SOUTHPORT 2005 REVIEWS December 2005

Chris High

A year on from seeing The Human League in the plush surroundings of Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall, this show is proof positive that some things in music just do not go out of style.

From the opening lines of Tell Me When to the last bars of Together In Electric Dreams, the band were seen in electric form, with Phil Oakey prowling the stage, and performing with such powerful ease, it was impossible to be unimpressed.

Aided and abetted by gorgeously body-suited Susan and rubber clad Joanne, who gave a fantastic version of Love Is All That Matters without Phil, The League were truly in one of their own this evening, reminding wannabees how it should be done.

The hits rained in. All I Ever Wanted, The Lebanon - performed with a superb guitar solo - Open Your Heart, Louise, Mirror Man and, of course, Don't You Want Me Baby, were all sung as though they had only just been released, whereas Buddha gave the encore a sense of darkness that had otherwise been missing.

Oakey was at his animated best, cracking jokes and apologising to a guy he'd earlier ignored in Liverpool because in was learning lines through his walkman, whilst the set design - a lighting net flashing images behind the band - truly impressed the sell out audience.

Four Christmas's on from a debut League concert, the show in Southport proved that, like vintage wine, some bands simply get better and better the more they mature.