Friday, 21 February 2014

Heaven 17, Glenn Gregory, Martyn Ware, Jazz Cafe, Camden Town

Heaven 17 return to Camden Town

Glenn Gregory, Heaven 17 lead singer, and Berenice Scott on synthesiser

Padding along Camden Town's night-time pavements.
Passing small flats selling for penthouse prices.

Sadly, some crumbling Camden corners look lost, forever.
Camden Snooker Club on Delancey Street.
A favourite old haunt for younger cue eagles and gentle old men.

('Leave no trace...)*

Even the once trendy Blair Babes wine bar next door on Arlington Road. 

(...Hide your face')*

A passer-by puffs smoke from his 'Camden Carrot'.
A more resolute local tradition.

My destination - the Jazz Cafe on Parkway.
Scene of a raucous homecoming party for 1980s 'Synth Britannia'. (Thursday, 20 February 2014)

('Sweat my youth away').**

Party hosts?  
Heaven 17.
Martyn Ware on Roland synthesiser, and inspiration. 
Glenn Gregory, on rich vocals, and charisma.

Inspired post-punk, synth-futurist pioneers of the earlier British Electric Foundation.

Sheffield's finest, who glowed the hope of white hot synth-pop against the gloomy despair of concrete cold 1980s Britain.

A hostile Thatcherite era of social unrest. 
A country tearing up its industrial base in favour of a false financialised future.

A decade defined by 'succeed, or don't exist'.
An era that spawned the financial meltdown of 2008 - and, in turn, the rise of today's austerity.

But an era that can't be entirely dismissed as a basket case.
As, out of that mire, came heavenly music, allowing you to say...

...'Hello to my Soul'.**

Martyn Ware, Heaven 17, on synthesiser (where else?!)

Heaven 17 lyrics from:

* 'Temptation' 
** 'Penthouse and Pavement'

Heaven 17

Photos: © Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, 2014

Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, February 2014

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