The Human League, Gig Review. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. (2016).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

You only have to go by the sound of the crowd to understand what music means to the people. In the end it is not about mass popularity, the endless soul destroying fight with fame and supposed fortune, it is how your art makes others feel deep in their souls and if you can have a sold out Philharmonic Hall audience singing their hearts out, making the foundations and the walls shake slightly in anticipation and the low moan of pleasure in the ears as hearts spill open over 35 years worth of love and affection for arguably one of the architects of British Synth Pop, The Human League, then the crowd cannot be wrong.

Returning to the Philharmonic Hall in what seems like the most vibrant of musical rituals, The Human League once more proved that they have absolutely nothing to prove, that their music is magnetic and their presence on stage is illuminating and exhilarating. A feast for the eyes and a bounty for the senses; the decade in which they typified is one that has never really left many people and unlike the following ten years, is one that is fondly remembered for all the right reasons.

Having nothing to prove does not mean you lay back on your keyboard shaped laurels and allow the wistful dreams of youth to detract you from the job at hand; if anything it should take you further into the night and the hopes of the audience that have spent their whole lives following you. It was a hope that the band members readily steeled themselves for and played out the night for the crowd with the respect and the huge smiles that was demanded.

Opening up the evening with the tracks Being Boiled, The Sound of the Crowd and Sky, the bar was set so high that the pedestal that other groups are put upon was somehow, and quite rightly, lowered, the handle kicked back and forgotten to be oiled; there was no time to worry about their collective feelings, this was open ended honesty from Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Sulley but dressed in shimmering light and the beautiful dark furrowed brow.

With songs such as Soundtrack To A Generation, The Lebanon, the imploring of Louise, the brilliance of Mirror Man and the exceptional Don’t You Want Me all leaving their remarkable image on the minds of the audience, The Human League once more came to Liverpool and made the winter, the cold coming off the Irish Sea and the River Mersey, feel as if was just the prelude to the summer; that the darkness can easily be wiped out by the proposal and delivery of pure cool.

A superb night of music, The Human League never stand for anything less.

Ian D. Hall