Having been a child of the 80's, I grew up with a lot of that era's synthpop and electronic music. But being from the States, I wasn't ever properly introduced to Heaven 17. Despite their having a string of UK hits, their music seemed largely ignored on this side of the pond. And, from the evidence here, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Recorded in 2005 in front of a small but appreciative audience, this reformed group, led by former Human League members Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware, presented an obviously updated sound, tempered by funk, house and modern dance disco/club sounds. Tracks like "I'm Gonna Make You Fall In Love With Me" grate with a pop-disco sheen, and little substance. The band did revisit old favorites, like the silly proto-political "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing", and even the early Human League electro-gem, "Being Boiled", but it isn't enough to save "Live At Scala".
Filmed professionally with multiple cameras, the presentation is well-done and interesting, and fans will enjoy the backstage banter and studio footage. Me? I'll take my Depeche Mode or Soft Cell, thank you very much. (MVD Visual)
Heaven 17 site