminded people exactly why it was there, with three little electro-pop
numbers entitled Love Action, Together in Electric Dreams and Don't You Want
Hardly a crash course in a decade long passed, Here and Now
may finally put the '80s to rest in the eyes of Australia.
Then again, maybe not.