The Human League ready for Engine Shed

It only seems fitting with the resurgence of the 1980s that The Human League, one of the most iconic bands of the era, will be back on tour.

The group were last on tour three years ago but Susan Sulley, one of the singers from the band, said they didn’t stop performing: “We never stopped playing live, we play live all the time.”

This latest tour is in conjunction with the release of their new album “Credo” which is due out in 2011, and a single out later this month.


The Human League will be coming to Lincoln in December. Photo: spiros politis

Sulley and Joanne Catherall joined the rest of the band later after founder member Phil Oakey found the two 17-year-olds dancing at the Crazy Daisy Disco in Sheffield. After this they were asked to come for an audition and ended up joining the band, even though they were meant to only be on a European tour.

Despite this huge change in their lives, it just felt natural: “It was only an extension of what Joanne and I were doing anyway. We used to go to school, like I say we were doing A Levels, but any spare pennies that we had was spent on going out dancing.

“That’s what we loved to do it didn’t feel like a strange thing to do, it just felt normal.”

The group’s best known hit, “Don’t You Want Me”, was not expected to be as successful as it was: “We all were surprised by the massive popularity. We didn’t expect it to do anywhere near as popular. The album itself and the singles especially ‘Don’t You Want Me’.”

The video that accompanied the song was also a highlight of the 80s and Sulley admits to being scared on the set: “I was scared to death, I’d never done it.

“We had already made a video for ‘Open Your Heart’ so that had already been done, and we’d been on TV a few times and I suppose I was scared but we just took things in our stride then, you had to or we would have never have survived… It’s only a verse.”

With “Ashes to Ashes” playing homage to the decade, Sulley says it is complimentary but also better to move on: “It makes me smile really, it makes me glad. I loved that time… For me it is about the music. We had some fabulous times, but we are still having some fabulous times and we are still making music. I try not to hark so much back to what was.”

Despite life not being as hectic as it used to be, Sulley says it’s now better: “I don’t like being in the public eye, it’s not my thing.

“I much prefer how it is now and how it became in the mid-90s when we brought out an album called “Octopus” and that did really well and we got a top 10 single that stayed in the top 10 for weeks, but no one took any notice of who we were and that’s how I prefer it.

“It was never about being a celebrity, I would hate that it would do my head in.”

The Human League will be playing the Engine Shed on December 17th. The event is strictly over 18 and ID will be needed. Tickets are priced at £23.50 plus booking fees. For more information visit the Engine Shed website.

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