SHEFFIELD 2002 REVIEWS

 

The Guardian December 2002
Dave Simpson

On its third outing, this nostalgia-fest does exactly what it promises and conjures up the 1980s so perfectly that it is disturbing. Most of the outfits - on stage and off - are probably normally stored under armed guard. One particularly brave and maternal figure wears bondage gear and a T-shirt reading "Debbie, Steve Strange's biggest fan". Obviously, today's teenagers have no idea how to control their parents, who squeal along with Visage despite the fact that Strange sounds like a street trader with a cold.

The Here and Now organisers know their market, and opening acts are restricted to their big hits. After all, who in their right mind would want to hear more than 10 minutes of the Belle Stars? Using the same musicians to back all the acts (bar headliners the Human League) is another good idea, meaning that 1980s relics can shuffle on and off without damaging their shoulder pads. The other masterstroke is booking acts who have not played in years and so are fresh, in a retro way. Thus, bounding out of a birthday cake...

...Ripples of Crimplene and excitement greet the Human League, whose celebrated "girls" have side-stepped the dress code's threat to their lingering credibility by barely wearing anything. Alongside the classics, Phil, Susanne and Joanne play newer songs and refer to Oasis, displaying an awareness of life after 1985 that the organisers should move quickly to stamp out.

 

The Star, Sheffield December 2002

FANS GET KICK UP THE 80'S

THINK back to the days when shoulder pads were the height of fashion, Dynasty and Dallas were essential viewing and Rubix Cubes were on every child's Christmas list.

That's what thousands of 30- to 40-somethings were doing last night when they relived the greatest hits of the 1980s at the Here and Now Christmas Party.
Although only half full, the Hallam Fm Arena was soon buzzing to the tunes which had accompanied the crowd's teenage years with a few die-hard fans frantically waving their original supporters' scarves.

...Finally, after a restless second interval when the stage backdrop was unnecessarily changed from black to white, Phil Oakey belted out the unmistakable hits of the Human League. After an energetic performance of Don't You Want Me Baby, their 1981 Number One smash, the show was over and the crowd reluctantly adjusted back into the 21st century with smiles on their faces...