Live Review

Electronic Beats 10th Birthday, Berlin

An incredible line-up that well and truly does the magazine justice.


Photo Credit: Felicity Ieraci.

If you weren’t a fan before, after tonight you wouldn’t have needed much persuading. As a part of Electronic Beats 10th birthday extravaganza, ‘80s legends The Human League alongside Manchurian electro-rockers Delphic and Irish crooner Roisin Murphy grace the stage of Berlin’s Radialsystem V. Delphic play a great string of songs from their debut ‘Acolyte’ while Roisin Murphy DJs with a few short mic checks throughout. For such a talented singer one would have hoped she’d spend more time stretching her vocal chords and less time stretching her limbs. Not unlike a can-can girl, she celebrates her body with high kicks and booty shakes. Though as a dance-floor reveler Miss Murphy does have a knack at entertaining the crowd both sonically and visually.

The most applaudable act of the night is, of course, Sheffield band The Human League. Phil Oakey first launched The Human League as a solo project in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that the single entity became the collective that it is today. On stage the original members channel the wonky-pop synth vibe that defined them as one of the original avant-garde creatives. Thirty years on and all arms are in the air while THL play not for nostalgia but for their future successes. Throughout their many hits, from ‘Don’t You Want Me’ to ‘Mirror Man to ‘Love Action’, the synth-lords enjoy a great reception when premiering 2010’s ‘Night People’. Their newest release since 2001’s ‘All I Ever Wanted’ is celebrated in true THL style where frontman Phil Oakley’s strong vocals take the lead.

Aside from the music, it’s long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (both joining the band in 1980) who give the show a real kick. With their womanly figures, lingering high notes and consistent vocals the audience well and truly feel The Human League just as they did three decades ago.

Berlin’s Electronic Beats gathered an incredible line-up that well and truly does their magazine justice, further solidifying their status as an innovative musical pioneer.

Tags: Delphic, Features

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