MANCHESTER 2008 REVIEWS December 2008
Scott Zverblis


IT doesnít feel like youíre living in the present, when the man in front of you has a crazy Flock Of Seagulls-style hairstyle and the woman passing you in the aisle is wearing a polka dot bubble skirt and luminous pink leg warmers.

Donít worry, this isnít just any old Eighties cabaret night featuring a load of cheesy one hit wonders; this is the finest Sheffield Steel Tour featuring Heaven 17, ABC, and the Human League. All of which boast an impressive back catalogue of well-received Eighties pop songs.

Heaven 17 brought on the first full synthesiser ambush of the evening, performing all their best known hits: Come Live With Me, Let Me Go, and of course, their biggest hit Temptation.

Shortly afterwards, ABC frontman, Martin Fry confidently strolled onto the stage to ecstatic applause.

Firing cupid arrows

Classics such as, When Smokey Sings, Shoot That Poisoned Arrow and Look Of Love sounded as exciting as ever.

Fryís hip shaking moves proved a bit of a hit with the ladies, who responded by firing cupid arrows at him, rather than poisoned ones.

After a brief interval, the curtain dropped to reveal a stunning Blade Runner-esq set up, with all four members of the Human Leagueís backing band on a platform, high above the stage.

Then, singer Phil Oakey appeared from the smoke dressed in a long leather coat and matrix style shades, and slowly walked down the metallic stairs onto the neon lit stage, while performing Seconds.

Stunning visuals

Afterwards, original backing singers Joanne Catherall & Susan Ann Sulley joined Oakey to perform a powerful version of Mirror Man in front of some truly stunning visuals.

The dark, Kraftwerk meets Joy Division sound earlier on in the set, initially alienated some of the nostalgia-hungry audience but the band soon reminded people exactly why they were tonightís headliners, with three little electro-pop numbers: Love Action, Don't You Want Me Baby, and Oakey's solo hit, Together in Electric Dreams.