Heaven 17 - Wonderhall

Biography

Ian Craig Marsh, co-founder of the Human League, would join Ware along with Glenn Gregory as lead vocalist the man who would have been the original Human League singer had he not been unavailable.

B.E.F. would produce the now iconic Music For Stowaways, and Music Of Quality and Distinction 1, and provided a template that subsequent artists would use from The Assembly in the Eighties, Electronic in the Nineties, and most recently, the Damon Alban and Jamie Hewlett project, Gorillaz.  But its Heaven 17 which would endure and help shape the future of modern music for over thirty years.  Their first album, Penthouse And Pavement, is, and remains, a modern classic.

In September 1983, Heaven 17 appeared on the front cover of Smash Hits, the teen pop bible, and now, sure evidence that they had now become part of the pop firmament.  ‘Come Live With Me’ the tale of a doomed love between a thirty-something and a teenager, and ‘Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry’, a sardonic look at mass unemployment set to a party beat cemented Heaven 17 as one of Britain’s most important post-punk bands.

 

For their next album, Heaven 17 pulled off that most difficult of tricks.  How Men Are was a set of experimental tracks which were also pop songs.  Although it spawned hits ‘Sunset Now’ and ‘This Is Mine’, the band’s popularity had peaked, and although they remained productive and always intelligent, Pleasure One (1986), and Teddy Bear, Duke, and Pyscho (1988) lacked direction.

 

With Ware now a successful producer for the likes of Tina Turner and Terrence Trent D’Arby, Heaven 17 was put on hold.  Bigger Than America, released in 1996 showed their muse returning, but it would be Beforeafter in the Noughties which would show the band back on top form.  ‘Hands Up To Heaven’ was a huge US Dance smash.

 

By the late 2000’s, Heaven 17 were down to two of their original members, Ian Craig Marsh having left the band to take a degree course in Psychology.  Yet demand for Heaven 17 live which had run dry a decade earlier had now picked up dramatically.  A whole new generation of artists began to sight Heaven 17 as prime influences, not least La Roux who would join Heaven 17 for a storming session for Six Music in 2010.

 

Heaven 17 then toured their classic album Penthouse and Pavement, with a power and fidelity, yet a contemporaneity which made the music as alive today as it was in 1981 with soul singer Billie Godfrey now an essential part of the live dynamic.  Heaven 17, who had largely refused to play live during the Eighties had re-invented themselves as a powerful live act.  Glenn had never sung better in his life.  On some nights, he would even play a cheeky acoustic version of that other Sheffield band’s biggest hit, ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ ‘Don’t tell anyone I can play the guitar;  it’ll ruin me electronic credentials’, Glenn told the audience at the Magna Centre in 2010.

The band would also play on Later…with Jools Holland to a rapturous reception, and would appear on BBC Children In Need.  The band’s highest profile year since the Eighties was capped off by a tongue-in-cheek appearance for Plusnet, a Sheffield-based broadband provider.

In October 2011, a reconstructed Music Of Quality And Distinction concert at the Roundhouse on night one (featuring original artists from the projects such as Sandie Shaw, and new talent such as Polly Scattergood) would be followed on the second by a dramatic reconstruction of their biggest commercial success, The Luxury Gap.

The Luxury Gap has never been more relevant.  Written during the height of Thatcherism by three Left-leaning young men against a backdrop of over 3 million unemployed the parallels with the Austerity Britain of today are obvious.  Today with a Millionaire cabinet, bankers’ bonuses, yet with once again three million unemployed and doom and depression everywhere, Heaven 17’s sly, post-modern critique of modern society has never sounded so resonant, nor been so necessary.

General Admission£45

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vip garden£75

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vip lounge£120

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5 day pass£250

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General AdmissionPRE-SALE FROM £39.50

GENERAL SALE: £45

This ticket allows access into the main arena on Saturday 28th August 2021

Woodland VIP – Upgrade£35

Woodland VIP includes access to The Woodland for Saturday 28th August 2021 – for more information on what Woodland VIP includes visit HERE

Please note The VIP Woodland ticket is an upgrade. Therefore, you will need to purchase an event ticket for the specific date or a Wonder Ticket.

The Wonder Ticket£199

This PASS permits entry to the GENERAL ADMISSION ARENA on 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30 August