THE HUMAN LEAGUE will headline the “campers only” first day of the Isle of Wight festival. The 80s Sheffield synthpop group will play the Big Top on Thursday night. Stereophonics, The Prodigy and Neil Young have already been announced as the main stage headliners of this year’s festival, which will also see performances from Pixies, The Charlatans, Ultravox and The Zombies.
More about the Human League
Synth pop’s first international superstars, the Human League were among the earliest and most innovative bands to break into the pop mainstream on a wave of synthesizers and electronic rhythms, their marriage of infectious melodies and state-of-the-art technology proving enormously influential on countless acts following in their wake. The group was formed in Sheffield, England, in 1977 by synth players Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh, who’d previously teamed as the duo Dead Daughters; following a brief tenure as the Future, they rechristened themselves the Human League after enlisting vocalist Philip Oakey. The trio soon recorded a demo, and played their first live dates; they soon tapped Adrian Wright as their “Director of Visuals,” and his slide shows quickly became a key component of their performances.
Signing with the indie label Fast, in 1978 the Human League issued their first single, “Being Boiled”; a minor underground hit, it was followed by a tour in support of Siouxsie & the Banshees. After a 1979 EP, The Dignity of Labour, the group released its first full-length effort, Reproduction, a dark, dense work influenced largely by Kraftwerk. Travelogue followed the next year and reached the U.K. Top 20; still, internal tensions forced Ware and Marsh to quit the group in late 1980, at which time they formed the British Electronic Foundation. Their departure forced Wright to begin learning to play the synthesizer; at the same time, Oakey recruited bassist Ian Burden as well as a pair of schoolgirls, Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall, to handle additional vocal duties.
The first single from the revamped Human League, 1981′s “Boys and Girls,” reached the British Top 50; recorded with producer Martin Rushent, the follow-up “Sound of the Crowd” fell just shy of the Top Ten. Their next single, “Love Action,” reached number three, and after adding ex-Rezillo Jo Callis the League issued “Open Your Heart,” another hit. Still, their true breakthrough was the classic single “Don’t You Want Me,” from the album Dare!; both topped their respective charts in England, and went on to become major hits in the U.S. as well. A tour of the States followed, but new music was extremely slow in forthcoming; after a remix disc, Love and Dancing, the Human League finally issued 1983′s Fascination! EP, scoring a pair of hits with “Mirror Man” and “(Keep Feeling) Fascination.”
The much-anticipated full-length Hysteria finally surfaced in mid-1984, heralding a more forceful sound than earlier Human League releases; the record failed to match the massive success of Dare!, however, with the single “The Lebanon” earning insignificant airplay. The group soon went on indefinite hiatus, and Oakey recorded a 1985 solo LP with famed producer Giorgio Moroder titled simply Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder. To the surprise of many, the Human League resurfaced in 1986 with Crash, produced by the duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; the plaintive lead single “Human” soon topped the U.S. charts, but the group failed to capitalize on its comeback success, disappearing from the charts for the remainder of the decade.
When the Human League finally returned in 1990 with Romantic?, their chart momentum had again dissipated, and the single “Heart Like a Wheel” barely managed to rise into the Top 40. The record was the band’s last with longtime label Virgin; now a trio consisting of Oakey, Sulley, and Catherall, they ultimately signed with the EastWest label, teaming with producer Ian Stanley for 1995′s Octopus. The album went largely unnoticed both at home and overseas, with the single “Stay With Me Tonight” issued solely in the U.K. A resurgent interest in synth pop and post-punk during the early 2000s enabled the group’s 2001 album Secrets considerable press coverage, which saw the group update its early sound. Four years later, they released Live at the Dome.
Maximo Park, White Lies, The View, The Rifles, The Zombies and special guest Paolo Nutini are added to the main stage line up for Saturday 15th June at the Isle of Wight Festival 2009. Alongside the immense list of names already confirmed, including Neil Young, Stereophonics, Razorlight and Prodigy, this year is guaranteed to be the biggest yet.
The Big Top will be headlined by the newly reformed Ultravox whose massive hits include ‘Vienna’ and ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’. The Australian Pink Floyd Show, one of the most successful tribute acts of all time and such a success at last years event will close the evening with an amazing light show fit for such an iconic event.
