09.04.2023

Heaven 17 live, Saturday, 08.04.2023, Frankfurt - Germany, "Bett"

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Before the start, singer Glenn Gregory authentically explains that Heaven 17 prefers to play in venues like the "Bett" in front of 500 people, because it is much more direct and personal. The concert becomes personal mainly because Glenn tells interesting stories between the songs. 


For example, that he wasn't taken on as a singer for The Human League in 1978 only because Phil Oakey had the more spectacular hairstyle. And this despite the fact that he was already a friend of founding member Martyn Ware, with whom he launched Heaven 17 after the Human League split in 1980. The scene in Sheffield was small and everyone knew each other in the late 70s. 


Or the story of Sheffield's "Penny's Nightclub" formerly "Penny Farthing" (in the 60's and 70's) where all the alternative thinking and looking people met because they were relatively safe from the Teddys there (Teddy Boys, successors to the Teds of the 50's).


The DJ's name was "Disco John" and, according to Glenn Gregory, must not have been the best at the turntables. The club opened in 1980 and there one met among others Martin Fry of ABC, Cabaret Voltaire, Phil Oakey of The Human League, or The Thompson Twins. 


The lyrics of the first Heaven 17 single "Penthouse And Pavement" from the album of the same name (1981) are also about this story: 


Sweat my youth away

With the rules we have to play

Speeding through your magazine

Pistol, pavement, no TV

(Talk and talk)

No time (no time)

Burnt inside, burnt inside, burnt inside


Here comes the daylight, here comes my job

Uptown in the penthouse or downtown with the mob

Here comes the night time, here comes my role

Goodbye to the pavement, hello to my soul

Now here comes my job

Credit, bleeding with the mob

Dreams become ideals

No one knows the way I feel

(Love to love)

Daytime (night time)

All my life


Feel safe in the crowd

An no one admits they're crying aloud

My career fits like a glove

Knowing no orders can come from above

(Work and work)

Full time (part time)

Anytime at all


As you face the wall

God make it this time or never at all

Before your chance has gone

Captain this lead role and you'll be the one

(Shine and shine)

This time (my time)

Make me free at last


Unintentionally contemporary again the title "Let's All Make A Bomb" (1981):


(excerpt)


Take one hundred scientists or more

Place in a room and lock the door

Let them confer for half their lives

Unlock the door, go in and see

What they have made for you and me

A brand new toy to idolise


Although the war has just begun

Ignore the sirens, let's have fun

Put on your best, go out in style

Although our future's looking black

We'll go down town and join the pack

Let's celebrate and vaporise


Something very exclusive has this concert on this day, because exactly on the same day 40 years earlier the single "Temptation" was released, which of course is also part of the setlist.


The last encore is a Glenn Gregory solo of David Bowie's "Life on Mars?" (1971), my personal favorite David Bowie track.


Setlist:


1. (We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang

2. Crushed by the Wheels Of Industry

3. Play To Win

4. Geisha Boys And Temple Girls

5. Come Live With Me

6. We Live So Fast

7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (Barry Mann Cover)

8. Let's All Make A Bomb

9. And That's No Lie

10. I'm Your Money

11. Let Me Go

12. Penthouse And Pavement

13. Temptation

14. Let's Dance (David Bowie Cover)

15. Being Boiled (The Human League Cover)

16. Life On Mars? (David Bowie Cover)

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