Monday, 5 December 2016

The Human League at Newcastle City Hall

The Human League
Newcastle City Hall

The Human League returned to the North East to thrill a sold-out Newcastle City Hall last night.

I saw them at the City Hall almost exactly two years ago but the view from the balcony was very poor, with half of the stage completely obscured. As The Human League show relies heavily on the visual aspect, that 2014 evening had its disappointments.

Lesson learned, a stalls seat was secured for this performance.

The hall was packed out and the audience was warm and responsive, with people on their feet clapping, singing and dancing almost from the very start.

The show started with a very loud jumping bass line, which served the delightful purpose of almost completely stopping the localised audience chatter (although some still sought to rise above it). The light show started as the band swung into action. Then Phil Oakley, unusual hairstyle long gone, strode cooly onto the stage, dressed in serious black (as opposed to the bright white sported back in 2014) and broke into Being Boiled with it's famous opening line of 'Listen to the voice of Buddha...' 

At the end of the song, Phil was joined by Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley, the singing and dancing pair famously recruited as schoolgirls in a Sheffield nightclub back in the very early 1980s. They danced - and occasionally sang - their way through the evening, making a very strong connection with the audience.

The visuals were stunning, shifting the ambience accordingly for each of the songs.

The set list brought a rare outing for some songs but retained all of the obvious crowd-pleasers.

Set List

Being Boiled
The Sound of the Crowd
Heart Like a Wheel
Filling Up With Heaven
Open Your Heart
Soundtrack to a Generation
The Lebanon
One Man in My Heart
Stay With Me Tonight
Love Action (I Believe in Love)
Tell Me When
(Keep Feeling) Fascination
Mirror Man
Don’t You Want Me

Susan and Joanne returned for the second of the encore songs, wearing slightly less than they did earlier.


The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Together in Electric Dreams

It was an excellent and thoroughly entertaining show, acting as a counterpoint to the equally enjoyable Heaven 17 gig at the end of October, just up the road at The Sage.

We conclude with a gallery showing moments from a very entertaining evening.

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