Originals of the British New Wave/Synth scene The Human League dominated the airwaves and charts throughout the 80s with their dark yet stylish post punk electronica...
...which remains as fresh, current and highly influential today as it did with the release of DARE over 40 years ago in 1981. Their many hit singles, include the No 1 ‘Don’t You Want Me’ which made the 1981 Xmas No.1 slot; ‘Human’, ‘Love Action’ ‘Fascination; ‘Mirror Man’ ‘The Sound Of The Crowd’ ‘Open Your Heart’ & ‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’’
The Human League hail from Sheffield and are Founder member Philip Oakey who took the band on to huge commercial success after recruiting two female vocalists, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley. This three person vocal sound created a unique band line up and all three members have remained in the group to this day. Their debut spread an exciting new sound to the US and Europe and helped give birth to a whole new era in music. With lyrics firmly embedded in the global politics of the day the band had an image that influenced fashion trends and their style, sound and message changed the face of early 80’s club culture, paving the way for the decades of electronic music and clubbing that were to follow. They have released nine studio albums, two remix albums, one live album, six EPs, thirty singles, won countless awards and have consistently toured and headlined contemporary festivals across the world.
Influential, important and exhilarating live, The Specials are a band embedded in this country's DNA. It is impossible to envisage the musical landscape without them, from the startling, angular Gangsters in 1979 to their swan song, the epoch-making Ghost Town in 1981. They infused ska with punk, homegrown political anxiety with wider issues. The Specials' ascendancy was swift. Two years, seven hit singles including two number ones, two hit albums, sell-out tours – the mass stage-invasions and audience energy only adding to the myth. They were everywhere; on Top of the Pops, Radio One, nightclubs and school discos. At the time, the nation could not have seemed more polarised: far right youth cults, violence on the streets and The Specials were the musical embodiment of it all. Widely regarded today as one of the greatest British bands in the world.
One of the most loveable troubadors in the music business, James Blunt is as popular for his sublime wit on Twitter as his familiar soft rock. This year his new album has been infused with subtle shades of electronica and a dark digital pulse a long way from his number 1 single ‘You’re Beautiful’. After 15 years toiling at the coalface of sensitive song, Blunt has sold more than 20 million albums and as many singles. His debut collection ‘Back To Bedlam’ is the 17th best selling album in the UK of all time. An Ex-military officer & pub landlord who currently lives in Ibiza, since he broke into the pop landscape in 2004, has clocked up BRIT Awards, Ivor Novellos, and five Grammy Award nominations.
Hailing from New York, Cameo formed in the 70s and had a string of chart hits throughout the 80s, which included their huge Global smash ‘Word Up’ that launched funk well and truly into the mainstream. Lead singer Larry Blackmon also spawned an unlikely trend for a modern day leather codpieces, quite befitting an evening at the castle!
Published on 21 April 2022 by Ben Robinson