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CELEBRATING 30 years of iconic synth pop with a message, Heaven 17 are back on tour with 1983 smash success The Luxury Gap.

The left-wing band’s statement on massive unemployment while millionaires sit in Cabinet, feels as fresh today as when it was written almost 30 years ago.

The left-wing band’s statement on massive unemployment while millionaires sit in Cabinet, feels as fresh today as when it was written almost 30 years ago.

But Heaven 17 founder and keyboard player Martyn Ware said that unless lessons are learnt, history was always doomed to repeat itself.

“Our albums are very indictable of that time. It was a time of economic difficulties, a Tory government. A time of the haves and have-nots getting more and more separated, hence The Luxury Gap and Penthouse and Pavement. And those same conditions are prevalent today. British people are in the same place as we were back then.”

Ware said the band were now considering writing a Luxury Gap 2, based on the same issues but 30 years later.

“It’s critical for music to tell a message,” he added. “Not every song has to say something political or social but I think there are very few bands or singers who have a social message any more.”

Ware was also a founder member for electro icons, The Human League, and admitted he had been trying to persuade frontman Phil Oakey to reform the band, if only for one gig.

And he said he still held the decade which gave birth to both bands as a unique period for music.

“The 80s was like an electro pop arms race. Everyone was trying to out do each other. It was just a white-hot period for music. Turning Top of the Pops on every week there was always something ground-breaking. There’s never been a period like it really.”

Heaven 17 play the Birmingham 02 Academy next Monday (October 29).

 

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