The Isle of Wight Festival takes place 12th – 14th June at Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight. Watch this space for the Sunday night line-ups. Tickets are on sale now, for tickets and more information check out www.isleofwightfestival.com
THE TICKET deposit scheme to buy Glastonbury tickets has been hailed as a roaring success. Founder Michael Eavis said the initiative, under which could pay £50 to reserve a ticket for this year’s festival, then settle the balance at any time before February 1, had worked well. And he added that only a small percentage of those who paid a deposit failed to complete their purchase, with those fans receiving a refund less £10 administration costs. Eavis said: “It’s been a huge success. The deposit makes it easier because the price is £175 and that’s a lot of money to find all at once. “We did figure out that during the Christmas period, parents and grandparents can pay the balance for them. That’s what happened funnily enough. We sold thousands of tickets just before Christmas. “Once people commit, then they know they have got a ticket. So they haven’t got to worry, they commit to us first so we’re home and dry.” He added that the scheme would definitely return for next year’s festival. Tickets are sold out for this year’s event, which will be headlined by Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur.
HARD ROCK CALLING organisers confirmed today that the headliner for Saturday 27 June in Hyde Park, London will be NEIL YOUNG. Joining him as special guests at this prestigious festival are FLEET FOXES, BEN HARPER & RELENTLESS7, SEASICK STEVE and THE PRETENDERS with more artists to be announced soon.
Neil Young will be performing in London at this year’s Hard Rock Calling. Undeniably one of the most influential artists in American music Neil Young is set to release his much-anticipated new album ‘Fork In The Road’ on 6 April on Warner Music. Chrissie Hynde commented on playing on the same bill as Neil Young at Hard Rock Calling:
‘We would play a garden shed to be on a bill with Neil Young but Hyde Park – summer – with ‘The Loner’? This is what makes a thousand hours on tour buses all worthwhile. This is why people get in bands.’
Fleet Foxes, Seattle’s finest and arguably one of the most exciting new bands around will be joining Neil Young on Saturday 27 June.
Ben Harper is introducing his fiery new band, Relentless7 at Hard Rock Calling on 27 June.
Having crossed over into the mainstream by word-of-mouth success and becoming a household name Seasick Steve will be bringing his American blues to Hard Rock Calling on Saturday 27 June.
Adding to an already incredible line-up the British rock legends The Pretenders will be joining Neil Young, Fleet Foxes and Ben Harper on Saturday 27 June.
With Sunday’s headliner already confirmed as Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and day tickets selling out in under an hour, the addition of Neil Young proves that this is the best London music event on the UK calendar. Hard Rock Calling is bringing the biggest and hottest artists around right to London.
As part of Hard Rock’s 2009 Ambassadors of Rock Tour, fans will have the opportunity to win a V.I.P. weekend in London for Hard Rock Calling, and trips to other exciting Ambassador of Rock stops around the world, by entering the global sweepstakes on hardrock.com.
Neil Young will take to the stage with his full band – Ben Keith, Rick Rosas, Chad Cromwell, Pegi Young and Anthony Crawford.
Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London;
Saturday 27 June – Neil Young, Fleet Foxes, Ben Harper & Relentless7, Seasick Steve, The Pretenders plus more to be announced.
Sunday 28 June 2009 – Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band. The Gaslight Anthem, Full supporting line-up to be confirmed.
A single from the album, Johnny Magic, will be out on March 23 and is being streamed on Neilyoung.com.
The album’s full tracklisting will be:
‘When Worlds Collide’
‘Just Singing A Song’
‘Cough Up The Bucks’
‘Get Behind The Wheel’
‘Off The Road’
‘Hit The Road’
‘Light A Candle’
‘Fork In The Road’
Young also revealed details of two UK gigs – Nottingham Trent on June 23 and Aberdeen AECC on June 24 – with more to be announced soon.
He is also heavily rumoured to be headlining Glastonbury although it has yet to be officially confirmed.
It follows Q’s recent prediction that the band were to play the event. The band have included the show in the list of dates on their official website, becoming the first band to make an official confirmation about their attendance at Glastonbury 2009.
They are due to play on Saturday, June 27, and the performance follows last year’s low-key secret show at the farm.
Other acts who are rumoured to be performing this year’s event – which is now a sell-out – include Blur and Neil Young.