Sheffield's 'greatest band' Heaven 17 to celebrate with homecoming gig on UK tour
Temptation chart-toppers Heaven 17 - recently voted Sheffield's greatest band by Star readers - are to celebrate with a UK tour including a steel city homecoming.
The new wave and synthpop pioneers were crowned as the greatest Sheffield band of all-time in an online poll.
They lived up to their smash hit Play To Win by clocking up more than 2,200 votes in our survey - putting them nearly 500 ahead of nearest challengers, rockers Def Leppard.
Now, marking their career-affirming title and crowning their legacy, H17 duo - front man Glenn Gregory and keyboard wizard Martyn Ware - have announced a dual headline tour with their British Electronic Foundation, or B.E.F.
They will be providing a just reminder of their glittering achievements this autumn, in a series of UK shows, as they electronically revisit their magnum opus: Penthouse & Pavement.
It includes a homecoming date on Tuesday, October 25 at Sheffield City HallThirty-five years since the release of their landmark debut album, they will be commemorating the record that launched their sensational career by performing a brand new electronic version of ‘Penthouse And Pavement’ live and in full. It sold out venues when they performed it at Magna Science Museum and then Sheffield's O2 Academy a few years ago. Now the show is back.
Part two of each performance will also feature a live set from B.E.F. who embark on what will be their first ever live tour.
Founded in 1980 and masterminded by Ware, the B.E.F production company were renowned for their innovative collaborations with some of pop music’s brightest stars of the period.
In 2016, B.E.F. will be enlisting the talents of Mari Wilson, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Peter Hooton (The Farm), and H17 partner Gregory, to present a set featuring brand new arrangements of songs familiar and unexpected from their back catalogue, plus some surprise songs to be exclusively unveiled at the shows.
Taking place throughout October, the tour will see the two acts take to the stage to deliver consecutive sets at a run of dates that begin at Liverpool’s O2 Academy (20th) and conclude up at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire (30th). Full tour details below.
Expressing his delight at being a part of the B.E.F. shows for the first time, Gregory said: “Having worked with Martyn for so many wonderful years as Heaven 17, performing with BEF is like finally getting the golden key to the executive toilet.”
Outlining his expectations and anticipations of the forthcoming tour, B.E.F founder Ware added "“What an honour it is to have such talented and iconic artists performing on our first-ever live BEF tour. Over the last 35 years,
"BEF has worked with some of the most famous singers on earth, and for our fantastic shows this October, Glen Matlock, Peter Hooton and Mari Wilson will each be performing one of their most famous songs, together with surprising cover versions done in the unique BEF electronic style.
"Add to that the inimitable Glenn Gregory (I’m sure I’ve heard that name somewhere), and the35th anniversary performance of new electronic arrangements of ‘Penthouse And Pavement’ and you have our greatest live show ever’”.
Formed in 1980 as Ware departed Sheffield synth icons The Human League only to find a kindred musical mind in Gregory, together as Heaven 17 the pair set about writing and recording the songs that would become their debut album ‘Penthouse and Pavement’ released only a year later.
In letting the BBC-banned debut single (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang lead their anti-establishment charge, the band made clear their intentions to break away from their synth-pop contemporaries on their first outing.
Follow-up singles I’m Your Money, Play To Win, Penthouse and Pavement and The Height of the Fighting (He-La-Hu) would propel the long-player to number 14 in the UK charts and a gold disc certification after a 77-week residency inside the Top 100.
Now recognised universally as one of the most vital albums to emerge from the New Wave movement in British electronica, Penthouse and Pavement has since been included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
In 1982, Ware released the first studio album under the B.E.F. moniker: Music of Quality and Distinction Volume 1,.an album of covers that he and partner Ian Craig Marsh had grown up listening to.
The album featured an all-star cast of guest appearances including Gregory, Paula Yates, Billy MacKenzie, Sandie Shaw and most notably top 10 hit Ball of Confusion, a cover of the track by The Temptations, as sung with powerhouse vocals from Tina Turner.
HEAVEN 17 AND B.E.F. 2016 UK TOUR DATES
Mon 24 October - Gateshead SageTues 25 October - Sheffield City HallWed 26 October - Manchester O2 RitzFri 28 October - Bury St Edmunds ApexSat 29 October - Basingstoke AnvilSun 30 October - London Shepherd’s Bush Empire* Special VIP packages are available, limited to 30 per venue including best seats, with meet and greet, photo opportunity and a signed poster.
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