Sunday 30th October 2016
This show has been touring around the UK and tonight was the last night, so we were delighted to be able to share the experience.
The format of the show was the complete "Penthouse And Pavement" album (released in 1981) performed by Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware from the original Heaven 17, backed by two superb singers and keyboardist Berenice Scott (daughter of "Pop Muzik" by M officiado, Robin Scott!). This was followed in the second half by a selection of British Electric Foundation material and some special guests
"Penthouse And Pavement" was just before Minty's time (she is more familiar with their next release "The Luxury Gap") but we were both enthralled by the performance of this album. We did start off a bit unsure as the drums and backing were all digitalised and essentially backing tracks, but the performance from Glenn, and his vocal alongside Martyn's was superb. A bit of humour injected into the proceedings was through some jibes at Phil O and the Human League! We have never been huge fans of backing tracks and bands who do not have the "live" thing, but by God, we loved this show.
The first half was over much too soon (that's the consequence of a vinyl with only 9 songs!).
A quick intermission and change of backdrop from Heaven 17 to B.E.F and we were into the second half. B.E.F are essentially a covers band who do their own take on other songs. Here we were treated to some guests.
First up was The Farm's Peter Hooten and the sing a long "All Together Now" followed by a great rendition of "Bank Robber" by the Clash
Next up was the reason we got our tickets - the glam and fab Queen of Neasden, Mari Wilson. Looking fabulous, in high heels and a shimmery dress, she gave us a terrific performance of "Just What I Always Wanted". Having seen Mari perform a good number of times over the last years, this song has always been a very stripped down version in her set, so it was great to hear it in it's full glory. In fine voice, those high notes were hit! Her second song was a jaw dropping version of "Rescue me". This song really suited Mari's voice and was brilliant.
Glenn Gregory then came back to take control of the stage and following an extremely good rendition of the Jimmy Webb song, "Wichita Lineman", it was straight into a dig at Phil with a part of the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" swiftly followed with another fabulous cover..... this time "Pop Muzik" by M, with the keyboard player, Berenice doing a sterling job supporting Glenn with his cover of this song written by her dad!
All of the artists came back on stage for a tribute to Colin Vearncombe (aka Black) who had been due to be in this tour, but he sadly passed away earlier in the year. As a tribute the guys sang "Wonderful Life".
A Heaven 17 show would not be complete without their signature tune, "Temptation" and the two backing singers really came into their forte with this one. Their vocals were superb and sounded so true to the original. Quite often girls singing such high end vocals can get a bit screechy, but this was very suited to their style, and worked a treat.
Mari Wilson and her signature tune "Just What I Always Wanted" - sounded fab