The Human League, Wolverhampton Racecourse - review with pictures

By Mark Shipp | Entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

High winds forced the cancellation of their appearance at Brighton racecourse the previous night, but there was nothing to hamper their performance at Wolverhampton's Dunstall Park.

And there were thousands of revellers there to enjoy it.

They were off and running with Sky, and from start to finish the crowd were up for it. The Human League might not have troubled the charts since 1996, but they remain as popular as they did during their heyday.

For lead singer Phil Oakey - the band's only constant since formation in 1977 - it was a welcome return to a city he said was one of the band's favourites. His distinctive voice remains, although his trademark hairstyle has gone, and with it presumably, any fashion sense he may have had judging by the odd garment he was wearing.

In fact, he resembled Zinedine Zidane in a leather bin bag.

There were two changes of attire along the way, into first a yellow, then a black T-shirt. Meanwhile the hits kept coming. And the whole night was a winner.

The group's first hit, Sound of the Crowd, dating all the way back to 1981, came early doors, followed by Soundtrack to a Generation, which Oakey said was the band's own tribute to their favourite artistes.

Two from the album Hysteria followed, Open Your Heart and Louise, a track covered on Robbie Williams' Rudebox - but to Oakey's dismay: "On his least popular album, so I could have had a swimming pool and a Rolls Royce".

Before Tell Me When Oakey recalled a traumatic experience he once had at Dudley Zoo, from which he still bears the scars.


Then it was time to reflect with the Mirror Man and fans felt Fascination, before the finishing post appeared in sight with the band's biggest hit Don't You Want Me. the memorable Christmas number one of 1981.

The encore opened with Being Boiled, but it was time to go away when the iconic Electric Dreams, an Oakey duet with Giorgio Moroder some 32 years ago, came up on the rails to end proceedings.

A night to remember? You bet.

Mark Shipp

By Mark Shipp
Sub Editor


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